Regenerative agriculture & its increasing need
9th Dec, 2022
The Regenerative agriculture has been receiving much attention from all the stakeholders, as can be effective in building resilience of agroecosystems.
What is Regenerative Agriculture?
- Regenerative agriculture is a holistic approach to agriculture that focuses on the interconnection of farming systems such as, soil health, food quality, biodiversity improvement, water quality and air quality.
- It was used by Indigenous communities centuries ago, long before industrial agriculture occurred.
- Minimize soil distribution through conservation tillage
Conservation tillage is a tillage system that creates a suitable soil environment for growing a crop and that conserves soil, water and energy resources mainly through the reduction in the intensity of tillage, and retention of plant residues.
- Diversify crops to replenish nutrients and disrupt pest and disease life cycles
- Retain soil cover using cover crops
- Integrate livestock, which adds manure to the soil and serves as a source of carbon sinks.
Need of Regenerative agriculture
- The current intensive agriculture system has led to soil degradation and constant losses.
- There may not be enough soil to feed the world in the next 50 years.
- Soil fertility and biodiversity are also decreasing across the globe.
- Regenerative agriculture improves soil health through practices that increase soil organic matter, biota and biodiversity.
- It also aims at enhancing water-holding capacity and carbon sequestration.
- It facilitates soil aggregation, water infiltration, retention and nutrient cycling.
- Regenerative agriculture also reduces erosion, provides habitat and food for diverse species and is beyond sustainability.
Benefits of Regenerative agriculture:
- Improves Yield
- Minimizes Cost of Production and Increases Farmers’ Production
- Ensures Better Health
- Employment Generation
- Eliminates the application of chemical input
- Reduces Water Consumption
- Promotes Livestock Sustainability
Is Regenerative Agriculture Profitable?
- The answer is Yes. This increase in profitability was the result of two main factors: input costs and end markets.
- Decreasing Input Costs: Regenerative agricultural systems, over time, require less external inputs, primarily in the form of seed and fertilizer.
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Push to Natural Farming (Union Budget 2022-23)
- The Central Government will promote natural farming throughout the country.
- States will be encouraged to revise syllabus of agricultural universities so as to meet the needs of natural, zero-budget and organic farming.
- ICAR (Indian Council of Agriculture Research) has already constituted a committee for developing syllabus and curricula of Natural farming at undergraduate and post graduate level.
- Government is implementing a dedicated scheme of Bharatiya Prakritik Krishi Paddhati Programme (BPKP); Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) etc.