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Authors: Niti Gupta, Shanal Pradhan, Abhishek Jain, and Nahya Patel
Overview: This study, in collaboration with the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), provides an overview of the current state of sustainable agriculture practices and systems (SAPSs) in India. It aims to help policymakers, administrators, philanthropists, and others contribute to an evidence-based scale-up of SAPSs, which represent a vital alternative to conventional, input-intensive agriculture in the context of a climate-constrained future. The study identifies 16 SAPSs—including agroforestry, crop rotation, rainwater harvesting, organic farming and Natural Farming—using agroecology as an investigative lens. Based on an in-depth review of 16 practices, it concludes that sustainable agriculture is far from being the mainstream in India. It further proposes several measures for promoting SAPSs, including restructured government support and rigorous evidence generation.
Authors: Niti Gupta, Saurabh Tripathi, and Himanshu Dholakia
This study offers insights into ZBNF vis-à-via its effect on the economics of agriculture in Andhra Pradesh. It compares costs of ZBNF inputs and practices with the costs of chemical inputs (fertilizers and pesticides) for the farmer and estimates the potential savings in fertilizer subsidies at different stages of ZBNF penetration for the state. The study was conducted through a primary survey of about 600 farmers across all agro-climactic zones in Andhra Pradesh.
Authors: Suresh N S., Spurthi R., Arunita B., Haritha H., Arjun S., and Anantha Lakshmi P.
Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP) conducted a study with the objective to compare ZBNF and conventional farming (referred to as non-ZBNF) on parameters like water and energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, cost of cultivation, yield, and net revenue in selected crops paddy, groundnut, chilli, cotton, and maize.A survey was conducted in four districts of Andhra Pradesh, for a limited sample size (~120) and initial findings indicate that ZBNF processes require 50%–60% less water and electricity compared to conventional farming practices for all the selected crops. For the irrigated crops, ZBNF requires 45%–70% less (compared to conventional) input energy (12–50 GJ per acre) and results in 55%–85% less emissions (1.4–6.6 Mt CO2e). For the rain-fed crops, ZBNF requires 42%–90% less input energy (1.1–16 GJ per acre) and results in 85%–99% less emissions (0.5–11 Mt CO2e). The cost of cultivation is observed to be lower in ZBNF for all crops by INR 3,000–INR 22,000 per acre, except in cotton (higher by INR 9,000, due to larger labour engagement). The difference in yield between ZBNF and non-ZBNF for chilli and paddy is negligible. For the remaining crops, non-ZBNF appears to exhibit higher yields, with an increase in the range of 0.3 Mt/acre–0.7 Mt/acre. The net revenue is seen to be higher in ZBNF by INR 9,000–INR 37,000 for all the crops (except rainfed-based cotton and chilli), because of the lower cost of cultivation. Furthermore, non-ZBNF-based chilli, maize, and groundnut seem to show higher variance in cost compared to ZBNF crops.
Authors: Ranjit Kumar, Sanjiv Kumar, BS Yashavanth, PC Meena, P Ramesh, AK Indoria, Sumanta Kundu, M Manjunath
The study was conducted in three leading states- Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra through field survey and personal interview of adopters and non-adopters of Natural Farming to understand the perception and realization of the farmers. To supplement the socioeconomic findings, samples from the fields (soil, plant and Jeevamritha) of NF-adopter and non-adopter were also collected and analysed at ICAR- Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA). The study observes that owning indigenous cow is not essential for natural farming, as dung and urine requirement is very less which can be bought from others. Further, it mentions that Natural Farming may not be yield enhancing but helped in improving farmers’ income by reducing cost of cultivation, and attracting better product price. B:C ratio improved significantly owing to less input cost and attracting premium price for chemical-free produce. The report put forward suggestions like natural farming as an alternative option for the producers & the consumers for chemical-free produce. NF produce be recognized as niche product and may be encouraged through cluster farming (FPOs) to have better traceability of the produce. Moreover, scientific evidences need to be generated before scaling out in different agroclimatic regions with different crop combinations for its long-term sustainability
Authors: Amit Khurana and Vineet Kumar
Organic and Natural Farming in India is still at a nascent stage. To scale them up and turn them into a mass movement, governments at the Centre and in states must take big steps. Mainstreaming organic and Natural Farming will address the ecological and economic crises in Indian agriculture. Only by using farming methods that are sustainable in the long run will Indian agriculture, and India, become truly self-reliant.
Authors: Girima Nagda, Devendra Kumar Bhatt
Abstract: The study aimed to evaluate the effect of cow urine and combination of antioxidants against lindane-induced oxidative stress in Swiss mice. Male healthy mice, 8–10 weeks old, weighing 30 ± 5 g were randomly selected and divided into eight groups, namely, control (C); lindane (L); antioxidant (A), antioxidant+lindane (A+L), cow urine (U), cow urine+lindane (U+L), cow urine+antioxidants (U+A) and cow urine+antioxidants+lindane (U+A+L). Group C animals were administered only the vehicle (olive oil); doses selected for other treatments were: lindane: 40 mg/kg b.w.; antioxidants: 125 mg/kg b.w. (vitamin C: 50 mg/kg b.w., vitamin E: 50 mg/kg b.w., α-lipoic acid: 25 mg/kg b.w.) and cow urine: 0.25 ml/kg b.w. In group A+L and U+L antioxidants and cow urine were administered 1 h prior to lindane administration and in group U+A and U+A+L cow urine was administered 10 min before antioxidants. All treatments were administered orally continuously for 60 days. Lindane treated group showed increased lipid peroxidation, whereas glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, protein and endogenous levels of vitamin C and E were significantly decreased compared to control. Administration of cow urine and antioxidants alleviated the levels of these biochemical parameters.
Authors: Rahul Kumar, Kuldip Kumar, Vaishnavee Gupta, Amit Kumar, Triveni Shrivas, Kishu Tripathi
Abstract: Panchagavya is an incredible source for many medicinal substances. It has been reported for synergistic action but scientific data is not available. Sixty mice were randomly divided into ten groups. The first, second, third, fourth , fifth , sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth & tenth groups received PG 1, PG1+ EEAB 10%, PG1+ EEAB 50%, PG1+ EEAB 75%, PG2, PG2+ EEAB 10%, PG2+ EEAB 50%, PG2+ EEAB 75%, Standard Alprazolam, Control Urine every day administered at the dose 4ml/kg body weight regularly at 9:00 am for 21 days & investigated the role of different composition of Panchagavya and its ethanolic extract of Aloe barbedansis Mill (EEAB) (Xanthorrhoeceae) for synergistic anti-stress activity by using Tail Suspension Method in Swiss albino mice. On the 1st, 6th, 11th , 16th & 21th day after drug administration, effect of PG 1 , PG 2 , PG 1 + EEAB and PG 2 + EEAB were found to be significant at the level p