Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)

Truly,Integration of science and evidence into effective agrifood system decision-making processes remains a significant challenge. For example, Natural Farming is currently being promoted in a  big way in India. The conventional researchers are busy doing research in chemical soil health & fertility boosters, plant protectants including developing resistence, while decision makers want large scale adoption of natural farming accepting it as one effective measure to tackle many issues concerning soil & plant health affected by chemicals. The researchers by and large due to their qualifications & training may not be comfortable with idea of natural farming but decisions flowing from top decision making bodies.The Government has re-adopted the Indian Natural Farming System for Agriculture, since Natural Farming System is an ancient technique used by farmers for farming and at that time people also knew how to live in harmony with the nature. India is one of the leading producer of organic products & exports, with number one position in the world in terms of the number of producers, since organic production, standards, guidelines and bioinputs are available so comparatively it is easier for farmers to adopt it. The organic farming got a boost in India primarily due to growing demand for organic products in importaining countries in EU & other developed countries. In case of natural farming, the standards, guidelines, certification mechanism will have to be developed so that small scale farmers are able to benefit from natural farming. Several Indian states are working on promoting natural farming. Hope the field trials on natural farming, if taken up, may generate evidence that it is a practical and proven way of sustainable farming-good for farmers, consumers & environment on the whole!

As per the recent statement from the government, during the last year, an additional area of 4.78 lakh hectares has been brought under natural farming in 17 States. To promote natural farming, the Indian government has approved the National Mission on Natural Farming as a separate scheme with an expenditure of INR 1,584 crores. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and all Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), Central and State Agricultural Universities and Colleges are making all-round efforts to promote natural farming. May be this decision of the Indian government to promote natural farming helps in long run towards improving health of soils, plants, animals & human including safer environment which is getting polluted due to use of agrochemicals.