Since 2019, India has attempted to put additional focus on their agricultural development. However, their plan to become land-degradation-neutral by 2030 has proven to be challenging, primarily due to an increased need for eco-friendly technology. Luckily, regenerative farming in India, a modern solution that emphasizes soil health and protects the environment, has the potential to make Indian farming more eco-friendly while also boosting the income of India’s farmers.
Long-term studies have found that regenerative agriculture is not only more efficient than regular farming methods but is also more friendly to the environment. As a result, this new method not only benefits the farming community but can also have a significant impact on poverty in India, as the quality and quantity of food is substantially improved. Organizations such as Regenagri and Regenerative Organic Certified are spearheading this initiative due in part to its potential to alleviate poverty in India.
India’s Land Degradation Crisis
As of 2023, roughly 30% of India’s total geographical area is degraded land, unfit for growing quality crops. Although land degradation caused by soil erosion is a natural part of the farming process, the loss of topsoil due to erosion occurs at a rate faster than soil can regenerate. As a result, nations such as India are at risk of desertification, which poses a considerable threat to the well-being of the nation’s population.
Desertification leads to a lack of accessibility to natural resources required for human survival and development, also known as “ecological poverty.” Ecological poverty has inextricable ties to income poverty; if ecological poverty is not averted, then the fight against global poverty can never succeed.
Regenerative Agriculture’s Impact on Poverty
To fight off desertification and land degradation, certain organizations are encouraging the utilization of regenerative agriculture, an eco-friendly strategy that prioritizes soil fertility and improves water and energy management. The primary goal is to heavily alter the agricultural process in order to guarantee a more plentiful and stable yield while keeping financial and environmental costs low.
This is achieved through various eco-friendly additions to the farming process, such as covering bare soil to prevent carbon dioxide from escaping into the atmosphere, integrating livestock more seamlessly and attempting to protect the soil from as many disturbances as possible.
The end result of this strategy is a farming method that is not only beneficial for the environment but also considerably boosts the quality and quantity of crops produced while farming. Consequently, the utilization of regenerative agriculture can improve the availability of food and other goods in India, thereby fighting back against poverty in the nation. This coincides with the need to combat ecological poverty. By utilizing regenerative agriculture, the health and accessibility of necessary natural resources have significantly improved.
Current Initiatives and Organizations
Regenagri, developed jointly by Solidaridad and Control Union, is one organization that has already seen success in India with its regenerative agriculture initiative. Regenagri has brought regenerative agriculture processes to 1.25 million acres of land. Regenerative Organic Certified, an initiative made up of several organizations and companies such as Patagonia, is the other main body pursuing regenerative farming in India. Major food companies such as Nestle are also pursuing efforts in the regenerative agriculture sphere.
With a considerable number of organizations already partaking in this initiative, India’s farming methods should see considerable improvement. If regenerative agriculture proves to be successful, India will be one step closer to their land-degradation-neutral goal.
– Liam Kahan