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Agri Consultants without Borders

We are the Agricultural Consultants Without Borders, an international voluntary group dedicated to bring about change in approach and sharing of knowledge in the diverse field of Agriculture, bringing in synergy with the other co-operating professions encompassing livestock, aquaculture, healthy ecosystems, public health and food security, sustainable development. as we say “the advent of Civilization depended on Agriculture and so is its future”……. Read the rest of this entry »

Problems of Agriculture in Punjab

Agricultural issues in Punjab

By: Mandeep Pujara
Co-Chair Agri Science Initiative
Project Director ATMA- Sustainable Agriculture Development Agency,
Govt. of Punjab, India

1. Mono-cropping and Faulty Cropping Practices

The primary reason for the looming environmental crisis in Panjab is the introduction of intensive agriculture under the Green Revolution. The double monocropping of winter wheat (kanak) and summer rice (jhona / munji) has increased the grain harvest in Panjab since the sixties. However, this has resulted in water use beyond its sustainability due increased demand for irrigation. In addition, the excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has added to the environmental degradation. The soils of Punjab have become deficient in micronutrients in a space of 45 years. Intensive agriculture practices have deteriorated the pedosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere of Punjab. Read the rest of this entry »

Agriculture at the Crossroads: Guaranteeing Food Security in a Changing Global Climate

For a large number of developing countries, agriculture remains the single most important sector. Climate change has the potential to damage irreversibly the natural resource base on which agriculture depends, with grave consequences for food security in developing countries. However, agriculture is the sector that has the potential to transcend from being a problem to becoming an essential part of the solution to climate change provided there is a more holistic vision of food security, climate-change adaptation and mitigation as well as agriculture’s pro-poor development contribution. What is required is a rapid and significant shift from conventional, industrial, monoculture-based and high-external-input dependent production towards mosaics of sustainable production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers.

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Food comes first

With the world facing the double dilemma of rapidly increasing demand for agricultural commodities and changing climates that affect our ability to produce food, it raises our awareness of the importance of linkages. Under its mandate, FAO has developed strong experience and expertise not only to fight poverty and hunger and to ensure environmental sustainability, but as this report shows, the output of the Organization links across the whole MDG universe.  Read the document>>>>

Problems and Issues facing Farmers groups and cooperatives in Agricultural marketing

A special write-up by Dr Mandeep Pujara
Co-Chair – Agri Science Initiative
Project Director ATMA- Sustainable Agriculture Development Agency,
Govt. of Punjab, India

 Farmers group and cooperatives: A farmer group/ cooperative is a business organization owned and controlled by its members for their mutual benefit. Members finance their cooperative through equity investments. Control comes via membership rights to vote for and become directors. The directors hire the manager and establish the policy under which the manager operates. While the manager and directors have little direct control over the external environment, they do have control over and the responsibility for how the cooperative adjusts to a continuously changing world environment.

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Sustainable Development Goals

sdg1

In 2015, 193 countries agreed on 17 ambitious,
universal Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
as part of the broader 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Ponds once a lifeline of India’s agriculture are being revived by some Punjab farmers

The farm ponds, rediscovered by a few farmers in Patiala region of Punjab, could be the answer to the state’s growing groundwater crisis as they can harvest rainwater and cushion against flooding.  The northern region of India is facing drought for the second consecutive year. The rainfall deficit is hovering around 35 percent in Punjab and Haryana and data shows that the two states have consistently registered below normal rainfall since 1998, which has put a severe strain on their groundwater resource. Last year, the rainfall deficit was over 50 percent and Punjab had asked for assistance from the Centre to the tune of Rs 2,350 crore due to a 15 percent rise in irrigation costs; deepening of dried up borewells also added to this. While the state bought extra power, farmers bought extra diesel to extract groundwater. Thus, the input cost of cultivation went up leading to farm distress and suicides. Read the rest of this entry »

Can Organic Farming Feed the World?

Forty five years have passed since Earl Butz, then U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, asserted, “Before we go back to organic agriculture in this country, somebody must decide which 50 million Americans we are going to let starve or go hungry.” Time has proven Butz very wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

What stops crop diversification and Why don’t Indian farmers grow more fruits and vegetables?

Out of intellectual as well as professional curiosity, I have being digging deeper into this question. In India, rice and wheat comprise 70 percent of agricultural produce by area, but less than 25 percent by value. In other words, wheat and rice are low value crops to grow compared to other options. Yet, the land area dedicated to wheat and rice has not seen a significant decrease in the last decade.

Government data shows that the consumption of wheat and rice has been declining around 1-2 percent in both urban and rural India, while the demand for fruits and vegetables has been rising by 2-3 percent annually. This again begs the question: Why aren’t farmers shifting to growing more fruits and vegetables? Read the rest of this entry »