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Institute for Development Studies, AU to assess the impact of ZBNF


The Rythu Sadhikara Samasta (RySS) of Government of Andhra Pradesh has assigned an important study to Institute for Development Studies, Andhra Pradesh (IDS-AP) to assess the impact of Andhra Pradesh Community Managed Natural Farming (APCNF, formally known as the Zero Budget Natural Farming). IDS-AP has appointed more than 10 senior researchers/resource persons and more than 50 field investigators and supervisors to conduct the study. It has prepared 10 research tools for the study the impact of APCNF during the agriculture year 2020-21. IDS-AP has initiated a six-day training programme for the field staff on 27-09-2020, at Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. Apart from the senior researchers, resources persons and field staff, the senior members of RySS lead by Mr T. Vijay Kumar, IAS and Executive Vice-President of RySS, have also participated through Zoom Conference, in the programme.

In his opening remarks, Prof. S Galab, Director of IDS-AP, welcomed the participants and explained genesis and evaluation of the annual studies, on the subject, since 2017-18. He further added that this year the focus of the study would be Pre-monsoon Dry Sowing (PMDS) crops. The study would assess not only the impact of APCNF, but also the impact of PMDS crops/ practices. In his inaugural address, Mr T. Vijay Kumar, IAS and Executive Vice-President of RySS, said that “we are living in the climate emergency periods. We have to address the challenges of climate change within 12-15 years. Other wise the damages would be irreversible. Climate change is the predominantly a man-made disaster.

Agriculture strategies, adhered for last 60-70 years, have contributed about 24 percent of total greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted in the world. If the contribution of agriculture service industries such as transport, manufacturing of agri-chemicals, power, etc, the aggregate contribution would be around 40 percent of total GHG emissions in the world. Apart from agri-chemicals the practices such as deforestation, forest fires, burning of crop residue, application of excess irrigation, excess ploughing, etc contribute for the emission of GHGs. Deserts across the world are the results of unsustainable practices by the human beings.Every year we are losing about 10 millions of the hectares. UN says that land use management is one of the key tools to address the issue of climate change.”

He added that “APCNF has demonstrated that our farmers can reverse the process of climate change. Internationally there is growing interest for the APCNF. While, many countries across the globe are experimenting their own versions of natural farming, some countries such as Kenya, Rwanda, Mexico, Chilly and bilateral and multilateral agencies are coming forward to partner with RySS. APCNF is harnessing the ecological principles for the benefit of the farmers and nature. Naturally, plants absorb Corban-dioxide (CO 2 ) to prepare its food through photosynthesis.

At any given time, the plants use 40 percent of food, they prepared for their own growth; 30 percent for strengthening of their roots and bestow 30 percent of the food into the soil for the benefit of the life under the soils. In turn, the living organism in the sub-soils convert natural elements into the plant nutrients for the benefit of the plants. This virtuous cycle was destroyed by the excess use of the agri-chemicals.”

He has further said that “RySS is doing the most valuable work in the world to save ourselves,our children, our grandchildren, and so on.” He has added that RySS has demonstrated that PMDS is possible in the desert prone district like Anantapuramu during the summer season.

About 90,000 farmers are practicing the PMDS this year in the state. PMDS is one the crucial mechanism to increase organic matter in the soils, which absorb and retain more
rainfall. He has expressed his full faith in IDS-AP, particularly, in the leadership of the Prof R Radhakrishna and Prof S Galab in preparing a high-quality scientific report.

Mr Dharmendra of RySS has explained the training programme plans of RySS to strengthen its 100s of field functionaries. Mr Muralidhar of RySS emphasised the challenges of field staff in visiting multiple time (8-9 times) the same farmers and recording their multiple tasks/ multiple crops and crop models. He has added that a Dashboard would be developed during the year to monitor the progress of field survey and for Realtime access and analysis of the data. Dr Nagi Reddy of RySS explained the salient features of APCNF and progress of the programme over the years. The inaugural session has concluded with Prof Nagabhushana Rao of IDS-AP proposing the vote of thanks.

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