Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture: A Real Alternative to False Solutions

Climate resilient sustainable agriculture: a real alternative to false solutions
Author(s): Youjin Chung, Christina Billingsley
Source: ActionAid International
Publication Date: 01/06/2012

ActionAid believes that agroecology-based Climate Resilient Sustainable Agriculture (CSRA) is an effective way to respond to both the climate and food crisis. CRSA proposes to overcome the gaps of contemporary mitigation and adaptation programmes in agriculture by bringing to the fore the actual priorities, needs, and knowledge of farming communities themselves. CRSA prioritises the right to food, environmental conservation, and long-term community resilience in order to reduce food insecurity at the local level, and contribute to effective national and international climate change policies that support self-sufficiency and sustainability in agricultural systems worldwide.
However, rich countries and multilateral agencies are turning a blind eye to the potential of agroecology as a long-term strategy to tackling climate change. Instead, they are promoting “false solutions”– in the form of biofuels, carbon markets, and soil carbon sequestration which comes packaged with “Climate-Smart Agriculture” – to shift their responsibility and mitigation burden onto poor countries and communities.
In short, this document illustrates the relationship between climate change and agriculture; review and demonstrate how current climate change policy responses fall short of addressing the realities of poor rural farmers who are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change; and paint an alternative way forward by defining CRSA and suggesting recommendations to national governments.

Pesticide use in bt cotton: Dr. Kesavraj Kranthi

Dear Dr Ramanjaneyulu,

I have come across in some of your web sites A STATEMENT that there are unpublished data on pesticide usage on cotton which mention the source as Keshav Kranthi, and these are at variance with the pesticide use data.
Please find herewith a link to the published document
which has the table. I will stand completely by the pesticide use data presented in the document.
I compiled the data from various sources and databases. In my view, these represent the actual pesticide use scenario.
The recent increase in insecticide usage on cotton is also because of increase in area apart from the fact that several Bt-hybrids are susceptible to sucking pests. I preferred to present the pesticide situation in terms of the net value rather than the volumes. However, the data may need normalization in consonance with inflation rates.
The quantity of pesticide generally shown in litres or Kgs do not actually represent the correct trends. The new generation insecticides are recommended to be used at 100-200 ml per hectare with 10-50 gms active ingredient in them, as compared to the conventional insecticides which were used at 3-5 litres per hectare with 500 gm to 2 kg active ingredient. Insecticides such as BHC were recommended at 15 to 20 kg per hectare. Therefore, the net insecticide quantity per hectare would get reduced significantly, despite the fact that farmers may have spent more.
Insecticide usage on cotton in India 1999-2010 (Rs crores)

 

Year

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

% Bt Cotton

0.38

1.2

5.59

11.51

41.42

67.1

80.8

82.43

90.67

cotton, Insecticide

879

839

1052

597

925

1032

649

579

733

791

834

880

Cotton fungicide

11

10

6

3

8

6

8

11

25

31

52

67

Cotton herbicide

2

1

1

1

3

4

8

12

22

26

45

87

Total Insecticides in Agrl.

2128

2052

2268

1683

2146

2455

2086

2223

2880

3282

3909

4283

% share of cotton 41 41 46 35 43 42 31 26 25 25

21

21

Total Pesticides in Agrl.

3004

2972

3207

2622

3147

3581

2439

3396

4697

5293

6999

7684


Regards
Kranthi

Pesticide use in Bt cotton: Dr. Keshav Kranthi

Dear Dr Ramanjaneyulu,

I have come across in some of your web sites A STATEMENT that there are unpublished data on pesticide usage on cotton which mention the source as Keshav Kranthi, and these are at variance with the pesticide use data.
Please find herewith a link to the published document
which has the table. I will stand completely by the pesticide use data presented in the document.
I compiled the data from various sources and databases. In my view, these represent the actual pesticide use scenario.
The recent increase in insecticide usage on cotton is also because of increase in area apart from the fact that several Bt-hybrids are susceptible to sucking pests. I preferred to present the pesticide situation in terms of the net value rather than the volumes. However, the data may need normalization in consonance with inflation rates.
The quantity of pesticide generally shown in litres or Kgs do not actually represent the correct trends. The new generation insecticides are recommended to be used at 100-200 ml per hectare with 10-50 gms active ingredient in them, as compared to the conventional insecticides which were used at 3-5 litres per hectare with 500 gm to 2 kg active ingredient. Insecticides such as BHC were recommended at 15 to 20 kg per hectare. Therefore, the net insecticide quantity per hectare would get reduced significantly, despite the fact that farmers may have spent more.
Insecticide usage on cotton in India 1999-2010 (Rs crores)

 

Year

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

% Bt Cotton

0.38

1.2

5.59

11.51

41.42

67.1

80.8

82.43

90.67

cotton, Insecticide

879

839

1052

597

925

1032

649

579

733

791

834

880

Cotton fungicide

11

10

6

3

8

6

8

11

25

31

52

67

Cotton herbicide

2

1

1

1

3

4

8

12

22

26

45

87

Total Insecticides in Agrl.

2128

2052

2268

1683

2146

2455

2086

2223

2880

3282

3909

4283

% share of cotton 41 41 46 35 43 42 31 26 25 25

21

21

Total Pesticides in Agrl.

3004

2972

3207

2622

3147

3581

2439

3396

4697

5293

6999

7684


Regards
Kranthi

There’s No Tomorrow : a film on resource depletion

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=VOMWzjrRiBg

There’s No Tomorrow

There's
            No TomorrowThere’s No Tomorrow is a half-hour animated documentary about resource depletion, energy and the impossibility of infinite growth on a finite planet.

Inspired by the pro-capitalist cartoons of the 1940s, the film is an introduction to the energy dilemmas facing the world today.

“The average American today has available the energy equivalent of 150 slaves, working 24 hours a day. Materials that store this energy for work are called fuels. Some fuels contain more energy than others. This is called energy density.”

“Economic expansion has resulted in increases in atmospheric nitrous oxide and methane, ozone depletion, increases in great floods, damage to ocean ecosystems, including nitrogen runoff, loss of rainforest and woodland, increases in domesticated land, and species extinctions.”

“The global food supply relies heavily on fossil fuels. Before WW1, all agriculture was Organic. Following the invention of fossil fuel derived fertilisers and pesticides there were massive improvements in food production, allowing for increases in human population.The use of artificial fertilisers has fed far more people than would have been possible with organic agriculture alone.”

Watch the full documentary now

 

 

Making farming organic: CMSA in agency areas of AP

DRDA promoting CMSA practices in Agency areas.
———————————————————————–——————-——————————
Idea is to dispense with the use of pesticides, urea, and DAP
SRI paddy cultivation is also being promoted under CMSA
———————————————————————–——————-——————————
Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture (CMSA) practices promoted by the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) among farmers in the district is meant to support them to adopt sustainable agricultural methods to reduce the cost of cultivation, increase their net income, boost soil fertility, and produce pesticide-free food products.
Under the CMSA mandate, promoting household food security models, establishment of a non-pesticide management shop, a custom hiring centre for renting out neem pulverisers, markers, weeding machines, and seed drums etc., implementation of poverty alleviation strategy with farm families, and setting up of retail outlets of organic farming produce at the district headquarters were some of the initiatives taken in the 2011-12 financial year.
The idea is to promote cultivation of all agriculture and horticulture produce with organic manures, totally dispensing with the use of pesticides, urea, and DAP.
Under the CMSA, organic farming was introduced in 626 villages in 30 mandals benefiting 45,371 farmers. The extent of acreage brought under organic farming is 78,690 out of which 17,873 acres are in the Agency areas and the rest spread in several mandals in the district.
CMSA district project manager P. Ramana told The Hindu that farmers, realising the value of organic farming and the demand for the products on health grounds, were reverting to agricultural basics and re-inventing the practice.
In a phased manner, the farmers are being made to toe the CMSA line.
Training
For realising the mandate, farmer field schools at the village level are being involved. A group of 20-25 farmers who are resourceful and already well-versed with the agricultural practices are engaged in educating farmers on farming ways and sharing their skills.
Besides, farmers are trained in organic cultivation, including identification of harmful and useful insects in soils and preparation of Nadep manure through a three-month process, at the divisional and village level before the onset of kharif and rabi.
Nadep compost pits are intensively promoted with 10 feet, 6 feet and 3 feet dimensions to prepare compost by using less dung and more organic matter.
Under the poverty alleviation strategy, the landless labourers are being given land on lease for promoting organic cultivation.
The SRI paddy cultivation is also promoted under CMSA. SRI cultivation is being encouraged to boost paddy production. In traditional paddy cultivation, 30 bags are produced in an acre, and under SRI Paddy 40-50 bags acre are being produced. The rice is totally organic. A target to produce SRI Paddy rice in 760 acres was fixed for the year 2011-12, but the farmers achieved 931 acres.
Meanwhile, the Department of Tribal Welfare and the ITDA too had taken a conscious decision to promote organic farming in the Agency areas under which vermin composting is promoted.
The State government too issued orders basing on the endorsement of all departments, including forest, agriculture, coffee board, spices board, and NGOs, and approved the branding of products as of organic nature and certification of the same after adopting the practice for three years.
The idea is to bring the entire cultivation in the Agency areas under organic farming in phased a manner in the district.

Campaign for pesticide residue-free food

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Campaign-for-pesticide-residue-free-food/articleshow/14390654.cms
, TNN | Jun 25, 2012, 06.56PM IST

NEW DELHI: The farm fresh vegetables that you hand-pick from markets everyday are in most cases deceptive. As much as you try to pick the ones with no pests or rotten edges, they may be much more toxic within.
According to the Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture (ASHA), out of the top 15 most-consumed pesticides in India, 11 figure in the list of 67 globally-banned pesticides. ASHA launched ‘India For Safe Food’ campaign on Monday, to raise awareness among consumers about the health impacts of consuming pesticide laced vegetables and urged the government to ensure safe food for all.

Interestingly, pesticide residues in food was also the theme of actor, Amir Khan’s latest television chat show aired on Sunday. ASHA members who participated in the show presented data to substantiate their claims about how pesticide residues can lead to chronic health problems like cancer.

“Scientific studies have shown that pesticide exposure is correlated with serious health risks including cancers, endocrine disruption causing reproductive health disorders, organ damage, and immune system impairment. There is also much that is wrong with the regulatory system and approach related to chemical pesticides in the country. There are fundamental ways in which the issue has to be addressed, by changes in our technological approach to agriculture as well as in our regulatory approach. We hope to bring about a change collectively, through citizens’ involvement””, explained G V Ramanjaneyulu of Centre for Sustainable Agriculture, Hyderabad.

He added that studies have indicated that in India, vegetables, fruits, staple cereals and pulses, meat, milk, eggs and poultry, drinking water and processed foods/beverages are contaminated with poisonous residues to various degrees. “”Delhi High Court’s own testing showed impermissible pesticides in the samples that were picked up. Our export consignments being rejected for their toxic residues are another indicator of the state of affairs,” Ramanjaneyulu said.

The campaign will have a public outreach effort mainly through online mobilization and cyber-action through emails. In Delhi, an organic food mela is being organized on June 30 and July 1 as part of the campaign; in Bangalore, a safe food mela, combined with urban gardening orientation is scheduled for the next weekend. There will be a public march against pesticides at Bathinda, in Punjab’s Malwa belt June 27.

ASHA demanded that the government make appropriate investments be made to promote ecological farming, to ensure access to organic food by establishing safe food outlets and using public distribution system (PDS), providing pesticide-free food under various food schemes to pregnant and lactating women and children and banning those pesticides that have been banned in other countries and known to have chronic health impacts.

From horse’s mouth: Bihar farmers best


GAYA: It’s not often that a non-Bihari of repute hails Bihar and the whole nation, including Bollywood biggie Aamir Khan, cannot help but nod in the affirmative. The subject this time was not the ‘sushasan’, or good governance, of CM Nitish Kumar but two brainy Bihari farmers’ model of organic farming and giving them the pat of the superlative degree was none other than the Hyderabad-based Centre for Sustainable Agriculture’s executive director G V Ramanjaneyulu.
The public applause of the feat of Bihar farmers, one of them being the Bihar CM’s namesake and both hailing from, again coincidentally, from the CM’s “very own” Nalanda district, came during Aamir’s popular TV programme, ‘Satya Meva Jayate’, which this Sunday focused on the harmful effects on humans of the chemicals used to propel and protect the produce in agriculture fields. The debate and discussions sent the shivers down the spine: Consumers of such produce end up accumulating four to five times the permissible limit of pesticides in their bodies.
Organic farming gives quality produce that do not cause such health hazards and the quantity of the yield is also as high as chemically-boosted yield. “Any examples?” asked Aamir and pat came the reply from the agri scientist: Potato farmer Nitish and paddy farmer Sumant Kumar of Bihar have taken the lead and comprehensively beaten their counterparts in the Netherlands and China.
When TOI reached Ramanjaneyulu in Hyderabad over phone soon after the telecast, he said cultivating potato through the organic method (without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides), Nitish recorded a yield of 72.9 tonnes per hectare while the previous best yield record was held by a group of the Netherlands farmers who produced 45 tonnes per hectare. Sumant harvested 224 quintals of paddy per hectare beating the previous record of Chinese farmer Longping who produced 190 quintals per hectare.
The great admirer of Bihar farmers, has, however, a word of advice for both the state’s farmers and the policymakers: The farmers should learn from the mistakes of Punjab where the Green Revolution, while increasing the yield, has left behind deadly health hazards and depleting water table. Owing to the excessive use of chemical fertilizers, the incidence of cancer in Punjab has assumed mind-boggling proportions. One out of every five Punjab farmer suffers from the deadly disease, the scientist said.
“Go for tenancy reforms if you have to really sustain the Bihar version of the ‘Green Revolution’,” was the scientist’s message to the Bihar policymakers as tiny plots and absentee ownership of land spawn stumbling blocks to proper agricultural growth in the state. A strong advocate of SRI (System of Root Intensification) method, the scientist also favours changes in cropping pattern in the south Bihar areas where water is scarce. Replace paddy with pulse crops in such areas as over-withdrawal of groundwater creates more problems than it solves, he says.
Watch: Toxic Food – Poison On Our Plate? http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=o9uForVzTOA