Topic 9

A toolkit for water and nutrient use available for farmers to adapt to their specific needs

Soubadra Devy

Fellow, Convenor - Suri Sehgal Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation; Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)

Søren Hvilshøj

Global Division Director - Water Resources; Rambøll, Denmark

Suresh Kumar

General Manager R&D - Foods & Refreshments, South Asia; Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL)

Kanika Thanawala

Manager - Sustainable Rural Development; A. T. E. Chandra Foundation (ATECF)

Ravikanth G

Senior Fellow (Associate Professor), Suri Sehgal Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation; Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE)

Jyotsna ("Jyoti") Krishnakumar

Director - Community Well Being Programme (WASH); Keystone Foundation

Abhayraj Naik

Co-Founder; Initiative for Climate Action (ICA)

Vijayata Verma

Manager - Investments & Programs;
EdelGive Foundation - an Edelweiss Group initiative

Srajesh Gupta

Program Associate, Secretariat; National Coalition for Natural Farming (NCNF)

Bhubesh Kumar

Director-Food & Agri; Research and
Innovation Circle of Hyderabad (RICH)

Hansika Singh

Principal Strategist, Forum For The Future; Community Member, ICA; Forum For The Future; Initiative for Climate Action (ICA)

Jai Warrier

Co-Founder; Initiative for Climate Action (ICA)

MOTIVATION

Currently our agricultural sector experiences climate unpredictability including extreme rain events, human- wildlife conflicts, and competition against agribusiness due to an absence of a collective forum. Further, there is currently a combination of high production and inappropriate processing facilities as well as market volatility. These issues are coupled with a lack of awareness on best practices, and a lack of access to technologies, government initiatives, and lab access for assessing crop disease, pests, and soil quality. All these factors have led to inconsistent crop yields and returns to farmers, a lack of storage and transport facilities, and limited access to markets leading to food wastage in agriculture, indiscriminate use of pesticides and fertilisers, and loss of soil fertility.
To address these issues, we need to explore strategies to promote sustainable approaches to agriculture by empowering marginal farmers to protect and regenerate their environment using S&T innovations for improved productivity and sustained income.

AIMS

1. Assess existing practices for regenerative agriculture in India regarding use and conservation of water and nutrients as a soil/water nexus.
2. Characterize the environmental, ecological, production, implementation, financing, productivity, and market stakeholder perspectives on regenerative agriculture requirements, risks, benefits, and motivations for action regarding soil nutrients and water.
3. Define principles that can be used to characterize regenerative agriculture from the standpoint of different stakeholders in the process.
4. Establish a toolkit with customizable sets of practices for water and nutrient use available for farmers to adapt to their specific needs, with integration from the institutional ecosystems needed for adoption.

IMPACT

This project can:
1. enable better soil and water management for farmers adapted to the institutional ecosystems.
2. provide a knowledge sharing and decision-making tool for farmers that incorporates feedback.
3. provide an output that aligns with broader national and international goals and outputs.
4. provide best practices based on current institutional needs, motivations, and limitations.
5. provide evidenced-based strategies for regenerative agriculture.
6. increase understanding of what constitutes "regenerative agriculture" practices for different stakeholders.
7. increase adoption of regenerative agricultural practices by taking into account the institutional ecosystems involved in the process.