Friday 13 January 2017

Growing The Skills For Organic Farming In India

The move towards organic farming of textile crops has to be applauded, but so far it has been a slow process. The problem, particularly in the cotton fields of India, is in retraining farmers that only know how to grow using pesticides.

Education, as ever, is the key. So it's heartening to see the C&A Foundation focussing on empowerment of organic farming in the heartlands of the discipline - the state of Madhya Pradesh. Here, over a quarter of the world's organic cotton is grown. It makes sense, then, that educators should be based here.

In November 2015, a new chapter was unveiled in the history of one of India's premier agriculture universities - the Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwa Vidyalaya. A three month programme aims to give educators the skills they need to pass on to the farmers of Madhya Pradesh the ability to change over to organic cultivation. The course integrates practical and theoretical modules, as well as industry exposure.

Ipshita Sinha, of C&A Foundation, says:
“We've found a great champion in the university, which is putting in some serious effort in driving this course, as well as a great champion in the state government, which is very keen on developing organic farming in the region."

Putting the focus on organic farming in India is a slow process, but it's great to see industry, government and NGOs working together to make it happen. Today Madhya Pradesh, tomorrow the world?

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