January 5

How East Africa Can Gain From India’s Low-Cost Sustainable Agriculture Technique

By Sourajit Aiyer and Sonia Sharma

Both India and Africa face common issues like degradation to cropland and environment, deteriorating farm economics and a pressure to feed a growing (and young) population, this presents an opportunity to collaborate and share experiences.  It is particularly imperative to focus on farmers who own small-units of land, since such smallholder farmers comprise over 70% of cropland in both Africa and Asia.

In this context, a low-cost sustainable agriculture method from India that can help Africa’s farmers is Community-Managed Natural Farming or CMNF (formerly Zero Budget Natural Farming).

While some Indian states are practicing CMNF across a few districts, the state of Andhra Pradesh has made this a ‘state-wide policy’ and aims to convert all its 6 million farmers to CMNF. Incidentally, Andhra Pradesh’s CMNF programme has evinced initial interest from Africa, with Rwanda recently organising a knowledge-session on CMNF.

Photo courtesy of USAID Biodiversity & Forestry.

Source: The New Times (link opens in a new window)

smallholder farmers