Rajasthan government plans organic farming, aims to tackle malnutrition
The ambitious plan, starting this year, will bring 50 hectares of agricultural land in each block of the state under organic pulses farming.
The state government has decided to tackle malnutrition with the help of vegetarian sources of protein using good old traditional organic farming.
The government plans to divert several thousand hectares of land for farming of organic varieties of pulses in order to tackle the twin issues of protein malnutrition and unsustainable chemical fertilizer-based farming.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has repeatedly emphasized promoting traditional and organic farming. The issue found mention in the Union as well as the state budget,” agriculture minister Prabhu Lal Saini told The Indian Express.
“The whole world is realizing the importance of sustainable agriculture that is in tune with nature. It is time we put in place mechanisms and infrastructure for promoting sustainable organic agriculture,” Saini said.
The ambitious plan, starting this year, will bring 50 hectares of agricultural land in each block of the state under organic pulses farming. The government will provide a subsidy of Rs 20,000 per hectare to promote organic farming. The produce will be certified organic and in five years, all agricultural markets (krishi mandis) would be required to sell at least one organic product.
Read the full article: Indian Express
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“Climate-smart” agriculture needed to steer food security through changing weather, Ban says
Agroforestry, diversification of crops with legumes and other practical measures must be scaled up to end hunger while meeting the challenge of climate change, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a global conference on the issue today.
“Agriculture is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, famers worldwide are increasingly feeling the effects of a warming climate,” Mr. Ban said in a message to the Third Global Conference on Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security and Climate Change taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“The answer to these interconnected problems lies in climate-smart agriculture,” he said, emphasizing in particular the need to eliminate of childhood under-nutrition through sustainable agriculture that benefits smallholders around the world.
Mr. Ban said that his recent visit to the Sahel reinforced his perception of how climate change compounds the challenges for small farmers, following three major droughts in a decade that exacerbated poverty, conflict and disease.
“The region’s Governments are working to help their people become more resilient, but they need international support, including through an ambitious climate change agreement in 2015,” he said.
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Fighting poverty, hunger and malnutrition with neglected and underutilized species
By Stefano Padulosi, Judith Thompson and Per Rudebjer
Published by Bioversity International
2013, 60 pp, ISBN 978-92-9043-941-7, free to download
Despite getting little attention from researchers, crop breeders and policymakers, neglected and underutilised plant species (NUS) play a vital role in household nutrition for millions of families. This short, attractively presented guide outlines their value to food security, food system resilience, nutrition, livelihoods and cultural identity, drawing on success stories from around the world. In India and Nepal, for example, NUS have played a prominent role in empowering women and boosting their self-esteem and self-confidence. In Bolivia, a partnership with a coffee-shop chain helped popularise new snacks made from amaranth flour.