INDIA: Scaling Community Managed Natural Farming in the State of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and beyond

How a community-based movement powered by the leadership of women’s collectives uses Natural Farming methods to increase yield, reduce costs, and improve biodiversity, community & climate resilience for farmers across Andhra Pradesh and beyond.

APCNF is a government sponsored, community-based movement transitioning farmers from chemical to natural methods of farming, seeing improvements in productivity, profitability, community health and climate resilience. Projected growth to 6 million farmers working 8 mil hectares in Andhra Pradesh. The programme is funded by Indian Government resources and the German Development Bank, KfW and 2 major philanthropies. The natural farming movement is supported by the Government of Prime Minister Modi.
(Video by UNCCD, 2 min)

Overview & Method

Resources that introduce the APCNF methods and approaches.

Powerpoint, Vijay Kumar APCNF ->
(Overview of the need, methodology, and benefits)

APCNF Presentation Transcript ->
(Transcript of V Kumar’s Overview Presentation)

Training Farmers in Regenerative Food Production in India: (Ellen MacArthur Foundation) ->
(Overview of Natural Farming principles & community method, in context of circular economy)

Re-thinking food systems in Andhra Pradesh, India: How Natural Farming could feed the future (FAO | CIRAD | APCNF) -> (Short Overview)

Why this success story matters for climate change

Natural Farming methods keep fields green, because the approach allows capture of large amounts of carbon in the soilincreasing agricultural productivity while also fighting climate change. The increased carbon holds more water, allowing fields to absorb more and require less water. Every 1% increase in soil organic matter equals 5 – 10 tons of carbon per acre and 20,000 gallons of water holding capacity.

In Dialogue with Vijay Kumar, APCNF

Hear from Vijay Kumar, leader of Rythu Sadhikara Samstha and Andhra Pradesh Community Managed Natural Farming, in dialogue with NOW Partners’ Hunter Lovins and Walter Link to learn about the methods that have allowed APNCF to successfully scale their Natural Farming methods throughout communities in India. (Presentation: first 19 min; Dialogue 1 hr 15 min)

Hear Vijay Kumar of RySS & APCNF describe the methods that have allowed APNCF to successfully scale Natural Farming methods throughout communities in India, increasing profitability, community health, and productivity, all while sequestering increased amounts of carbon, critical to solving the climate crisis. (3 min)

Farmer Success Stories

Hear success stories from farmers who have transitioned to natural farming.

D. Radhamma’s Success as a Farmer-Scientist

“The fodder tastes sweet for cows because it is organic. As a result, cows are producing good quality milk. Our milk has high milk nutrients and fat percentage. While the rate for a liter of milk from other cows is between Rs 15-20, we are getting Rs 32-35 per liter.” Hear from farmer D. Radhamma how Natural Farming methods increased her crop yields, income and family well-being.

Ravi Pratap Reddy’s Success Story

“Using chemical and complex fertilizers make soil alkaline and plants turn pale. Moisture in soil increases through Natural Farming method. Crops are resilient, as the soil absorbs all the water even in heavy rains. Even without rainfall, moisture is retained in the soil, as crop cover reduces evaporation losses.” Mr. Reddy harvested 40 tonnes of pomegranate from a 6-acre orchard in 2023, earning $48,000 with mere expenses of $1200, a significant commercial success. Natural Farming Journey of Farmer Ravi Pratap Reddy, Satya Sai District, Andhra Pradesh.

D. Babu’s Success Story

“Even it it doesn’t rain for 6 months, soil moisture remains high, because we do not till our land and we plant crops 365 days a year.” D. Babu, Natural Farmer

Detailed Supporting Documents and Research

Academic and peer-reviewed reports detail the APCNF methods and impact.
Natural Farming Through a Wide-Angle Lens

Natural Farming through a Wide-Angle Lens: True Cost Accounting Study of Community Managed Natural Farming in Andhra Pradesh, India. Report by Gist Impact & Global Alliance for the Future of Food (2023) 215 pgs.
In-depth report using a True Cost Accounting methodology to review the impact of APCNF. Please refer to first 20 pages for executive summary and overview of findings.

Agro-industry vs agroecology? Two Contrasting Scenarios for 2050 in Andhra Pradesh, India

Agro-industry vs agroecology? Two Contrasting Scenarios for 2050 in Andhra Pradesh, India. Report by RYSS-CIRAD-FAO AGROEco 2050 Foresight Project (2023) 124 pgs.
An in-depth report compares projects systemic scenarios for business as usual agriculture vs a full transition to Natural Farming in Andhra Pradesh.

Natural farming improves crop yield in SE India when compared to conventional or organic systems by enhancing soil quality.

Sarah Duddigan, Liz J. Shaw, Tom Sizmur, Dharmendar Gogu, Zakir Hussain, Kiranmai Jirra, Hamika Kaliki, Rahul Sanka, Mohammad Sohail, Reshma Soma, Vijay Thallam, Haripriya Vattikuti, Chris D. CollinsAgronomy for Sustainable Development. (2023) 15 pgs.
Study based out of the University of Reading compares Natural Farming to status quo agriculture methods in terms of yield, earthworm population and water usage. Finding indicate significantly higher yield in NF fields, with cooler soil, higher moisture content and earthworm counts.

Can Zero Budget Natural Farming Save Input Costs & Fertilizer Subsidies?

Can Zero Budget Natural Farming Save Input Costs & Fertilizer Subsidies?Evidence from Andhra Pradesh. Report by Niti Gupta, Saurabh Tripathi, and Hem H. Dholakia. Report by CEEW Council, Vijayavahini Charitable Foundation, Sustainable India Finance Facility (Jan 2020) 52 pgs.
Detailed comparison of savings to input costs and fertilizer subsidies in Natural Farming, transitioning farms and conventional farming.

Assessing the Impact of APCNF

Assessing the Impact of APCNF. Report published by the Institute for Development Studies, Andhra Pradesh, India. (2022) 196 pgs.
The Report by Andhra Pradesh Engineering College Team for Rythu Sadhikhara Samantha examines a comparison of CNF and non CNF farmer methods, crop yields, usage of inputs, income, savings and changes to well-being. Report details the Natural Farming methodology, farmer socio-economic data, as well as impacts on farming conditions, inputs and fertilizer subsidies, environment, etc.

Impact of Zero Budget Natural Farming on Crop Yields in Andhra Pradesh, SE India.

Report By Sarah Duddigan, Chris D. Collins, Zakir Hussain, Henny Osbahr, Liz J. Shaw, Fergus Sinclair, Tom Sizmur, Vijay Thallam and Leigh Ann Winowiecki. Organizations represented: Soil Research Centre and Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, Rythu Sadhikara Samstha, International Development Department, University of Reading, World Agroforestry, The International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF). Published in Sustainability, (2022) 13 pgs.
Report examines yield and productivity on Natural Farming fields, finds no yield penalty in Natural Farming vs conventional and organic methods.

Water Savings Study

Water Savings Study: Evaluating the Difference in Water Consumption of Motorized Bore-well Pump in Andhra Pradesh Community Natural Farming and Conventional Farming Method in Paddy, Kharif 2021, by Amit Kumar, SIFF-RySS Research fellow. 2021.
Presentation of state government research (RySS) evaluating water consumption levels in Natural Farming vs Conventional farming operations. Finds 47% water savings in Natural Farming paddy cultivation.

Theory, Practice and Challenges of Agroecology in India.

Analysis of the Theory, Practice and Challenges of Agroecology in India by Bruno Dorin, PhD. in economics, postgraduate in agricultural engineering and 17 years of research experience in France and 15 in India. Published in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. 2021.

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