Sustainable Agriculture and Land Use

In the landscape of Indian agriculture is looking at a significant paradigm shift towards sustainability and climate resilience. This transformative journey, guided by the principles of awareness, innovation, and collaboration, laid the foundation for a more resilient and environmentally conscious agricultural sector.

One of the pivotal moments was the declaration of 2023 as the International Year of Millets by the United Nations, in collaboration with the Government of India. Millets, being primarily a kharif crop, emerged as a beacon of hope in a climate-challenged world. These hardy crops, requiring minimal water and agricultural inputs, became the focal point of discussions not only within India but also on the global stage. As India assumed the G20 presidency, millets took center stage at all G20 meeting venues, garnering attention and appreciation for their potential in addressing food and nutrition security challenges.

In alignment with the global discourse on climate action, the Indian government embarked on a journey to promote climate-resilient agriculture and sustainable land use. The 2023 budget announcements reflected a commitment to natural farming, allocating a substantial Rs 459 crore to make it a mass movement. Over the next three years, 1 crore farmers are set to benefit from this initiative, with the establishment of 10,000 Bio Input Research Centers further bolstering the cause of sustainable agriculture.

A key highlight of the Union Budget 2023-24 was the emphasis on regenerative agriculture. The introduction of the PM-PRANAM scheme aimed to incentivise states to promote alternative fertilizers, fostering a shift towards more sustainable and soil-friendly practices. This, coupled with the provision for bio-input resources, created a comprehensive strategy to balance chemical fertilizers with organic alternatives. The implications for climate action were profound, as this approach not only improved soil health but also reduced emissions, contributing to the long-term resilience of farming communities.

The Challenges

Understanding that policy realignment is crucial for achieving sustainability, climate resilience, and farmer welfare, India continued to make strides in this direction. The importance of improving adaptive capacities of agriculture-dependent communities became evident, as initiatives like the Green Credit scheme were introduced in 2023. This scheme, with its focus on incentivising farmers for the ecosystem benefits of their sustainable practices, not only empowered farmers but also paved the way for a more economically viable and environmentally conscious agriculture sector.

Our Goals

As we reflect on the state of Indian agriculture in the context of climate action, it is evident that the landscape is evolving towards a more sustainable and resilient future. The synergy between government initiatives, global partnerships, and philanthropic initiatives have laid the groundwork for a more sustainable, climate-resilient, and farmer-centric future and positioned India at the forefront of the movement towards climate-resilient agriculture, ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future for generations to come.

Highlights of our Work

Shakti played a pivotal role in fostering dialogues and convenings on climate-resilient and sustainable agriculture. Our efforts have encompassed various convenings and dialogues, exploring pathways to achieve climate-resilient, sustainable agriculture while positively impacting farmer incomes and livelihoods.

Convening: Sustainable and Climate-resilient Practices in Agriculture and Land Use Within India

On September 13, 2023, Shakti conducted a convening that aimed to pave the way for sustainable and climate-resilient practices in agriculture and land use within India. This convening brought together a diverse array of experts representing prominent civil society organisations, creating a dynamic and insightful platform for dialogue.

The convening fostered robust discussions among participants, all of whom shared the common objective of finding effective strategies to bolster sustainable agriculture and land use across the country. The exchange of ideas was both illuminating and constructive, reflecting the urgency of addressing environmental challenges in the agricultural sector.

Key topics on the agenda included enhancing soil health, fertilizer optimisation, enhancing livestock productivity, restoring forests and wetlands, and promoting other sustainable practices rooted in agroecological approaches at the grassroots level in a manner that enables climate-resilience for the communities. The engagement of experts from various sectors added depth and breadth to the conversations, ensuring a comprehensive exploration of solutions.

The discussion was well-received, highlighting the importance of collaboration and knowledge sharing in tackling India’s agricultural and land use challenges. With a commitment to sustainable and climate-resilient pathways, this event set a positive precedent for future endeavors aimed at transforming India’s agriculture into a model of environmental stewardship and economic viability.

COP28: Unlocking Financing Opportunities for Climate-Resilient, Sustainable Agriculture in India and the Global South

Shakti's engagement extended to the global stage, notably at COP28 in Dubai, where dialogues centered around increasing finance for sustainable agriculture in the Global South. Representatives from India and Brazil shared insights into their respective initiatives, emphasising the importance of sustainable agriculture and ecosystem restoration for sustained impact. The collaborative spirit between nations highlighted the potential for mutual learning and collective action in the pursuit of a sustainable future.

Knowledge Sharing

In an effort to broaden agriculture valuation beyond economic metrics, Shakti has championed the quantification of the socio-cultural benefits of sustainable land management practices by participating in knowledge-sharing discussions on the subject. By attempting to make the invisible visible, Shakti aimed to contribute to the broader understanding of the holistic impact of sustainable agriculture and land management practices and therefore make a stronger economic case for their adoption.