A total of 60 agro scientists coming from eight different countries are visiting different talukas of Andhra Pradesh to understand the natural farming successfully done by the drought hit farmers of the area.
A global team comprising 60 agriculture scientists and experts from eight countries is currently visiting Andhra Pradesh to gain insights into the Natural Farming initiative adopted by drought-affected farmers in the Anantapur area. These farmers have embraced natural farming using the innovative ATM (any time money) concept, avoiding the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. The local farmers report sustained income throughout the year through this approach.
Hailing from Peru, Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Senegal, and Kenya, the 60-member team embarked on a two-day excursion to the Satya Sai district to study the natural farming practices. This agricultural methodology is actively promoted by the Andhra Pradesh Community Managed Natural Farming (APCNF) in various regions of the state.
The farmers employ natural organic manure, along with ‘jeevamrutham’ and ‘beej amrutham,’ to create their own natural disinfectant using locally available agro waste and cow dung. Consequently, their efforts yield a diverse range of horticultural crops and vegetables throughout the seasons.
During their visit, APCNF officials provided the international team with a demonstration of the preparation methods for ‘jeevamrutham’ using cow dung and other locally sourced materials. They also addressed queries from team members regarding the efficacy of ‘jeevamrutham’ in pest control without resorting to chemical pesticides. APCNF Director Samuel Ananda, Senior Adviser Murali Krishna, and other officials were present during the demonstration.
The international team further explored Pedaballi village in Puttaparthi mandal, examining the farms of P. Giri Naik. Naik showcased his cultivation of 10 varieties of intercrops alongside papaya as the primary crop. During interactions, Giri Naik informed the team that he consistently produces 15-20 tonnes of papaya, generating additional income through year-round vegetable cultivation, even during the peak summer season.
Andhra Pradesh leads in natural farming
AP has actively advocated for the adoption of 100% chemical-free agriculture through the APCNF program initiated in 2016. According to the central government, Andhra Pradesh has emerged as a frontrunner in natural farming nationwide, encompassing over 100,000 hectares of agricultural land.