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Subhash Mehta, Trustee, Devarao Shivaram Trust, Bengaluru, India Centre Stage Needs of Smallholder Producer Communities.

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Presentation on theme: "Subhash Mehta, Trustee, Devarao Shivaram Trust, Bengaluru, India Centre Stage Needs of Smallholder Producer Communities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Subhash Mehta, Trustee, Devarao Shivaram Trust, Bengaluru, India Centre Stage Needs of Smallholder Producer Communities

2 Please refer to Page 21 of Conference Programme for the PPT paper

3 The Global Outlook History of agriculture is tied to political and now to the dominance of MNCs in agribusiness (fertiliser, seed, storage, pesticides, dependent on fossil fuel responsible for climate change) Green Revolution System (GRS) has reduced water retention capability of soil, causing water run-off and drought. In contrast agro ecology retains soil organic matter and its microbial activity Farmer led producer oriented economies of scope agro-ecology/ crop intensification systems (rice, wheat, millets, etc.) around the globe has enabled roll back of the high cost/ risk conventional GRS, reducing hunger, malnutrition, poverty, effects of climate change

4 Gherkin contract farming The 500 Mha of abandoned conventional agricultural land 1,000 Mha is uncultivated natural habitat/ ecosystems (grass/pasture/etc)

5 Available Land

6 Green Revolution System Recap In the long term conventional GRS results in : Deep debt/ distress of producer communities (60% population) Ecological degradation - pollution of air, water and soil Climate change - increased food shortages Hunger, malnutrition, poverty and suicides SOLUTION Roll back to low risk low cost producer oriented economies of scope agro ecology system

7 Conventional Green Revolution & Food Systems Contribute 50 % of Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions UNCTAD Trade and Economic Review 2013 (TER 13)

8 125 Mha under Agro ecology (organic)System Key principles that guide organic systems: producer and climate friendly protection of the soil with cover crop/ residue crop rotation animal husbandry producing own nutritious food needs food miles principle agro ecology systems globally mostly dry and rain fed are sustainable long term - retain soil moisture, increase soil carbon and reduce GHG improves soil health, farm production, reduces labour, reduces hunger, malnutrition, poverty, suicides and effects of climate change (GHG emissions) whilst increasing net income/ purchasing power and improves livelihoods

9 Needs of Producer Communities Setting up producer org/ company (PC) staffed and managed by professionals to take over risks and responsibilities of members ICAR institutes restructured to serve each area’s specific needs Follow agro ecology systems of the area Access to own nutritious food Increasing net income / purchasing power and cash requirements

10 Governance Issues Producer communities’ funded/ assisted to set up producer org/ company (PC) to ensure members’ access own requirement of nutritious food & cash, knowledge/ training, finance, marketing, value addition, infrastructure for storage, production of low cost inputs, etc. Presentations by policy makers made to ‘Jury of producers’ to decide on their needs, AR4D requirements, scaling up successful models, etc. Producer oriented systems to follow principle of ‘food miles’ - reduces ‘Effects of Climate Change’ and GHG emissions

11 Producer Company Of, For and By the Producers Government is funding producers to set up their PC and staff with professionals (general practitioners [GPs]/ MBAs in agriculture) from within the local community Plans and budgets each member’s ‘cash to cash cycle’, focus own requirement of nutritious food and cash - price agreed in advance Design proposals for extension needs to roll back the high risk/cost GRS to sustainable climate friendly systems Contract successful farmers as trainers for wide replication of their model and on farm adaptation/ innovation/ AR4D Delivery of Govt. programmes, subsidies, etc. to members

12 Value Addition to Produce Adding value increases shelf life of produce for storage, minimises post harvest losses Ensures increase in net income/ purchasing power whilst reducing hunger, malnutrition, poverty, emissions and suicides Professionals deal with food processors/ buyers (fewer but larger agribusiness/ industries) on behalf of their members Large organisations have demanding ways, buying power, demand low prices and deal mostly with professionals

13 Need for Fish Production on Farm Farmed fish production would reduce demand for red meat production reducing GHG emissions Fish in diet is a very good source of natural protein and prevents malnutrition Fish consumption has recently declined Over fishing and environmental damage to ocean waters is a serious concern Warming and acidification of oceans and it’s effects to climate change may reduce production of sea caught fish FAO - Humans catch about 80 million tons of fish a year, better management of fishing could increase catch by 16.5 million tones (20%)

14 Fish: climate efficient protein source A Future Role for Aquaculture

15 Aquaculture Production in China China is currently responsible for over 60 percent of the world’s aquaculture – produces 1.2 million tons of fish in rice paddies Fish eat insects that attack the rice and their feces works as fertilizer FAO, ‘Fish production in China’s rice fields has increased thirteen fold since 1992

16 Way Forward Roll back of GRS with agro/ecology agriculture PC intervention to roll back the high cost/ risk market oriented economies of scale conventional GRS - cause of deep debt, distress among producer communities and climate change Governance (policy and investments) – bottom up plans and budgets for producer and climate friendly agriculture Document AR4D by successful farmers, as evidence to roll back the high cost/ risk GRS followed in the area Increase fish production/consumption Reorient school and college education curriculum to include agro-ecology systems and changing ecological sensibilities

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