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Climate Resilient Agriculture - Nabadigantha Krishi - Save our Rice Campaign West Bengal

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Nabadigantha Krishi was innovated as a Climate Resilient and fully Natural farming system incorporating agrobiodiversty and indigenous seeds by the villagers of Mammadpur in Sundarbans in West Bengal under the initiative of the Save our Rice Campaign.

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Climate Resilient Agriculture - Nabadigantha Krishi - Save our Rice Campaign West Bengal

  1. 1. Nabadiganta Farming System in Sundarbans – A biodiversity based ecological farming through land shaping for climate resilience Contribution to Climate Change Adaptation Co-benefits Target group Supporting conditions Resilience to flood conditions by land shapping, bunds and selection of suitable indigenous seeds Food & Nutrition security through fruits, vegetables, pulses, poultry, fish, oil seeds Farmers in the Sundarbans Delta area, one of the most climate change impact areas. The method is especially beneficial to small and marginal farmers ( less than 2 ha) Government/Funding source support for land shapping and digging pond. Proper training and follow up for atleast 3-5 years An increasing awareness for adopting organic farming A developing market interest for indigenous rice Increase in basket of crops cultivated ensures food availability and diversity Increased income through sale of surpless diverse organic produce Soil moisture increased; soil loss decreased. Organic content improved Plant diversity increased. Farmers maintain own seed banks and creates self reliance Use of organic local manure contributes to better climate resilience than chemical based farming Fish reintroduced as a direct consequence of indigenous paddy and use of organic methods. Land shaping is done by digging a pond on the land and using the soil to make raised bunds on the 4 sides , where the farmers grow fruit trees, vegetables & green manure crops. The main crop is paddy with rotation of oilseed and pulses. Fish is cultivated in the ponds. Water, nutrition as well as income need is taken care of in this method. On an average 50% land is used for main crop, 35% for fruits, vegetables, green manure crops etc, 10% for pond and 5% for cattle. Farmers have gained 3 to 4 times increase in income within 2 years of adoption. They have also become sufficient in availability of seeds, manure, water and nutrition through diverse food. 95 farmer families have adopted the Nabadiganta farming Model in Mamudpur. The name ‘Nabadiganta’ meaning ‘New Dawn’ was given by the farmers themselves. Climate Change is one of the most serious threats in the Sundarbans Delta area in West Bengal in India and parts of Bangladesh. The Delta area is predominantly wetland paddy cultivation area, highly vulnerable to floods, brackish and sea water intrusions and destruction of crops. The land shapping method and adoption of locally suitable indigenous varieties has created much better resilence to the farmers. In the village of Mamudpur in Hingalganj Block, Sundarbans, West Bengal, farmers have devised a practice that is based on land shapping, improving agro-biodiversity, adopting indigenous varieties of paddy and using local farm inputs. It integrates paddy, fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry and cattle in a predominantly paddy wetland area and has achieved not only climate resilience but income improvement as well.
  2. 2. Local Organization: “Mamudpur Nabadiganta Krishak Sangha”, Name of the Key/Expert person: Tushar Kanti Das; Contact No.: 07602778758 Save Our Rice Campaign – West Bengal, Name of the State Coordinator: Alauddin Ahamed Contact No.: 09733810337, e-mail : alauddin1954@gmail.com Farmers respond that this model is one of the best ways to avoid damages to crops and reduce the effects of climate vagaries. It helps increase organic matter in soil which leads to carbon sequestration. This is possible through adding manure and plant residue to the field, mixed and legume based cropping, crop rotation and minimum tillage. It is also low cost. It can employ more labor because it is labor oriented. Farmers’ are getting higher price than conventional production. Availability of safe food. It also helps small farmers move towards diversity. Diversification of land use, a mixture of annual crops, perennial crops, fruit trees, fodder trees, timber trees has also helped. To start some motivation is needed, through training, exposure visits. An initial cost of atleast Rs 40,000 per bigga (33 cents) for small and marginal farmers. Its best to have clusters as neighboring agriculture land should not use chemical fertilizer and pesticides. This avoid need for buffer zone. Measures Inputs Time frame Costs Land Shapping, Digging Pond, Appropriate crop and seed selection, Organic farming Government, Leading NGO/lead groups support, Lead farmers, Trainings 1 year for implementation and 3-5 years for follow up and establishment. The cost for digging pond and raise bund for 1 bigga (33 cents) is Rs 40,000. The cost of indigenous rice and vegetable seeds would be borne by the farmers. Follow up cost according to local conditions Paddy Diversity Blocks, Seed Banks, Farmer Field Days, Seed Festivals, Trainings Land, Indigenous varieties of seeds, knowledge, expertise, tools, labour, space for seed bank Health Gardens by women Land, Expertise, knowledge, family support Organic Market development Local market facilities, funds Very few women are directly involved in farming activity in Mamudpur village. But traditionally the women of this village played a bigger role in seed preservation activities and their knowledge of seeds has been extensive. This method revives women role in diversity at the farm level. Food production in the village decreased year after year. Tractors, Hybrid seeds, chemicals made farming unviable. Youth lost work and migrated. After introducing Nabadiganta Model, farmers needed more labor and income also increased. Conflicts with local seed and chemical input suppliers.

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