Ramesh Hanumaiya probes his land with his hand for a few inches to inspect the soil. There is movement in the heavy, dark soil, and it is the result of little earthworms being roused from their abode.
Even though it may not seem like much, a handful of earthworm-filled dirt represents seven years of labor. Ramesh, 37, stated, "This earth used to be as hard as a brick." It now resembles a sponge. My crops can develop on schedule and in a healthy manner because the soil is rich in the nutrients and life they require.
Thousands of farmers in the Anantapur area of the Andhra Pradesh state in southern India have adopted what is referred to as regenerative agriculture practices, like Ramesh.
The process of once-fertile earth turning into dust has been successfully fought with strategies including employing natural fertilizers and planting crops alongside trees and other vegetation. As temperatures rise and rainfall patterns grow more erratic, climate change is accelerating the loss of agricultural land.
Over 40% of the world's land is thought to already be degraded, according to the UN agency that monitors desertification, which is one of the biggest threats to human society. According to U.N. estimates, desertification has an impact on roughly 1.5 billion people worldwide and 1.9 billion hectares of land, an area more than twice the size of the United States.
The area was always dry, but because we were able to predict when it would rain, people used to plan their farming activities appropriately, according to 69-year-old Malla Reddy, the head of a nonprofit that promotes organic farming methods in the area. Now since rainfall can occur at any time, farmers frequently lose their crops because they are unable to foresee it.
Additionally, as a result of higher temperatures, water evaporates more quickly, leaving less available to plants that need water.
Reddy's nonprofit assists individual farmers in restoring unproductive land throughout the entire district by working with over 60,000 farmers on 300,000 acres of land.
Roughly 70 million hectares, or about half of all the farmland in India, is dependent on rain for its agriculture, which is practiced by the majority of Indian farmers. According to experts, these lands are also the ones most vulnerable to poor agricultural practices including overusing chemical fertilizers, overfilling, and monocropping, which is the practice of growing only one crop every year.
Due to the widespread use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and weedicides, a large portion of the land is becoming unfit for cultivation by the other farmers in the vicinity.
Every week, a large number of vehicles equipped with speakers travel through our villages urging farmers to purchase various pesticides and weedkillers. Farmers are duped by their incredible marketing, claims E.B. Manohar, a 26-year-old organic farmer in the village of Khairevu.
Ajantha Reddy, a 28-year-old natural farmer in Anantapur, looks at his sweet lime fields. Before they see any return on their work and investment with sweet limes, farmers must wait many years. But Reddy is unconcerned.
He added, trimming his fruit orchards, "The trees have grown in 17 months as much as I would have anticipated them to grow in four years." During the COVID-19 pandemic, Reddy left his work as a software engineer in Bengaluru and went back to his village in Anantapur to start a farm.
Reddy has ample motivation to stick with natural farming methods for the foreseeable future since he enjoys watching his crops grow and his hometown prosper.
"I have no plans to return to Bangalore. During the pandemic, I returned home and asked myself, "Why should I work for someone else? I could provide a few individuals with a means of living because I have land to grow," he remarked. "That notion solidified my decision."
The above article is selected by CoolDeeds.org. The information and the assets belong to their respective owners (original link).
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