Unconventional Greener Agricultural Methods (UGAM) involve such practices that promote sustainability, conservation and environmental protection. These methods aim to mitigate the negative impact of conventional agriculture on the environment while still maintaining productivity and profitability. The emphasis is on an integrated approach where agro-economy is not just ecologically sustaining but is the basis of overall sustainable development.
Post Covid, individuals and governments are realising that health and food security are the most vital components of our lives and that natural farming and sustainable development hold the key to the survival of humanity and our Planet Earth. Soil, air and water are the tangible basis of all life forms. The Air in Himachal Pradesh is comparatively cleaner. But the same cannot be said of water, and not at all for soil, since in recent times there has been an increase in use of chemicals on farms. We are here looking at an integrated approach where agro-economy is not just ecologically sustaining but is the basis of overall sustainable development.
The crying need of our times is to wean everyone, especially children, pregnant women and other vulnerable segments of the society, away from chemicals and artificial support systems. The detrimental effects of chemicals-based agriculture are for all to see. The farmer today is hardly earning much from agriculture and spending much more on medications and fertilizer inputs. So much of chemical input in agriculture has polluted our soil and water resources.
The UGAM initiative aims to spread rapid lateral awareness through a practical and economically viable model of indigenous cow-based natural farming. This has been done by developing natural model farms of diverse crops in about 10 acres area with success. The organization is in touch with local farmers and has been motivating them for past few years. There is a significant trust developed for farmers to be receptive and be associated with Nivritti. Besides, Nivritti also has the necessary infrastructure and expertise to hold farmer training workshops, skill development programmes, seminars and conferences.
We have recently been supported by National Medicinal Plants Board, Ministry of Ayush, GOI, by funding two of our proposals submitted to them: ‘Training Programme on Identification, Cultivation, Conservation, Sustainable Utilization, Post-Harvest Management and Marketing of Important Herbs & Medicinal Plants of Dharamshala Region of Himachal Pradesh’ and ‘Establishment of herbal (medicinal Plants) nursery under the Central sector Scheme for Conservation, Development and Sustainable Management of Medicinal Plants.