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NABARD Introduces 'JIVA' to Promote Natural Farming

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) on Wednesday launched an agroecology-based programme JIVA that will promote natural farming under its existing watershed and wadi programmes in 11 states.

Ayushi Raina
NABARD launched the JIVA agroecology-based program on Wednesday
NABARD launched the JIVA agroecology-based program on Wednesday

The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) launched the JIVA agroecology-based program on Wednesday, which will promote natural farming through its existing watershed and wadi programs in 11 states. 

"JIVA is the culmination of several projects under the watershed program...and will be implemented on our existing completed (or near completed) watersheds and wadis in 11 states covering five agroecological zones in ecologically fragile and rain-fed areas," NABARD Chairman G R Chintala said during the virtual launching event. 

He stated that JIVA's aim is to achieve long-term sustainability by transforming pre-existing social and natural capital and nudging the farming community toward natural farming because commercial farming cannot work in these areas. 

"Under this scheme, we will invest Rs.50000 per hectare." 

 The JIVA initiative will be implemented in 25 projects across 11 states, covering five agroecological zones. 

"While the best practices will be implemented on 200 hectares in each project, these 200 hectares will be learning and proselytizing platform to the whole village," he added. 

NABARD will collaborate with national and global organizations for JIVA since it is a knowledge and skill-intensive program. 

According to Chintala, NABARD will initially collaborate with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia for basic soil water monitoring technology and ICAR for research support for scientific validation of natural farming practices. 

"After the pilot, we want to expand the program to other states through our NRM (natural resource management) projects. 

We anticipate outcomes in climate change resilience, sustainability, and food and nutrition security as a result of the JIVA initiative "he added. 

NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar, who was present at the event, stated that climate change is real and it is no longer enough to think about it. 

"We need to start acting on it. We need to take measures to put carbon back into the soil. Except for natural farming, I'm not aware of any other technology so far that can do it. Since small and marginal farmers own 86% of our land holdings, we need to find a replacement for the biochemical revolution to keep our farming nutritional and internationally competitive," he added. 

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