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NMCG & Sahakar Bharati Organizes Workshop on Natural Farming in Bulandshahr

Collaboration between NMCG and Sahakar Bharati is fostering a positive environment in the fields of sustainable agriculture and zero budget natural farming.

Shivam Dwivedi
Workshop on Natural Farming
Workshop on Natural Farming

National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) and Sahakar Bharati hosted a 'Vishaal Kisan Sammelan' workshop for over 400 farmers in Mubarikpur Bangar village in Uttar Pradesh's Bulandshahr district. The workshop was part of NMCG and Sahakar Bharti's Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish at least 75 Ganga Sahakar Grams in the Ganga basin to promote natural farming and other Arth Ganga interventions.

The workshop/meeting aimed to bring together all Arth Ganga-related initiatives to ensure the convergence of Jalaj, natural farming, Ghat pe Haat, sludge-to-fertilizer, agricultural/horticulture produce marketing, tourism, and so on. Aside from more than 400 farmers from Uttar Pradesh, the event was attended by district-level officials, the Uttar Pradesh State Mission for Clean Ganga, the Wildlife Institute of India, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, Ganga Vichar Manch, and other volunteers.

A field trip to the farms of farmer Upendra Nagar was also organised, during which the participating farmers and officials were shown the technicalities of natural farming. NMCG recently facilitated an exposure visit of about 30 farmers from the Ganga Basin to the Subhash Palekar Natural Farming (SPNF) training-cum-workshop camp being held in Shirdi, Maharashtra, from the 18th to the 22nd of August 2022.

In his address to the audience, Director General G. Asok Kumar stated that the collaboration between NMCG and Sahakar Bharati is fostering a positive environment in the fields of sustainable agriculture and zero budget natural farming. The collaboration is centred on the novel initiative of establishing Ganga Sahakar Grams in the Ganga basin, and no stone will be left unturned in order to make it a successful model that can be replicated in other villages. "This initiative focuses on job creation through natural farming and will help to achieve the twin goals of sustainable agricultural development and mitigating the effects of climate change," Asok said, adding that "many more of such workshops/meetings will be organised by NMCG in the near future."

Asok Kumar also provided an overview of the Arth Ganga concept, stating that these initiatives are being undertaken as part of the Arth Ganga campaign. He discussed the key components of Arth Ganga, such as Zero Budget Natural Farming, generating "more net income, per drop," 'Gobar Dhan' for farmers, monetization and reuse of sludge and wastewater, livelihood generation opportunities such as Jalaj, 'Ghat Mein Haat,' promotion of local products, Ayurveda, medicinal plants, capacity building of volunteers such as Ganga Praharis, public participation to ensure increased synergies between stakeholders, and so on He also discussed Cultural Heritage & Tourism, which aims to introduce boat tourism through community jettis, promote yoga, adventure tourism, and so on.

In his inaugural address, D.N. Thakur, National President of Sahakar Bharati, stated that Sahakar Ganga Grams is an all-encompassing programme that trains farmers in crop diversification, crop safety, proper marketing, technical capacity building, and improving farmers' livelihood standards.

On the occasion of the 'Yamuna Par Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' on August 16, 2022, the MoU between NMCG and Sahakar Bharti was signed in the presence of Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. The MoU aims to achieve the vision of a sustainable and viable economic development through public participation and the formation and strengthening of local cooperatives aimed at realising Arth Ganga's mandate.

The MoU's major objectives include the establishment of 75 Sahakar Ganga Grams in five states along the main stem, the promotion of natural farming among farmers, FPOs, and cooperatives in states along the Ganga to generate 'More net-Income Per Drop,' the facilitation of marketing of natural farming/organic produce under the brand Ganga through the creation of market linkages, the promotion of people-river connect through economic bridges, and so on.

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