By Stella Paul
HYDERABAD, India, Nov 26 2020 (IPS) – As India continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and a growing number of deaths, farmers here have been fighting a battle of their own against volatile pricing, uncertain demand and lack of access to the market. But in the midst of all this uncertainty, one farming couple in a village near Hyderabad are working towards a food-secure future for themselves using eco-friendly farming techniques.
The couple, Anjaneyalu and Padma Amma are among a growing community of smallholder farmers who have been trained by the local government in farming without the use of synthetic inputs, including fertilisers and pesticide. The farmers receive free training under a special government programme that aims to increase soil fertility and boost yield through sustainable measures to avoid any possible food crisis caused by the pandemic.
This comes ahead of a Dec. 1 online event by the Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition, which explores how everyone has a role to play in re-aligning the global food system with human needs and within planetary boundaries. The event will be co-hosted in partnership with the Food Tank and aims to create a multi-stakeholder platform to “offer solutions and environmentally sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty”. It comes ahead of the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit.
In this interview with IPS, the Ammas explain how they turned a previously uncultivable land into a source of sustenance through applying eco-friendly techniques.