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Gewählte Publikation:

Duboc, O; Zehetner, F; Gerzabek, MH.
(2011): Recent Developments of No-Till and Organic Farming in India: Is a Combination of These Approaches Viable?
J SUSTAIN AGR. 2011; 35(6): 576-612. FullText FullText_BOKU

The increase in crop production brought by the green revolution in India is now shadowed by new challenges related to soil degradation (e. g., erosion, decline of soil organic matter content, salinization) and scarcity of water resources. The present work particularly discusses the contribution of no-till and organic farming, which are increasingly being adopted in India, to meet the increasing food demand in a sustainable way. Under no-till, erosion is reduced to rates close to those found in natural ecosystems, provided enough mulch is retained at the surface which is usually not the case in India, because of competing uses, for example, fodder, fuel, construction material, and also crop residue burning for land preparation. No-till should therefore not be considered separately from complementary measures, aiming at retaining mulch on the soil surface. Efficient recycling of organic material needs to be implemented concomitantly with diversifying fodder and fuel sources which requires enhancing the multifunctionality of farming systems. These prerequisites make it difficult for farmers to adopt no-till, particularly the poorer ones for whom experimentation with new techniques often involve unbearable financial risks. Organic farming apprehends the farm as an organism, and is thus a good option to improve sustainability as introduced above, by e. g., closing nutrient cycling. However, organic farming typically implies tillage for weed control (no chemical herbicides). "Natural farming," as promoted by Fukuoka (1978) combines no-till with organic farming. An overview of available literature on Indian experiences with " natural farming," most of it originating from unconventional sources (i.e., reports available on Internet, but no peer reviewed literature) indicates that crop yields can compare well with the highest yields in a particular region. Increased productivity and environmental benefits are also often mentioned. The limited accuracy of these sources makes it necessary to pursue further investigations, and we conclude with propositions for future work in this context. This should start with a rigorous assessment of existing "natural farming" systems regarding their productivity and environmental benefits, in order to demonstrate its potential before starting projects that promote the system for broader adoption.
Autor*innen der BOKU Wien:
Duboc Olivier
Gerzabek Martin
Zehetner Franz
BOKU Gendermonitor:

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
organic farming
natural farming
Rishi Kheti
soil erosion

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