Monday, June 17, 2024

Rs 120 cr grant for AP’s natural farming initiative

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AP Rythu Sadhikara Samastha (RySS), in a landmark success, has won a philanthropic grant amounting to 15 million USD, from Co-Impact, a global organisation, founded in the year 2017, which identifies agencies, governments, and initiatives from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Vijaykumar Thallam, Executive Vice Chairman at RySS, stated that the organisation will work towards systemic changes across other states with the Co-Impact grant.

RySS, a State initiative under the Ministry of Agriculture in Andhra Pradesh, initiated the Andhra Pradesh Community-based Nature Farming (APCNF) programme in 2016. RySS, has so far steered more than 6,30,000 farmers towards the journey of Natural Farming in 3730 Gram Panchayats through women’s self-help groups, by phasing out chemical inputs from farming. India can save around Rs.124 Lakh crore in agriculture subsidies annually if Natural Farming is adopted by all the farmers.

Vijay Kumar said that the RySS is one of the 10 applicants shortlisted from 601 received by the Co-Impact across the globe. He explained that the grant is expected to kick start transformation across many levers of the system ensuring that 2.8 million farmer families within Andhra Pradesh and 0.4 million farmers and their families from other states, begin their natural farming voyage, in this decade. He further explained that the RySS, with the grant, will also undertake masterclasses, with joint workshops for stakeholders and entities across Asia, Africa, and Latin America, while ensuring that their enterprise undertakes necessary measures to address SDG 2030.

Vijay Kumar stated that Andhra Pradesh will serve as a catalysing agent for change, with partnerships and collaborations with multiple states across India, through a National Resource Agency, working on policy ecosystems to guide India’ Natural Farming journey. He further stated that many of the grants are made through Co-Impact’s Foundational and Gender Funds.

He said that with the efforts of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Minister of Agriculture Kakani Goverdhan Reddy, the establishment of the Indo-German Global Academy for Agroecology Research and Learning in Pulivendula was made possible, with funding amounting, almost to Rs 200 Crores and now, with further support, the Co-Impact grant.

CEO of Co-Impact, Olivia Leland noted that marginalisation, particularly toward women and weaker sections of society, prevents systems from achieving the developmental goals required.

Vice President of Co-Impact, Rakesh Rajani, has noted that ‘“virtually all our long-term and flexible funding goes to organizations led by people, mostly women, rooted in the Global South. They are best placed to lead because they are closer to the action, know their local contexts, and have the credibility and relationships needed to achieve lasting change.”

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