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Dhaka Tribune

Ganga Sarni Bisht: A trailblazer of natural farming in Himachal Pradesh

Ganga's success story extends beyond her personal gains, as she now inspires other women to embrace natural farming

Update : 31 Jul 2023, 01:52 AM

Ganga Sarni Bisht, a 56-year-old pioneer of natural farming in Himachal Pradesh's Kinnaur district, has become a role model for women in the realm of natural or zero-budget farming. Her journey began in 2013 when she recognized the demand for chemical-free produce in Delhi's markets and resolved to adopt alternatives to eliminate chemicals from her farming practices. Through her association with the Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kisan Yojana, Ganga found the knowledge and support to implement the Subhash Palekar Natural Farming (SPNF) technique, a turning point in her life.

With support from her husband, Sushil Negi, Ganga implemented the SPNF technique on their 10-bigha land, witnessing fruitful results and considerable financial benefits. The adoption of natural farming principles significantly reduced her farm expenditure, allowing her to harvest and sell crops throughout the year. The freshness and taste of her produce attracted a loyal customer base, boosting her income and independence from the market.

Ganga's success story extends beyond her personal gains, as she now inspires other women to embrace natural farming. The Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kisan Yojana has been instrumental in promoting sustainable agriculture and empowering farmers, particularly women, across Himachal Pradesh. The state's commitment to natural farming has led to over 1.65 lakh farmers practicing it, covering a total area of 19,915 hectares.

In line with climate-resilient techniques, natural farming in Himachal Pradesh discourages the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, instead relying on locally sourced, low-cost inputs like desi cow urine and dung. The program's focus on capacity building and regular advisories on natural farming techniques enhances the farmers' incomes while fostering harmony with nature.

Himachal Pradesh's natural farming movement is transforming agriculture practices, and with a focus on increasing the number of farmers practicing natural farming and expanding the area under it, the state aims to consolidate its position as a leader in sustainable agriculture.

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