Exploring Sustainability with Regenerative Agriculture at Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University's Farmers' Fair 2024

Dr Ashok Kumar Singh, Vice Chancellor, Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi exclusively spoke to Krishi Jagran on Regenerative Agriculture for Sustainable Development.
Dr Ashok Kumar Singh, Vice Chancellor, Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi exclusively spoke to Krishi Jagran on Regenerative Agriculture for Sustainable Development.

Regenerative Agriculture represents a paradigm shift in the way we approach farming and land management. Unlike conventional methods that often degrade soil health and deplete natural resources, regenerative agriculture focuses on restoring and enhancing the ecosystem's natural functions. By prioritising practices such as minimal soil disturbance, diverse crop rotations, and livestock integration, regenerative agriculture promotes soil regeneration, carbon sequestration, and biodiversity conservation. This approach not only improves the resilience of agricultural systems to climate change but also enhances the overall productivity and profitability of farms in the long term.

In the context of sustainable development, regenerative agriculture emerges as a promising solution to address the pressing challenges facing our food systems. By fostering healthier soils and ecosystems, it supports food security, and mitigates climate change. Embracing regenerative agriculture is not just about changing how we farm; it's about cultivating a more resilient and equitable food system that can nourish both people and the planet for generations to come.

Here is an edited excerpt from the exclusive interview with Dr Ashok Kumar Singh, Vice Chancellor, Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University, Jhansi. Singh will be a key figure in the upcoming North Zone/Regional Agricultural Fair 2024 centered around the theme "Regenerative Agriculture for Sustainable Development."

The fair's theme is "Regenerative Agriculture for Sustainable Development." How does this theme address the current challenges in agriculture, and why is it crucial for the sustainable future of the North Zone?

The "Regenerative Agriculture for Sustainable Development" theme is a call to action. It addresses the urgent need to shift towards agricultural practices that meet current demands and ensure the long-term health of our environment and communities related to various issues. Some of them are soil health, water quality degradation, declining groundwater, quality of farm produce, etc., which need to be addressed.

Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University is pivotal in organising the fair. Can you elaborate on the University's objectives and how it aims to contribute to advancing agriculture and allied sciences?

Rani Lakshmi Bai Central Agricultural University was established to impart education, conduct research, and promote linkages in the field of agriculture. Through events like the North Zone Agricultural Fair, we aim to disseminate knowledge, showcase innovations, and foster collaboration between academia and the agricultural industry. The University has established four colleges: Agriculture, Horticulture and Forestry, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, and Fisheries Sciences. The University will showcase new technology related to these sciences suitable for the Bundelkhand region.

The fair is sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India. How does this support contribute to the success and impact of the event?

The Department of Agriculture has generously sponsored this event as it aligns with the country's vision to enhance the farmers' participation, their welfare, and the promotion of sustainable agriculture. Their support and cooperation ensure that the fair can bring together the best minds and practices in the field to benefit the entire North Zone. The Ministry is channelising the concerned organisations and departments of the northern states. Thus, a variety of technology will be showcased.

The fair covers regions from Jammu and Kashmir to Delhi. How do you foresee the fair positively impacting agriculture in these diverse regions, and what are the specific challenges addressed?

Covering diverse regions from Jammu and Kashmir to Delhi, the fair addresses unique challenges each region faces. We hope to empower farmers and stakeholders to adapt and thrive in their specific environments by sharing knowledge and solutions. The methods, practices, and products of different states will enrich the farmers and entrepreneurs of each state.

With over 150 exhibition stalls, what can attendees expect to see? Could you highlight some major attractions, such as modern farm machinery, drone technology, and other advanced agricultural practices?

Attendees can expect a dynamic experience with over 150 exhibition stalls. From modern farm machinery to demonstrations of drone technology, the fair will showcase the latest advancements in agriculture. Other attractions include crop cafeterias, honey bee production, mushroom technology, culinary competitions, products of SHG (self-help groups) and innovative farmers, seeds and planting material, and much more.

The fair aims to provide a platform for farmers, primary producers, and other stakeholders. How will the event facilitate knowledge-sharing, networking, and business opportunities for those involved in agriculture and allied sectors?

The fair provides a unique platform for farmers, primary producers, and stakeholders to exchange knowledge, explore business opportunities, and foster collaborations. It's a hub for networking and learning from each other's experiences. Separate sessions of interaction on millets, citrus foods, pulses, oilseeds, etc., are being organised for the benefit of farmers.

Looking ahead, how do you anticipate the North Zone Agricultural Fair 2024 will influence and shape the future of sustainable agriculture in the region?

We anticipate that the North Zone Agricultural Fair 2024 will catalyse positive change. By promoting sustainable practices and fostering collaboration, we hope to see a lasting impact on the region's agricultural landscape. Many innovators have perfected natural farming, and their interventions will inspire other farmers. The models of holistic approach will guide the farmers.

Do you have any closing thoughts or messages for the audience, farmers, and participants eagerly anticipating the North Zone Agricultural Fair 2024?

In closing, I encourage all participants and attendees to engage actively in the fair. It's a unique opportunity to learn, connect, and contribute to advancing sustainable agriculture. We believe that this North Zone Regional Farmers' Fair 2024 will be a milestone in promoting sustainable agriculture, and we urge everyone to take full advantage of this opportunity for learning and collaboration.

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