Role of Philanthropy and Funding in Scaling Natural Farming
Members from the national and international philanthropy, donors and funding community came together to explore the current thinking, convictions and plans of various donor communities with respect to their investments in Natural/Agroecology based farming.Key highlights from the session were :
- Multiple CSOs, NGOs, government and other agencies have been working towards agro-ecologically centred farming and allied ecosystems. In light of the increasing crisis of food security, nutrition, climate resilience, livelihoods etc; it is important that the donor communities also synergise fully in accelerating these efforts.
- Agriculture is increasingly becoming labour intensive, especially for women; more and more women farmers are being pushed into the drudgery of farm labour. There are many grassroots groups, not necessarily NGOs, but also women’s movements, small SHG kind of institutions etc working towards supporting them. So how could philanthropy show up for these groups?
- Large funds and resources have emerged around resources on carbon credits and climate action; which is a huge step forward. However the question is, can we as members of the philanthropic communities catalyse more of this work in India to thereby enable scale?
- Today, food is looked upon in terms of calories and not nutrition. Diversification of our food diet hence becomes critical and the diversity provided by natural farming immensely aids in building nutritional security.
- 70% of India’s rural households are dependent on agriculture and 80% of them are small and marginal farmers with less than one hectare land holding. Remember that farmers are still the net consumers and ones who need nutritional security.