C-AGG is pleased to share a report on Climate Resilient Zero Budget Natural Farming (CRZBNF) based on an international meeting and workshop held in Andhra Pradesh (AP), India. The report documents a November 1 – 4, 2017 meeting and workshop on Building Perspectives and Capacity to Measure Climate Change Impacts due to Changes in Agriculture Practices held in Vijayawada, AP.  C-AGG partnered with the Government of Andhra Pradesh, its affiliate Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS), and Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives (APPI) to organize these events.

The Government of Andhra Pradesh Department of Agriculture, through RySS, has developed an ambitious program to improve the health and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in AP through the adoption of CRZBNF. CRZBNF is a series of agricultural practices that use no chemical fertilizers and few external inputs to improve soil fertility, increase crop diversity, and eliminate external input costs to farmers (‘zero’ is a reference to the need to purchase external inputs). CRZBNF is increasing agricultural sustainability and enhancing agricultural sector resilience to climate change.

CRZBNF also addresses economic and food security disasters impacting farmers in AP, where the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides has harmed human health, destroyed soil biology, and is leading to widespread economic failures of farmers and a rash of suicides. By replacing chemical fertilizers and pesticides with indigenous practices and natural and organic inputs, the project is improving agricultural productivity, farm economics, and the health and well-being of farmers, their families, and their communities. The AP government has partnered with APPI to help scale this initiative by promoting the adoption of CRZBNF to 500,000 farmers in AP in the next five years. It is the goal of the Government of AP to eventually transition all six million farmers in AP to CRZBNF practices.

Though significant benefits to soil health, crop productivity and improved resilience are visible on farms practicing CRZBNF, and farmer and community economics are improved, the ability to assess, quantify, and document the changes scientifically can help to further the spread of CRZBNF and attract additional international financing. To address the need to measure, report, and verify (MRV) changes in GHG and improved climate adaptation and resiliency with the conversion, RySS, APPI, and C-AGG partnered to organize and facilitate this four-day international meeting and workshop including a one-day field visit to CRZBNF farms in AP. More information on this project can be found at: https://www.c-agg.org/projects-and-programs/india.