The ever increasing population and the pressure it exerts on the food systems have raised the demands on agriculture as higher yields are needed in a shorter time. The chemical intensive systems with indiscriminate use of fertilisers and pesticides coupled with global climate change have geared the agricultural system into an era of irreparable damage. The high rate of production with limited arable land has caused devastating effects on the entire food chain. The soil is degraded and water is polluted. The use of chemical based formulations in agriculture has already raised questions on their sustainability in the long term. It has crippled not only the economic conditions of the farmers in many developing countries and regions with harsh climatic conditions; but at the same time their aesthetic values are now being questioned.
It is high time that we realised that such growth comes with a big price tag, not only to humanity but also to the natural environment that sustains life and its various forms. Our age old systems that withstood the test of time always have an answer to such unforeseen situations. Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) is the indigenous knowledge of local people in any area of the world. It is framed and processed by inhabitants and passed on with utmost care and precision to the coming generations. This knowledge is generated keeping in mind needs as well as aesthetic values. Bio formulations and practices from these TEK systems are being revised and adapted in the present scenario to revive the agri management systems in a sustainable manner. This shift is being called the "natural farming movement".
Founded in 1981 by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. The organization operates globally in 155 countries and has touched the lives of over 370 million people. The Art of Living movement has spread peace across communities through diverse humanitarian projects, including conflict resolution, disaster relief, sustainable rural development, empowerment of women, prisoner rehabilitation, education for all, and environmental sustainability. Sri Sri Institute of Agriculture Science and Technology, under the aegis of The Art of Living foundation is organising a Natural Farming Summit 1.0 on 9th and 10th May 2017 at The Art of Living International Centre, Bangalore, India. Spread over 65 Acres, the centre is an ideal location for reflection and retreat. This Summit shall highlight the advancement of the natural farming movement and promote networking, innovations and collaboration.
To register for the Summit, visit http://agriconference.artofliving.org/register/.
Photo courtesy: Shutterstock