Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Systems

Lessons from India on scaling up natural farming 

COP26 event will share experiences from large-scale transition to organic farmland in southern India. 

Learnings from a large-scale organic farming programme are to be discussed at an event at COP26.

Speakers will share their experience of their sustainable agriculture operation, implemented by the government of Andhra Pradesh in India, which aims to transform 6 million farms on 8 million hectares of land in the southern state into natural farming by 2030.

The project is the world’s largest agroecology programme – that is, sustainable farming that works with nature. Agroecology has been welcomed by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization as helpful to governments in making progress on achieving global targets for climate change, biodiversity, nutrition, and post-Covid economic development.

The event is held as part of the ‘Recipes for resilience: the food and climate zone’ programme at COP26, organised by Nourish Scotland.

Panellists from the UK and India will discuss targets for organic farming and progress on achieving targets to date. For example, the EU has set a target of at least 25 percent of agricultural land to be under organic farming by 2030. The UK has not set a target and currently only 3.3 percent of land is organic in England, 4.8 percent in Wales, and 1.6 percent in Scotland.

Market demand

At the COP26 event, experts and farmers from India and the UK will also discuss national activities relating to building market awareness and demand for organic products. 

Speakers include Vijay Kumar, Executive Vice Chairman of the implementing agency for the government programme; Minhaj Ameen, Anchor of the National Coalition for Natural Farming India; and women farmers in India participating in the programme.

They will be joined by panellists Ms Helen Browning, Chief Executive of the Soil Association; Professor Jo Smith of the University of Aberdeen; Dr. Poornima Prabhakaran of the Public Health Foundation of India; and Dr Lindsay Jaacks of the Global Academy of Agriculture and Food Security at the University of Edinburgh.

This hybrid event, at 9.30-11am GMT on 1 November, may be attended in-person at the Salvation Army, 1 Houldsworth Street Glasgow, G3 8ED or online via Zoom. Registration is online at the link below.

Related links:

Register for the event

Indian study tracks health benefits of organic farming