ENHANCED FIELD PRESENCE/PERMACULTURAL PRACTICES – A RESPONSE TO ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES
Aranya has developed Permaculture farms in 11.5 acres(5 hectares) in Bidakanne village, Jharasangam mandal, Medak district, Andhra Pradesh with Ecofriendly methods,i.e farming without disturbing the laws of nature.All the permaculture practices are being followed vis-à-vis seed sowing to seed storing.This farm has the resilience to vagaries of nature.Regenerating the soils along with agricultural practices is unique in this farm.As a result the production has increased many folds in comparision to conventional methods.The perennials and rain fed crops are protected from all kinds of damages due to natural calamities.
This functional model farm is helping thousands of farmers,researchers,policymakers and organizations from all over the world to generate awareness about natural farming and is serving as learning centre for permacultural practices.
There is a Permaculture farm also developed in Zaheerabad in an area of 5 acres a functional permaculture farm serving utility based needs,Based on this farm individual farms designing has been propagated in several other areas too for individuals and communities,These are also model farms adaptable for subsistence farming in rain fed areas.The permaculture farm involves maximum creation and utility of resources in a limited area.This farm demonstrates knowledge on wind breaks,alley farming,mixed orchards,improved soil fertility,composting,mulching,soil cover,diversified cropping systems,fodder,fuel plantation and seed storage.
This farm not only demonstrates the methods of natural farming as mentioned but also the animal/livestock integration,which is almost disappearing from agriculture today.It teaches the work ethics and social responsibility of maintaining soil health,food and enviroinment for peaceful existence and social justice to be possible for all life forms.
The influence of the external forces to shift methods of Agriculture from the traditional one to the so called Modern methods is happening against the laws of nature and ARANYA strongly believes that changes in Agriculture do not end in Agriculture itself. It will have unwanted bearings on Food habits, cultural ethos, and ultimately on human relations also. Hence Aranya worked for promotion of several Permacultural practices integrating their application with implementation of different projects like Watershed Development Program, Tribal Development Fund ,NEAC-climate change ,AP Community Based Tank Management Program Andhra Pradesh Irrigation Livelihoods Improvement Project ,NATECO and others over years.
Aranya focuses on perma practices mainly in Adilabad district where the meddling with nature is relatively minimal in the rural areas with 15.7 % of tribal population , The district has largest area covered under forests. In terms of livestock, the animal population is relatively high. In these conditions it was thought of harnessing the situation and to check the external forces from entering the district and prevent depletion of the natural resources. Operating in the district Aranya has been undertaking several projects to reinforce the natural farming traditions,restore the forgotten practices ,manage the natural resources and establish alternative agricultural systems.