AVACLIM: Review of activities in India

AVACLIM: Review of activities in India


GBS (India): GBS works to protect and improve the environment by conserving land, water, soil and forest resources. GBS’s work focuses primarily on the restoration of infertile, sandy and degraded land in the arid zone of India, in consultation and collaboration with local village communities, particularly women and young people. 

Tribute to Bhawani Shanker

The first year of the project was mourned by the death of Mr. Bhawani Shanker Kusum, President of Avaclim’s NGO partner in India, GBS, who passed away on November 14, 2020. This tragic event had a major impact on GBS’s activities during this period, but its members were able to organize themselves to carry out the AVACLIM project, which was close to Mr. Bhawani Shanker Kusum’s heart. 

Watch the tribute to Bhawani Shanker Kusum

Characterization of agroecological initiatives in India 

During the first year of the project, the identification and characterization of agroecological initiatives led to the production of a total of 5 initiative sheets. These sheets present the background, context and development trajectory of the initiatives, as well as the main lessons learned with regard to the FAO’s ten elements of agroecology. 

Following are the five factsheets presenting the Indian Initiatives:

Evaluation of agroecological initiatives 

The project partners evaluated two agroecological initiatives: 

  • Vaagdhara (Voluntary Association of Agricultural General Development Health and Reconstruction Alliance): founded in 1987, its aim is to support community institutions and empower communities – particularly those marginalized in tribal areas – to implement sustainable development in the agricultural districts of Banswara and Aandi (Vagad region) in Rajasthan, an area of great natural biodiversity. To this end, Vaadghara is implementing the Sustainable Integrated Production System (SIPS) approach to help farmers transform their farms into more productive and sustainable systems. This approach relies on agro-ecological production, product processing and market access to enhance farmers’ livelihoods. It aims to intensify the farming system through agroecological practices (such as mixed cropping, vegetable gardens, agroforestry, and the integration of livestock – especially poultry – and aquaculture). This approach is also based on training (according to need and demand) in farming practices and techniques, and on farm visits to share experiences. Participatory learning processes, involving farmers, experts and facilitators, help to design improved production systems adapted to natural resources, local knowledge and skills, household needs (particularly food) and market opportunities. 
  • The Renuka Organic Farm: The Renuka Organic Farm was set up in 2005 with the aim of restoring 8 ha of degraded, uncultivated land in the village of Routhu suramala (Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh state) through soil improvement and sanitation practices. In addition to its innovative production model geared towards land and biodiversity restoration, Renuka’s organic farm now acts as an incubator for local farmers to build capacity and develop knowledge of agroecological practices. Since its inception, the initiative has gradually spread to neighboring farms, and agroecological production systems have been implemented on 405 ha of restored land. The Renuka organic farm now works with 620 families. 

Find a summary of the results of the evaluation of these two initiatives

Local media coverage of results and activities 

Thanks to the strong local roots of the GBS organization, the AVACLIM project’s activities were regularly broadcast in the local media: television and radio programs, as well as the written press. This communication work by the Indian partner has helped to raise awareness of its actions among the local population, giving it greater visibility and credibility in its advocacy of agroecology. 

Find a selection of published press articles (generally in Hindi…)  

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