Sustainable agriculture is farming in sustainable ways based on an understanding of ecosystem services, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. It is a long-term methodological structure that incorporates profit, environmental stewardship, fairness, health, business and familial aspects on a farm setting. Three integral aspects of sustainable farming are economic profit, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility.
The average landholding size has decreased to 1.16 Ha per farmer in 2011 from 2.3 Ha in 1971. The increasing cost of inputs like fertilizers and labor has increased the cost of cultivation and thus reduced returns from each farm. For small and marginal farmers who have limited bargaining power, the price obtained for their produce is often not commensurate with market rates affecting profit realizations further.
Increasing land productivity by selecting high-value crops and planning crops for every cropping season will make small farms economically viable for an available area.
Alternative agriculture such as medicinal plants, sericulture, and agroforestry holds the key to address production loss due to climate change.
Integration of various agricultural enterprises viz., cropping, animal husbandry, fishery, forestry, etc. have great potentialities in the agricultural economy. These enterprises not only supplement the income of the farmers but also help in increasing family labor employment.
The integrated farming system approach introduces a change in the farming techniques for maximum production in the cropping pattern and takes care of the optimal utilization of resources.
The farm wastes are better recycled for productive purposes in the integrated system.
A judicious mix of agricultural enterprises like dairy, poultry, piggery, fishery, sericulture, etc. suited to the given agro-climatic conditions and socio-economic status of the farmers would bring prosperity in the farming.
Community-based farming is a method wherein farmers pool their resources in certain areas of agricultural activity for mutual benefits by sharing knowledge, facilities, and machinery. This type of model gets financial support from Government institutions and banks. Moreover, it creates a healthy ecosystem.
The farm involves indigenous communities. These communities were migrating to cities as labors to meet their basic necessities due to continuous crop failure.
Livelihood creation is one of the primary objectives. The farm focuses on competency-based resource creation and has involved about 20 families in daily farming activities.
Climate change, shifting seasons, rise in temperature, and depletion of groundwater table, soil erosion is the major threat agricultural is facing. The convention agriculture has degraded the soil, water, and air with the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Our 75% of food/crop diversity is lost due to the use of hybrid seeds.
Brook N Bees farm is under USDA NOP and INDIA NPOP Organic certification program as organic farming is an approach to mitigate environmental concern raised by conventional agriculture
We at Brook N Bees have to sync ecological principles with agricultural production. The farm practices following agroecological practices
Crop Diversity –Growing multiple crops in a single piece of land by mimicking nature.
Seed Saving- Seed saving is a traditional practice to maintain crop diversity. We practice seed saving and use the same seeds to grow our crops.
Permaculture- Permanent agriculture is an agroecological practice to address the environmental concerns rising due to intensive farming. Its a mix of a perennial yielding forest and annual cropping system. Permaculture core principles are earth care, people care and fair share.
The farm adopts various strategies for water conservations and has cut down water consumption by 55 percent.
Micro irrigation-Reduce the water consumption by 50-70 % for a given crop in a given season-Drip, Sprinkler, Railgun
Watershed development-Helps in underground water recharge and soil conservation -Ponds, micro-check dams, Rainwater harvesting
Mulching and green manuring – Mulching, prevent loss of water due to evaporation and Green manure increases the water holding capacity of the soil by adding organic matter.