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Indigenous Farming in a Modern World

In the words of Ramesh Chand, a member of India’s federal think tank, NITI Aayog “Agriculture is central to climate change and clean air, and sustainable use of land and water. Agriculture is both part of the problem and part of the solution to climate change and sustainability. We must seize every opportunity to shift away from inefficient farm practices, towards long-term sustainability, efficiency and resilience.”

Increasingly, the food growers around the world today are recognizing that modern agricultural systems are unsustainable. Practices such as monocultures and excessive tilling degrade the soil and encourage pests and diseases. The artificial fertilizers and pesticides that farmers use to address these problems pollute the soil and water and harm the many organisms upon which successful agriculture depends, from pollinating bees and insects to the farmworkers who plant, tend, harvest our crops. As the soil deteriorates, it is able to hold less water, causing farmers to strain already depleted water reservoirs.
In the search for more sustainable farming methods, many farmers are turning back to traditional practices used prior to the use of plows, artificial chemicals and automated irrigation systems.

Indigenous farming is not just farming practiced by indigenous people. It is the product of indigenous cultures that are deeply connected to particular places. In the words of one indigenous farmer, “indigenous people are as much part of the land as the land is part of us. We cultivate the land while the land cultivates us. This relationship that has supported my people since time immemorial is remembered daily when we place our fingers in the dirt, pull the weeds from our fields, or plant our seeds with water, prayer, and hope, cook the food which we grow, and ingest the world with each bite of food we eat.”
This connection between culture and land shaped and continues to shape indigenous agriculture by creating food growing practices that are adapted to specific, local environments and that work with as opposed to against natural processes.

At My Pahadi Dukan, we understand the importance of preserving the indigenous knowledge and practices that drive many Himalayan communities. We work with local business owners who are dedicated to all-natural products, as well as small family farms and rural populations who have been working in traditional agriculture for generations.

Source – Atmos Magazine
Sustainable Food Center

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