ICRISAT will use its decades of experience and expertise in soil health management to help Indian farmers grow higher-yielding crops for greater income benefits, according to a recently launched partnership with the Naandi Foundation. Among the objectives of this association are monitoring soil health and plant nutrient status; suggesting measures to improve soil; recommending crop management practices, setting standards for organic soil amendments; building capacity of farmers on use of technology in sampling and so on.
Naandi, a social sector organization working to eliminate poverty in India, is active in 17 Indian states and is working towards building sustainable social models that deliver critical services to underserved communities. Its economic model – Arakunomics – was one of the Rockefeller Foundation-sponsored ‘Top 10 Visionaries’ in the world for the Food Vision 2050 Prize for their dedicated work in Araku Valley Andhra Pradesh. This initiative helped gain profits for farmers and quality for consumers through regenerative agriculture in the last 20 years.
At the virtual launch of the project, Dr Pushpajeet Choudhari, Manager, Charles Renard Analytical Laboratory, ICRISAT, gave a brief overview of project interventions of ICRISAT Development Center (IDC) and highlighted the ICRISAT-NAANDI project’s objectives. The collaborative project will deal with soil health assessment, restoration of soil fertility, and crop quality analysis at the active project sites (Maharashtra, Araku Valley, Bengaluru and New Delhi) under the Naandi’s umbrella. Geo-referenced soil sampling, data management, and soil health monitoring will be conducted using an android application – MSoil – developed by the Digital Agriculture team at ICRISAT.
“Research trials will be conducted in Araku for studying the correlation between soil qualities of the coffee gardens and cupping scores of coffee,” said Dr David Hogg, Chief Agriculture Advisor, Naandi. Dr Rajesh Pasumarthi, IDC, gave his inputs on organic and microbiological analysis. The senior management team from Naandi, including Ms Rohini Mukherjee, Chief Policy Officer; Dr David Hogg, Mr Daljit Singh, Head of Operations, Wardha; and Mr Vikash Abraham, Head of Operations for Urban Farm Projects, virtually joined the meeting.
The launch of the partnered project took place on 9 March 2021.