Find out what happened when we went to India with a world renowned agronomist to show Indian farmers how they can improve the quality of their soil.
This film is about how Indian farmer Vinod Jynai told us one book on soil changed how he farmed at his smallholding in Punjab.
It was by world renowned agronomist Claude Bourguignon. We called him to let him know.
No, Claude didn’t know Indian farmers were reading it. He didn’t even know the book had been translated into English. Instead of calling his lawyers, he joined us on a trip to India to run a soil workshop for Vinod and his colleagues.
Soil represents an important aspect of our work. If it is not looked after trees cannot grow and if trees cannot grow you cannot do organic farming. We have worked with Maisons du Monde on an agroforestry project to support Indian farmers, which has resulted in 1,500 farmers planting 100,000 shisham trees in six years.
Losing organic matter
Farmers in India and around the world are losing the organic matter in their soil. Here’s what we have discovered:
- Planting trees is essential to the health of soil.
- Trees retain water when there’s too much, and give it back when the earth is dry.
- Trees should be planted around fields to protect crops from the elements.
- It’s about planting the right trees – some make the soil infertile.
- Machine ploughing is not good for soil, killing creatures that give life to the earth.
- Inter-cropping and rotating crops is vital to soil life.
- If you keep the same crops year after year, they will take always the same nutrients.
- The soil needs time to regenerate, so keeping things fresh helps.