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India-based agri system benefits farmers

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Notwithstanding the effects of the El Niño, some farmers from various regions had managed to record high yields through a method adapted from the southwestern region of India.

The bhoochetana method was first introduced in the country by former Agriculture Sec. William Dar four years ago, in cooperation with the Bureau of Agricultural Research and the Yamang Lupa Program.

The initiative identified three pilot sites in Quezon, Samar, and Zamboanga.

The term bhoochetana means reviving the soils. As the name implies, the program was designed to help farmers in areas where there are prolonged dry spells.

The program has four major components, namely: rainfed farming systems innovation, participatory watershed management, strategic social science and policy research, and capacity building, communication and social mobilization.

It was first used successfully in Karnataka, the second largest rainfed state in India where farmers reported 30 percent higher yield since it was first implemented in 2004.

As it is, it aims to increase productivity and to strengthen coping mechanisms against climatic disturbances.

Aware that Karnataka has the same profile as the many farming regions in the country, Dar decided to bring the technology in the country four years ago.

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