LEISA - Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture
Many ecologically and socially concerned individuals and organizations are questioning the sustainability of the modern, market oriented high-external input agriculture. This is a serious threat to the less endowed resource poor farmers. There is a need for an alternative system of agriculture that is sustainable, carries low risks, requires low external inputs and leads to self-reliance of farmers in the developing world. In India, this need is ever increasing – considering the spate of suicides caused by shattered dreams of prosperity and plenty raised by modern agriculture in the minds of vulnerable farmers. In the quest for such an alternative, ILEA (Netherlands) put forth a concept of Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA) that took deep roots in South India. This has gradually evolved into a network. LEISA Network was formally established jointly by Kudumbam, AME (Agriculture Man Ecology) and SFIP (Social Forestry Information Project) in 1990.
The Network’s vision is a harmonious coexistence of empowered Resource Poor Farmers (RPF) and the endowed in a socially just bio-village where the improved and traditional agricultural practices used are environmentally benign and sustainable. Ecologically sustainable LEISA alternatives to high external input agriculture were envisaged to meet the needs of RPF. The LEISA concept is driven by a conviction that RPF, provided adequate opportunities, will share, experiment and emerge with suitable technology and technology utilization alternatives. Central to LEISA is the concept of
Participatory Technology Development (PTD). The technologies developed thus are likely to be more relevant to local conditions, local problems and users’ perceptions, practices and problems compared to those centrally generated or developed in isolation with the end users. PTD based outputs are likely to be more acceptable, less expensive and the less exploitative on human beings and nature.
LEISA NETWORK is a programme enhancing linkages with institutions and individuals involved in sustainable agriculture. The following are the activities of the network:
* Imparts short and long duration trainings for NGOs and resource poor farmers in improved traditional agricultural technologies.
* Develops bio intensive, low external input sustainable agriculture with gender equality and empowerment of women.
* Aims at enhancing community capacities in the management of livelihood resources.
* Operates in 10 districts of Tamil Nadu, promoting eco friendly farming system through NGOs and resource poor farmers.
* Facilitates the strengthening of women organizations and eco farmer associations in the areas where LEISA members are involved.
* Documents field experiments, long forgotten local and traditional agricultural knowledge and innovations of the farmers from seed to seed.
* Focusing on the capacity building of NGOs, farmers, and students through the district level Training Team
* Undertake campaign activities with sister Networks like SAGE, Future Earth, FEDCOT and Emmaus International on a joint action basis to ensure sustainable livelihood resources.
* Facilitates a process of establishing and up scaling sustainable alternatives to ensure poison free food.
* Provides technical guidance in establishing eco and integrated agricultural farm models.
* Maintains linkages with NGOs, NGO Networks, GOs and Departments, Agricultural Universities, Technical Institutions, Research and Financial Institutions and individual farmers in India and financial & technical partners abroad.
* Facilitate farmer’s organizations in the establishment of micro finance institutions for the support of sustainable agriculture.
* Facilitate the revival of fallow lands for establishing traditional community seed banks and community grain banks.
* Facilitate a process of establishing a pesticide free bio villages which are self sufficient and self reliant.
For more information about LEISA see their homepage.
no: 113/118 Sundarraj Nagar
Tamil Nadu, India
Phone: (+91) 0431-2331879
Monday to saturday - 10 AM to 5:30 PM
Sunday - Closed
Copyright @ All Rights Reserved