December 6, 2023

IDH and Better Cotton Collaborate To Promote Sustainable Agriculture in India

IDH and Better Cotton, the world’s largest cotton sustainability initiative, hosted an event in New Delhi to promote regenerative agriculture in India. The gathering brought together thought leaders, actors, and innovators to build consensus on the scope and merits of regenerative agriculture, identifying opportunities for action in policy, business, finance, and research.

Agriculture plays a pivotal role in India’s economy, involving over 46% of the population, with 86% being smallholder farmers. The sector faces challenges like environmental degradation, soil depletion, and water scarcity, jeopardizing its long-term sustainability. As India’s population continues to grow, ensuring food security and livelihoods for millions is paramount. Regenerative agriculture offers a sustainable solution by rejuvenating soil health, conserving water resources, promoting biodiversity, and enhancing productivity while bolstering resilience to climate change.

The event served as a platform for participants from farming communities, the private sector, civil society, and government to collaborate, share insights, and drive progress towards a sustainable and regenerative agricultural future. These efforts aim to protect the environment and improve the livelihoods of small farming communities involved in food and fiber crop production in India.

Discussions at the event underscored the significance of regenerative agriculture in addressing climate change issues, such as carbon sequestration in soil, preventing soil degradation and water scarcity, and preserving biodiversity. These practices enhance food security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and restore ecosystems.

Participants also shared barriers and solutions, including the adoption of Better Cotton Principles and Criteria, emphasizing the importance of a ‘Landscape’ approach that facilitates change within a geographic area, involving all stakeholders. Commitments were made to continue sharing knowledge, tools, and approaches beyond the event, ensuring an ongoing dialogue and accelerating the transition to regenerative agriculture.

Pramit Chanda, Global Director Textiles & Manufacturing at IDH, stressed the need for collective action, stating, “Through this event, we aspire to create a dynamic, multi-sectoral network and mobilize stakeholders toward a more sustainable and regenerative future for agriculture in India.”

Jyoti Narain Kapoor, Country Director – India, highlighted the event’s importance, emphasizing that scaling the use of regenerative agricultural practices is crucial for the resilience of farming communities worldwide in the face of climate change.

IDH and Better Cotton are committed to furthering multi-stakeholder dialogue on regenerative agriculture, with participation from stakeholders in the food and fashion industries, government entities, civil society organizations, academia, and the financial sector. They aim to create a common framework and enabling environment to advance discussions on regenerative agriculture across policy, finance, and industry.

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