Ikigai, a Japanese technique, talks about doing things that bring joy, meaning, and a sense of contribution. The Nudge Institute has built a framework for agriculture in India based on Ikigai, with a view to offering benefits to all the stakeholders – farmers, consumers, and environment.

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After talking to over 70 organisations, which include private companies and civil society organisations, the Agri-Ikigai report distils 13 key action points around, which require immediate action to mitigate the challenges posed by climate change, while helping farmers get more income, consumers get better food, and environment in the form of less harm done.

The 13 action points include Direct Seeded Rice, Seed Treatment, Biostimulants, Large Farm Ponds (Non-Plastic Lining), Integrated Pest Management, Crop rotation, and Zero Tillage.

The report, prepared by the Transforming Agriculture for Smallholder Farmers (TASF) programme at the institute aims to double income and reduce income variability for 10 million smallholder farmers in “a financially and environmentally sustainable manner”. By taking the concept to stakeholders, it aspires to do this by identifying and developing innovative interventions and business models.

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“Smallholder farmers who account for 27 per cent of the farming population and cultivate 25 per cent of the arable land face a host of barriers to increasing their incomes. The list includes use of non-scientific practices, the presence of high input and labour costs, and the lack of good market access,” Ravi Trivedi, who leads the Agriculture practice at The/Nudge Institute, told businessline.

In order to test the points made in the report, the institute is doing a couple of pilots in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. “We have begun a pilot in the ongoing kharif season. We are working with about 300 farmers to study the benefits of the Direct Seeded Rice and will come out with a report at the end of the study,” he said.

DSR, an alternate method to transplanting, would take less water and reduces the crop cycle as it doesn’t require raising nurseries. With appropriate weed control it can significantly reduce emissions, and address labour shortage.

“Methane emissions are one of the biggest contributors to global warming and DSR leads to a reduction in these emissions. DSR saves up to 25 per cent of water because flooding of fields is not required. It can save up to 27 per cent of energy (diesel consumption) as it doesn’t require water for field preparation, nursery raising, and puddling,” the report said.

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The report said agriculture accounted for 18 per cent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and India was the third largest emitter of GHG. “This is only going to increase as our population increases, consumption increases,” the report, which was released during the two-day Charcha ‘23 programme held at the Indian School of Business, said.

The institute is doing another pilot in IPM (Integrated Pest Management) at Rajpura (Haryana).