Rural Futures

The Rural Futures programme co-designs practices to improve small and marginal farmers’ incomes, their access to markets and finance, and land-use management, especially of degraded lands. We do this through collaborations integrating the best available science with local knowledge and emphasising solutions that centre farmers’ needs.

Approaches

Publications

Approaches

Land Restoration

To restore degraded agricultural land in Karnataka’s Raichur and Koppal districts, we are working with a local NGO called Prarambha to identify restoration processes, end-user needs and interventions that are locally suitable but adaptable to multiple contexts. We follow the seven-step approach adopted by the Alliance for Reversing Ecosystem Service Threats (AREST). AREST is a coalition of partners designing and implementing strategies to restore India’s degraded lands.

Enhancing farmer incomes through value addition and income diversification is crucial for restoration to be successful in the long term. In this endeavour, we are identifying a bouquet of farm-scale interventions to help farmers make informed decisions. These take into account resources, partners, value propositions, target markets and economic viability.

The WELL Labs team conducting interviews with farmers for the baseline assessment. This exercise forms the basis for restoration activities in Raichur, where large parts of agricultural land is degraded. Credit: Muddurangappa Nayaka from the Prarambha team.

Conducting interviews with farmers for the baseline assessment. This exercise forms the basis for restoration activities in Raichur, where large parts of agricultural land is degraded. Credit: Muddurangappa Nayaka from the Prarambha team.

Regenerative Agriculture

Farmer Prabhakar B in Mulbagal taluk, Kolar district, Karnataka. Photo by Manjunatha G

Regenerative Agriculture

To address land degradation and low productivity, we need to look beyond high-input mono-cropping systems. Our team works with grassroots organisations to promote traditional multi-cropping practices, such as Akkadi Sallu in Karnataka.

These foster biodiversity, make agricultural yields more resilient and safeguard against erratic weather and unpredictable markets.

Publications