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Revitalizing India’s Agriculture: IDH and Better Cotton Promote Regenerative Farming for a Sustainable Future

  • IDH and Better Cotton organised ‘Agriclimate Nexus: Food, Fibre and Regeneration for Sustainable Growth in India’
  • Multi-stakeholder gathering including representatives from farming communities, private sector, government, civil society and government discussed regenerative agriculture benefits and opportunities

IDH and Better Cotton, the world’s largest cotton sustainability initiative, brought together thought leaders, actors and innovators to build consensus on the scope and merits of regenerative agriculture, as well as to identify opportunities for action across policy, business, finance, and research. The event was hosted in New Delhi today to promote regenerative agriculture in India through collaboration, innovation, and creating an enabling environment.

Agriculture in India holds a pivotal role in the country’s economy and society, involving over 46% of the population, with 86% being smallholder farmers. The sector faces critical challenges like environmental degradation, soil depletion, and water scarcity, all endangering its long-term sustainability. As India’s population continues to grow, ensuring crop and food security and livelihoods for millions is paramount. Regenerative agriculture offers a sustainable solution by rejuvenating soil health, preserving water resources, and promoting biodiversity, while also enhancing productivity and resilience to climate change.
The event provided a platform for participants from farming communities, private sector, civil society and government to collaborate, share insights, and drive meaningful progress towards a sustainable and regenerative agricultural future that would protect the environment and improve the livelihoods of millions of small farming communities involved in the production of food and fiber crops in India.

Discussions reiterated the importance of regenerative agriculture to address issues of climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil, preventing soil degradation & water scarcity, and the loss of biodiversity, thereby enhancing food security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and restoring ecosystems.

The event enabled participants to share the barriers faced and hear about solutions, including the adoption of the Better Cotton Principles and Criteria as well as the importance of promoting a ‘Landscape’ approach that supports change within a geographic jurisdiction in collaboration with all the stakeholders in that region. Participants agreed to continue sharing their learning, tools, and approaches even after the event to keep the conversation going and accelerate the transition to regenerative agriculture.

Pramit Chanda, Global Director Textiles & Manufacturing – IDH, emphasized the need for collective action, saying, “Through this event, we aspire to create a dynamic, multi-sectoral network and mobilize stakeholders towards a more sustainable and regenerative future for agriculture in India. In this, it is paramount that each stakeholder group considers the role they can play to make this a reality.”

Jyoti Narain Kapoor, Country Director – India, Better Cotton, commented on the importance of the event, stating, “Scaling the use of regenerative agricultural practices will be important to farming communities globally if they’re to ensure their operations are resilient in the face of climate change. This convening will go a long way in strengthening cross-commodity relations and aligning organizations committed to supporting this cause.”

Regenerative agriculture offers a sustainable solution to address the pressing challenges faced by Indian agriculture. Through their joint efforts, IDH and Better Cotton aim to accelerate the adoption of regenerative practices, create an enabling environment, and contribute to the revitalization of India’s agriculture sector. As next steps, IDH and Better Cotton commit to continuing to engage in multi-stakeholder dialogue on regenerative agriculture, drawing participation from stakeholders across the food and fashion industries, as well as other key groups such as government entities, civil society organizations, academia, and the financial sector. A common framework and enabling environment will help in advancing discussions on regenerative agriculture across policy, finance, and industry.
About IDH

IDH seeks to transform markets through collaborative innovation, convening and investment in inclusive and sustainable solutions that enable businesses to create value for people and planet. To achieve this, IDH brings together coalitions of committed stakeholders from across global value chains towards joint visions and program agendas for sustainable trade.

IDH’s international presence extends to multiple regions and landscapes, facilitated by a network of around 400 staff including experts who are embedded in key agricultural, manufacturing, apparel and commodity value chains. In 15 years of operation, IDH has mobilized private sector investment and support to test and innovate new business models designed to create better jobs, better incomes, a better environment, and gender equity for all.

Learn about our unique method of convening, co-creating and co-financing. For more information, please visit www.idhsustainabletrade.com.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this feature article are of the author. This is not meant to be an advisory to purchase or invest in products, services or solutions of a particular type or, those promoted and sold by a particular company, their legal subsidiary in India or their channel partners. No warranty or any other liability is either expressed or implied.
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