Around two million farmers in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh have ditched chemical pesticides in favour of natural repellants and fertilisers, as part of a growing eco-agriculture movement.
The sustainable techniques are spread through a network of women’s self-help groups, and over 10 percent of the state’s farmland is now being cultivated without chemical pesticides.
Farmers make natural pest repellents from ingredients such as neem tree leaves, chilli and cow urine – which is over 70 percent cheaper than using chemicals.
They also promote beneficial insects, use compost, and plant crops that fix nitrogen into the soil. Since it began in 2004 the scheme has improved soil health and biodiversity, reduced costs and upped yields.
earthrise can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Tuesday: 2230; Wednesday: 0930; Thursday: 0330; Friday: 1630; Saturday: 2230; Sunday: 0930; Monday: 0330; Tuesday: 1630.