Hyderabad-based filmmaker and communication professional Vishy and farmer Narayanappa were honored at the Karmaveer Chakra Award 2023 function held in Faridabad, Haryana on November 27, 2023, for their exceptional work in sustainable agriculture. Narayanappa, a farmer from Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, has not only transformed his own livelihood but has also become a beacon of hope for sustainable agriculture across India. His success story revolves around the innovative ‘Any Time Money’ (ATM) model that Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS) developed, aimed at bringing young people back into farming and demonstrating the potential to revolutionize the entire agricultural landscape of the country.
Vishy, a seasoned communication professional and Director of the Communication Resource Centre, played a crucial role in sharing Narayanappa’s story. The power of storytelling through video became evident when Vishy, using his iPhone Max, created a compelling narrative of Narayanappa’s journey into natural farming. Despite being accustomed to professional crews, Vishy’s belief in the inspiring nature of Narayanappa’s story prompted him to use a more personal approach. The result was a video that highlighted the challenges faced by smallholder farmers and showcased the transformative potential of natural farming.
Narayanappa’s Natural Farming Any Time Model (ATM) stands out as an eye-opener, says Vishy, adding, “By cultivating 30 diverse crops in a 30-cent land, including legumes, cereals, and vegetables with varying harvest times, he not only secured a consistent income of ₹2 lakh per annum but also rejuvenated degraded and compacted soils. The model’s success lies in its ability to regenerate soils, save costs on artificial fertilizers, energy, and water, and foster biodiversity by cultivating multiple crop species.”
The Karmaveer Chakra Award is a distinguished global civilian honour presented by the international confederation of NGOs, iCONGO, in collaboration with the United Nations. This prestigious accolade is bestowed upon individuals worldwide to recognize their commitment to positively impacting society. Vishy championed Narayanappa’s cause by proposing his name for the awards. The video created by Vishy was a powerful tool to contextualize Narayanappa’s contribution and promote the urgent need for a shift towards agroecology and regenerative approaches, especially in the face of climate change challenges.
Vishy emphasized the pivotal role of awareness in driving the adoption of natural farming. “With the advent of social media, platforms like YouTube have become instrumental in showcasing the impact of natural farming. Farmers, in particular, need to be convinced of the positive outcomes before embracing a new approach. Vishy believes that ‘people’s films’ have immense potential to bring about behavioral change among farmers, making video a potent medium to enhance the adoption of natural farming practices in India.
In the ongoing Conference of the Parties (CoP 28), the eighth United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai, there is a resounding call for a tenfold increase in annual investments in agroecology and regenerative approaches. Narayanappa’s success story and Vishy’s impactful video serve as a testament to the transformative power of natural farming, inspiring a shift towards sustainable agriculture practices and a healthier, more resilient future for India’s farming communities.