We are combating climate change and promoting biodiversity by increasing crop and regional farm diversity as well as targeted habitat conservation and restoration.
Pollination is the highest agricultural contributor to yields worldwide, contributing far beyond any other agricultural management practice.
Working alongside farmers we aim to develop practices to boost pollination and natural pest regulation in crops to help increase yields, reduce reliance on inputs and minimise negative impacts on the environment.
In preparation for a larger scale future project that addresses sustainable farming challenges in India, The World Bee Project initiated ecological intensification projects in India, with its UK partner the University of Reading School of Agriculture, Policy and Development (SAPD) and in collaboration with G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, and the Himalayan Farmlands Initiative. We are also collaborating with M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF).
Our project aims to explore opportunities for ecologically intensive farming interventions in economically important crops in North and South India. We will quantify the impact of contrasting landscapes on biodiversity and ecosystem service provision; explore barriers and incentives that influence farmer behaviour towards more environmentally sustainable practices; and focus on stakeholder engagement from inception through to dissemination of project result.
In India, smallholder family farmers constitute more than 50% of the national population of over 1.3 billion and they are vital for India’s agriculture and rural economy. In the world, overall, 90% of 570 million family farms are owned and operated by over 1.5 billion people and play a key role in global food production and genetic diversity of food supply. These smallholder farming families own less than two hectares each but operate about 75% of the world’s agricultural land. Many are poor and have limited access to markets and services. Their choices are constrained, but they farm their own land and collectively produce food for a substantial proportion of the world’s population.