CSA is a professional resource organization engaged in establishing models of sustainable agriculture working in partnership with NGOs and Community Based Organizations by scaling up the successes and engaging with the establishment for a policy change. CSA is registered as Trust in 2004.
CSA believes in promoting sustainable agricultural technologies that are based on farmers’ knowledge and skills, their innovation based on local conditions and their use of nature’s products and processes to gain better control over the pre-production and production processes involved in agriculture. CSA works with farmers to conserve their resources and their rights.
The main objectives of the organization are
1. To improve the quality of life of farming communities by promoting environmentally safe and sustainable methods that would enhance the quality and quantity of crop yields especially in tribal and dryland areas.
2. To enhance the participation of farmers, both women and men, in all processes of problem analysis, technology development, evaluation, adoption and extension leading to food security and self reliance among farmers and rural communities.
3. To facilitate community access and control over natural resources and to build institutions and coalitions at different levels for strengthening People’s Agriculture Movements, which focus on empowerment of marginalized sections like Women, Dalits, Adivasis and Minorities.
4. To develop a Sustainable Agriculture Resource Network that promotes sharing of knowledge, material and human resources. To serve as a repository for documenting, collecting, storing, collating and disseminating information/success stories from different sources on sustainable agriculture.
5. Understand the role of agriculture in contributing to climate change and developing sustainable agriculture practices which can help in mitigating and adapting to climate change.
As part of this, CSA promotes NPM approach [Non Pesticidal Management] to pest management, sustainable soil fertility and productivity management, non-chemical disease management and Seed Production & Management as integral technologies of sustainable agriculture. These approaches are mostly based on management practices to be adopted by farmers in their farming and often are driven by social and political perspectives and realities.
CSA is involved scaling up of sustainable models of agriculture through various development agencies and accessing markets. The model developed as ‘Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture is today practiced in more than 2 million acres (10 % of cultivated area) in AP through Federations of Women Self Groups.
CSA is also engaged in establishing and working with Community Based Institutions to address their agriculture based livelihoods. Today CSA and its partners works with 20 farmers cooperatives and a consumer cooperative and their Federation which helps farmers in planning, producing and marketing their produce.
CSA works in rainfed areas (Ananthpur, Mahaboobnagar dist of AP, Wardha in Maharastra etc), areas with intensive cultivation of commercial crops and suffering severe ecological and economic crisis (Faridkot dist of Punjab, Guntur, Warangal dists of AP) and Tribal areas (Araku and Nallamala in AP, Chattisgarh Tribal areas)
CSA is working on periurban vegetable production around Hyderabad, Vishakapatnam, Guntur, Warangal and other towns in AP. The works include establishing vegetable production without using chemicals, village level collection centres and direct marketing in cities.
CSA is also engaged in policy advocacy work mainly on the impacts of chemical and GM technologies, their regulatory systems, public support systems to small and marginal farmers and revitalizing rainfed agriculture.
CSA is actively engaged with the government and people on the agriculture and climate change debate. The national mission on sustainable agriculture is largely based on the models developed and established by the organization.
Current are of work: Currently CSA is working in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Chattisgarh directly in 150 villages and provide technical support to organizations in Orissa and Karnataka.
In the next five years CSA is planning to work in high resource intensive farming areas like the irrigated belts of AP and Punjab along with tribal farming areas like Chattisgarh, Jharkand and Orissa in addition to rainfed areas in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra in sustaining their livelihoods and farming.
Board of Trustees: This Board consists of eminent agriculture scientists like Dr M S Chari, Retd. Director of Central Tobacco Research Institute; Dr N K Sanghi, Ex-DDG, MANAGE; Shri Devinder Sharma, noted agriculture trade policy analyst; Dr Ranga Rao, Scientist with ICRISAT; Dr Ramadevi Kolli, ICRISAT; Ms Kamla Bhasin, noted women’s rights activist and formerly with the FAO; Ms Anuradha Prasad, HRD specialist.
There is an Executive Council consisting of representatives of both staff and Board members. This Council meets more frequently than the Board.
The team is led by the Executive Director, Dr G V Ramanjaneyulu who is an agriculture scientist and was with the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) earlier. There is a Joint Director, Dr Raghunath. There are Project Managers and Project Officers, where work responsibilities are shared project-wise (specializations included such as seeds, pest management, disease management etc.) as well as for particular geographical areas. The organization also has support staff in the form of an Accounts & Administration Officer and Office Assistants.