The challenges

Prior to ACF, there was a large drug problem in the community, which is also prevalent across Punjab. Women faced a lot of health issues from the drudgery of collecting water and were not very involved in the political or social decisions of the community. With free electricity, farmers were using excess water on their crops, which was affecting groundwater levels. Additionally, crop residue burning was creating air pollution and there was an overuse of pesticides.

In relation to the differently abled, there was a wide misconception across society, as well as in families, toward these children. It was also difficult to find employment for differently-abled youth for their engagement in society and rehabilitation as useful member members of society.

Flagship initiative - BCI

The Better Cotton Initiative focuses on minimising the harmful impact of crop protection practices, and encourages farmers to  use water efficiently, care for the availability of water, conserve natural habitats, and care for the health of the soil.

Currently in its seventh year of running, this project by ACF has made giant strides in project expansion especially over the last two years, with farmer participation increasing from 6500 (in 2015) to 23000 (in 2016) and 32000 farmers (in 2017) across 7 districts of Punjab.

We support and motivate farmers to grow crops organically. To make the farmers cognisant of the BCI methodology, ACF has developed good relations with the State Agriculture Department, Central Institute of Cotton Research (CICR) Sirsa, and KVK for technical support in demonstration and capacity building of staff and field facilitators.