FARM SUSTAINABLE ASSESSMENT (FSA) CERTIFICATION
Farm Sustainable Assessment is an initiative by Sustainable Agriculture Initiative (SAI) Platform. This platform includes all food chain stakeholders willing to play an active role in the development and implementation of sustainable agricultural practices.
Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) Programme, introduced in 2014 was built on the achievements of the SPA (Sustainability Performance Assessment framework). It enables a farm’s sustainability level to be assessed and offers practical recommendations for improvement. Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) is a set of tools for food and drink businesses that want to assess, improve and validate on-farm sustainability in their supply chains.
The tools enable effective and efficient supply chain collaboration right down to the level of the farmer. Many of the world’s leading food and drink companies have begun to use it to source sustainably produced agricultural raw materials.
The Farm Sustainability Assessment (FSA) is an assessment questionnaire with 112 questions about farming practices categorized under 17 topics. The questions cover key pillars of sustainability, environmental, social and economics.
How FSA is beneficial to the Farmer or a Producer
- FSA helps save time and resources, using a single reference tool that reduces duplication and effort in assessing, auditing & verifying on-farm sustainable practices.
- FSA equips farmers with valuable knowledge & insights allowing them to improve their performance.
- FSA reduces cost by providing farmers readymade solutions to ensure sustainable agricultural practices along the supply chain.
- FSA helps to improve market access by increasing business opportunities with companies interested in sourcing sustainably.
Role of Kancor in Sustainability Certification
Kancor trains farmers in sustainable cultivation aspects right from land preparation to post harvesting by helping them in the following manner
Kancor invests in a third-party independent auditor to verify the above activities and certify the farms under the principles of FSA.
The farmers, by working with Kancor get their sustainable practices verified & certified, get a collective access to the world market through us and will benefit with fair prices. Training / exposure to good agricultural practices, in turn helping in regeneration of their farm soils for long term sustenance.
INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (IPM)
Intensive agricultural practices relying heavily on chemical pesticides are a major cause of widespread ecological imbalances resulting in serious problems of insecticide resistance, pest resurgence and pesticide residues.
In order to address the adverse impacts of chemical pesticides on Agro-ecosystems, Kancor’s Integrated Pest Management programme has shifted from Economic Threshold Level (ETL) based approach to Agro-ecosystem analysis (AESA) based Integrated Pest Management (IPM).
In AESA based IPM Kancor agronomists study the entire agro-ecosystem, plant health at different stages, built-in-compensation abilities of the plant, pest and defender population dynamics, soil conditions, climatic factors and also consider farmers’ past experience in deciding on application of chemical pesticides. Thus conserving the Agro-ecosystems. Ecological Engineering for Pest Management, a new paradigm, is gaining acceptance as a strategy for promoting Biointensive Integrated Pest Management, which relies on cultural practices to affect habitat manipulation and enhance biological control. Kancor’s strategies focus on pest management both below ground and above ground. There is a rising concern about the adverse effects of chemical pesticides on human health, environment and biodiversity. Kancor understands that the intensity of these negative externalities, cannot be eliminated altogether, but can be minimized through development, dissemination and promotion of sustainable biointensive approaches.
Kancor’s principles of AESA based IPM to grow a healthy crop
*For example, if the dosage of nitrogenous fertilisers is high the crop becomes more succulent and therefore susceptible to insects and diseases. If the dosage is low, the crop growth is retarded. So, it is important that an adequate amount is applied for best results. Phosphatic fertilisers should not be applied every season as the residual phosphate of the previous season will be sufficient for the current season also.
In order to attract natural crop enemies Kancor’s agronomists train farmers to practice the following cost effective activities
- Raise flowering plants / compatible cash crops along the field border by arranging shorter plants towards main crop and taller plants towards the border to attract natural enemies as well as avoid immigrating pest population.
- Grow flowering plants on the internal bunds inside the field.
- Avoid uprooting weeds that are growing naturally such as Tridax procumbens, Ageratum sp, Alternanthera sp etc. as they act as nectar a source for natural enemies.
- Avoid applying broad spectrum chemical pesticides, when the Pest: Defender ratio is favorable. The plant compensation ability should also be considered before applying chemical pesticides.
- Reduce tillage intensity, so that hibernating natural enemies can be saved.
- Select and plant appropriate companion plants, which could be like trap crops and pest repellent crops. The trap crops and pest repellent crops will also attract natural enemies, as their flowers provide nectar and also provide suitable microclimate. Due to enhancement of biodiversity by the flowering plants, parasitoids and predators (natural enemies) number also will increase due to availability of nectar, pollen and insects etc. The major predators include ladybird beetles, long horned grasshoppers, lacewing, earwigs, a variety of spiders etc.
- Use sex pheromone traps, Sticky yellow traps etc. to monitor the field pest build up levels before planning pesticide application.
- Install bird perches to help predatory birds like owls, sparrows etc. to perch and feed on rodents, insects etc.