Prakash Kushwaha, a young 23-year-old farmer has become a role model in Rajawar, a small village in the climate sensitive Bundelkhand region of Central India.
In September 2011, he led a group of farmers to participate in India's first rural reality show - 'KaunBanegaShubhKal Leader' (who will become a leader for a better tomorrow).
Conducted on Radio Bundelkhand - a community radio based in Orchha, this competition had 186 teams across 100 villages implement climate change adaptation practices like organic fertilizers, agroforestry and rainwater harvesting.
Prakash's team took the challenge of demonstrating the use of an organic fertilizer called amritmitti'. Through the course of the competition, the 'amritmitti' revolution spread across Rajawar and all the surrounding villages. Almost 200 farmers switched to using organic manure replacing the use of chemical fertilizers in their fields.
Having been a victim of drought that hit the Bundelkhand region from 2003 to 2009, Prakash understands the importance of adapting to climate change.
He says, "If the current trend of using chemical fertilizers continues, our lands will become totally barren in another 10 years. Earlier, when I used chemical fertilizers, my wheat crop required five cycles of irrigation. Now, after I have started using amrit mitti, I only need three cycles of water for irrigating my fields. I also save the money I spent earlier on buying chemical fertilizers. The only ingredients required to make amrit mitti are one kilogram of cow dung, one litre of cow urine, 50 grams jiggery, 25 kilograms of dried leaves, 100 litres of water and the farmers' hard work!"
"With climate change impacts getting more pronounced, it is necessary for farmers to adopt organic farming practices like amrit mitti and vermicompost to ensure high soil fertility and a good crop yield in the long run," he adds.