Transforming Sustainable Agriculture in North India: The Nature Conservancy Centre and IBM Collaborate to Reduce Crop Residue Burning

8:19 am
August 8, 2023


The Nature Conservancy Centre (TNCC) in India has partnered with IBM to tackle the issue of crop residue burning in North India, particularly in the state of Punjab. Through their collaboration, TNCC and IBM are promoting sustainable agricultural practices and aiming to reduce the impact of climate change on communities. They have developed CRM Connect, a powerful public information platform that provides valuable intelligence to farmers, government officials, and decision makers. With the use of advanced data analytics and accessible mobile technology, CRM Connect aims to eliminate crop residue burning and foster regenerative farming practices. This partnership is empowering farmers and cultivating positive change in the region.

Promoting Sustainable Agriculture in India

In North India, Punjab is known as the “breadbasket” of India due to its high productivity in wheat and rice crops. However, a common practice among farmers in the region is to burn crop residue after the harvest, leading to air pollution and soil degradation. This practice has significant consequences for public health and the environment. The TNCC and IBM collaboration aims to change this practice by providing data and technology to support farmers in adopting sustainable agricultural practices.

Introducing CRM Connect: A Catalyst for Change

CRM Connect, developed through the partnership between TNCC and IBM, serves as a powerful public information platform. It offers valuable insights to sector practitioners, government officials, and policymakers by analyzing various data sources such as weather patterns, soil conditions, and demographic information. The platform fills the gaps in transitioning to sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices, ultimately improving agricultural sustainability and mitigating harm to the region’s air and soil quality.

Empowering Farmers and Cultivating Change

The collaboration between TNCC and IBM empowers stakeholders in India to adopt more sustainable agricultural practices. The CRM Connect platform not only provides critical information to policymakers but also creates a network for farmers to connect, share information, and find CRM service providers. This fosters a sense of community and empowerment among farmers, inspiring positive change within the agricultural sector.

Looking Ahead: A Vision for Greater Impact

TNCC and IBM have a vision to reach over two million farmers in the long term. They aspire to create a national and global shift towards regenerative agriculture, protecting vulnerable populations and safeguarding the environment for future generations. They plan to leverage artificial intelligence to further enhance the platform’s capabilities and provide more valuable insights to farmers, organizations, and policymakers.


What is crop residue burning?
Crop residue burning refers to the practice of burning leftover plant material, such as straw and stubble, after the main harvest. This practice is common among farmers in North India but leads to air pollution and soil degradation.
What is CRM Connect?
CRM Connect is a powerful public information platform developed by TNCC and IBM. It provides valuable insights to farmers, government officials, and decision makers, promoting regenerative farming practices and improving agricultural sustainability.
How many farmers are using CRM Connect?
Currently, over 1,000 farmers are using CRM Connect, covering approximately 2,200 hectares of land. The aim is to engage with 12,000 more farmers by the end of this year, impacting over 25,000 hectares.
How will AI be used in the project?
The project aims to leverage artificial intelligence to run more complex correlations and provide even more valuable and precise insights to farmers, organizations, and policymakers. There are 86 variables that have been identified for analysis using AI.


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