What Are The Objectives And Strategy For Sustainable Agriculture In India

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What Are The Objectives And Strategy For Sustainable Agriculture In India
17 Feb 2023
5 min read

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Agricultural practices heavily influence the state of the global environment, sustainability, and amount of food production. The need for a more sustainable agricultural system is becoming more apparent as a result of the current agricultural practices that have adversely impacted the environment and ecosystem services while also significantly increasing the world's food supply and adding pressure from the expanding human population. Sustainability entails maintaining high yields in the face of significant shocks and using farming techniques that have minimal negative effects on the environment.

One of the eight initiatives the Prime Minister unveiled as part of the National Climate Change Action Plan was the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) (NAPCC). Changes in agricultural methods considerably contribute to reducing the consequences of climate change. The National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture focuses on integrated farming, effective water use, monitoring soil health, and coordinating resource conservation in order to boost agricultural productivity, especially in rainfed regions. In this article, we will learn more about the Objectives and Strategy for Sustainable Agriculture in India, 

The foundation of human civilization is agriculture. We couldn't support the large world population without it. Yet, concerns with outdated agricultural methods have caused a growth in sustainable farming and agriculture. Continue reading to find out more about sustainable farming, its main aims, and its main objectives in depth.

What Exactly Is Sustainable Farming?

Agriculture that is sustainable in both practice and science. Using resources—like land, good soil, and animals—so they may be replenished naturally or artificially without depleting or polluting other resources is what is meant by "sustainability."

A certain number of minerals and elements, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, are present in all soil by nature.

Plants are rotated among various soil slots or patches as part of good, sustainable agriculture practices so that the soil can accumulate additional nutrients and elements between harvest cycles. The resources of the land are preserved and can be exploited for a much longer period of time in this manner.

Another illustration is sustainable harvesting, which is the art and science of taking just a predetermined, constrained amount of timber from a designated harvesting area, like a forest.

The logging firm removes some trees in one place and more in another, giving the forest an opportunity to regenerate and replenish itself before returning for additional harvesting, as opposed to completely removing everything.

Modern agricultural ideologies, knowledge, and practices are all based on sustainable agriculture. Additionally, it will only get worse as time passes.

What Are The Objectives and Strategy for Sustainable Agriculture in India

What is the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture?

The quality and availability of natural resources like soil and water are essential for maintaining agricultural output. By encouraging the conservation and sustainable use of these limited natural resources through appropriate site-specific methods, agricultural expansion can be maintained. Around 60% of India's net sown land is still devoted to rainfed agriculture, which produces 40% of the nation's food supply. Hence, developing rainfed agriculture and conserving natural resources together hold the key to meeting the nation's rising food grain need.

The National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), which focuses on integrated farming, water usage efficiency, managing soil health, and synchronizing resource conservation, has been developed to this end with the goal of increasing agricultural productivity, particularly in rainfed areas.

The Sustainable Agricultural Mission, one of the eight Missions included in the National Action Plan on Climate Change  (NAPCC), is where NMSA gets its authority. The strategies and program of actions (POA) outlined in the Mission Document, which the Prime Minister's Council on Climate Change (PMCCC) approved "in principle" on September 23, 2010, aim to promote sustainable agriculture through a series of adaptation measures focusing on ten key dimensions encompassing Indian agriculture, including "Improved crop seeds, livestock and fish cultures," "Water Use Efficiency," "Pest Management," "Improved Farm Practices," and "Nutrient Management." In a process of restructuring and convergence, these measures are being mainstreamed onto current or prospective Missions, Programs, and Schemes of the Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (DAC) throughout the XII Five Year Plan.

Sustainable Agricultural Mission Objectives

The NMSA will pursue the following objectives:

1. To promote location-specific Integrated/Composite Farming Systems to increase agriculture's productivity, sustainability, profitability, and resiliency to climate change;

2. To conserve natural resources by using suitable soil and moisture conservation measures.

3. To implement thorough soil health management practices based on soil fertility maps, the prudent use of fertilizers, the administration of macro- and micronutrients based on soil tests;

4. To get "more crop per drop" by maximizing the use of water resources through effective water management;

5. To increase the capacity of farmers and stakeholders in the area of climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, in conjunction with other ongoing Missions such as the National Mission on Agriculture Extension & Technology, National Food Security Mission, National Initiative for Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA), etc.;

7. To implement models in a few blocks that mainstream rainfed technologies developed through NICRA and make use of funding from other programs and missions, such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the Integrated Watershed Management Programme (IWMP), the Rural KVY, etc., 

8. To build efficient departmental and ministerial coordination to carry out the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture's main objectives under the auspices of the NAPCC 

Sustainable Agricultural Mission Strategy

The multi-pronged strategy that NMSA will employ to meet these goals is as follows:

1.  Encouraging the use of supplementary/ residual production systems to increase livelihood opportunities, ensure food security, and reduce the risk of crop failure in an integrated farming system that includes crops, livestock, and fisheries;

2. Promoting resource conservation technology (both on- and off-farm) and practices that may aid in disaster mitigation during extreme weather conditions or disasters such as extended dry spells, floods, etc.

3. Encouraging the use of technology along with demand and supply side management strategies to improve water use efficiency and promote effective management of the water resources that are currently accessible;

4. Promoting better agronomic techniques for increased farm output, better soil treatment, increased water holding capacity, wise use of chemicals and energy, and improved soil carbon storage;

5. Building a database on soil resources using a land use survey, a soil profile study, and soil analysis on a GIS platform to make it easier to implement crop management techniques that are specific to a given site and soil type and to maximize fertiliser use.

6. Encouraging location- and crop-specific integrated nutrient management techniques to enhance crop yield, maintain the quality of the land and water resources, and improve soil health;

7. Developing climate change adaptation and mitigation measures for specific agroclimatic circumstances with knowledge institutions and professionals, and promoting them through the appropriate farming system.

Also Read: Learn About The 10 New Production Linked Incentive Industries

Major Project Activities

Soil Health Management (SHM)

  • Establishment/Strengthening of Agro Waste Compost/Bio-Fertilizer/Bio-Pesticide Unit; Soil Health Management (SHM);
  • Soil Resource Mapping (SRM) by field survey;
  • District-wise 25 Digital Soil Fertility Maps; Crop-wise Portal; and National/Global Farm Registry (Central sector/centrally financed); Investing in capital through NABARD (Central sector)
  • Grant to State Government/Government Agencies (centrally sponsored)
  • Bio & Organic FertilizerTesting Quality Control Labs Establishment/Strengthening (BOQCL) Organic Village Adoption, including Project 100-based biological nitrogen harvesting and manure management.
  • Promotion of INM, micronutrients, organic farming, Project market growth, awareness raising, exhibition, and publicity-based Fertilizer Control Order (FCO) 42500 30 quality analysis (Central sector) samples.
  • Establishing new laboratory for mobile/static soil testing 70 40 Improvement of the current Soil Testing Laboratory (STL)
  • Providing portable soil testing kits (number 4000) 6 Building/Strengthening the Fertilizer Testing Laboratory (FTL)
  • Reclamation and development of saline/alkaline soils; strengthening of current RFCL; and construction of three additional labs in the Kandla, Vizag, and Mangalore (Central sector)
  • Acid soil development and reclamation training, establishment (SLUSI, NPOF, CFQCTI), and capacity building (Central sector)

The importance of sustainable agriculture

Sustainable farming is not a transient craze or fashion trend. There are four main reasons why it is essential for the global agricultural sector and the planet.

Loss of natural resources

First off, sustainable agriculture reduces the rapid loss of natural resources. Future generations may not be able to grow new crops or experience the same prosperity if today's farmers exhaust too many resources associated to agriculture.

For instance, California is currently experiencing water shortages and droughts. This is due to the fact that earlier Californian farmers did not manage their land's water table resources sustainably. Air quality, soil erosion, and forest resources are all impacted by the depletion of natural resources.

Changes in the environment and climate

The need for sustainable agriculture and farming is also a necessity in light of environmental and climate change. As time passes, the planet's temperature rises gradually but visibly. As of this writing, experts are persuaded that some degree of global warming is unavoidable, which might have long-term repercussions including widespread natural disasters, trouble farming, and other effects.

But, humanity can cut down on overall resource use and carbon emissions by engaging in sustainable farming and agriculture. This could help slow down the negative consequences of climate change and put the Earth back on the road to recovery.

Distribution of resources and human impact

Because of the benefits such agricultural practises can have on people, sustainable farming systems are also essential.

Simply defined, compared to non-sustainable farming methods, sustainable agricultural techniques are more concerned with what present-day humans can accomplish and enjoy.

For instance, farming in that area (and throughout the world, as California produces much of the world's food) may suffer if modern farmers drain all the water from vital water tables in California and the western US, which might lead to food shortages, potential starvation, and other negative repercussions.

Food scarcity can be reduced by ensuring that vital resources, such as foodstuffs, are available to people worldwide. Companies and individuals can act responsibly for future generations by minimizing their human effects and carbon footprint through the practice of sustainable agriculture.

Ethical issues

Sustainable farming is important for a number of reasons, including ethical considerations. Many others only think that it is unethical at best to consume mindlessly, without taking into account the environment or the lives of other people and animals.

Sustainable agriculture views the planet and its resources as priceless commodities rather than as hidden gems to be briefly exploited. The only way to farm responsibly, sensibly, and ethically as a citizen of the earth when it comes to the utilization of land and water resources is through sustainable farming.

Important goals of sustainable agriculture

Although various sustainable farming programs and organizations have diverse declared purposes, they almost usually center on the same common objectives. The following are some of the top objectives of sustainable agriculture:

stopping soil erosion and the loss of other natural resources, such as water tables, animal habitats, and forests or animal resources.

ensuring responsible management of organic matter and already available resources, such as smart water management and smart soil rotation.

Reducing air and water pollution can have a negative effect on ecosystems, animal populations, daily product consumers, and even humans.

farming practices that store carbon or otherwise sequester it. Global warming is a result of excessive carbon production, although some sustainable agricultural techniques can recapture some extra carbon, reducing the effects of global warming.

enhancing resistance to risks and occurrences associated with extreme weather, which are soon projected to become more frequent due to climate change and associated systems.

encouraging biodiversity, which aids in restoring natural ecosystems and habitats that have been ruined by unsustainable farming practices and human growth.

Please Visit https://nmsa.dac.gov.in/ to discover more about the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).

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