Kaur, Gurmanpreet
March 2014
OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development;2014, Vol. 7 Issue 3, p59
Academic Journal
Sustainable development as a concept first developed in 1987, it was during this time the scientific evidence began to mount, indicating that human actions were having negative impact on the environment on a global scale leading to outcomes such as global warming. The idea of sustainable development became a widespread concern when people concluded that the current path of human activity was unsustainable in the long term and changes in the human society were needed. If we take all the global issues together, nothing draws more attention than political and economic upheavals as well as climate change and food security. While political and economic upheavals seem to be of temporary nature, climate change and food security are going to have long term implications and call for both immediate and sustained effort by people across the globe as these are vital for our existence itself. Since the time man came to know about the benefits of organized living, he has unscrupulously used the bounties of nature and this practice continues in a great measure today also. So long as man was ignorant about modern farm practices, he had stuck to the farming that is now thought of being sustainable and beneficial in the long term. Organic farming was the original type of agriculture that had been practiced from time immemorial. It is the form of farming which relies on techniques such as crop rotation, green manure, compost and biological pest control. One of the world's most resilient agro systems dating back to prehistoric times is forest gardening comprising of organic food production system. Weed management without the use of pesticides, soil management by use of crop rotation practices and green manure comprising animal manure is a significant feature of organic farming. Sustained campaign and awareness amongst agriculturists about sustainable development these days has led farmers to manage their fields more proficiently. Interest is driven by consumer demand for locally grown, organic and sustainable products. But still a lot more is required to be done. Agriculture is the backbone of Indian economy and it is the provider of livelihood for nearly half of the working population. At the same time the agriculture is also one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. The emissions are primarily due to methane from rice paddies, enteric fermentation in ruminant animals and nitrous oxide from the use of manures and fertilizers. Key actions which Indian agriculture should adopt for adjustments in changes to mean temperature and precipitation are changing crop patterns, effective risk management through early warning, improved land management practices, development of resource conserving technologies, credit insurance support to farmers and nutritional strategies for managing heat stress in dairy animals. There is an urgent call for cost effective opportunities for reducing methane generation, emissions in ruminants by modification of diet and nutrient management which will help make adaptation measures sustainable. The need of the hour is devising new policies encouraging green farming as an alternative to farming coupled with use of chemical fertilizers, investment in water harvesting, promoting small farm mechanization, efficient water use technologies and using balanced fertilizers in crop production. Agriculturists indulging in these sustainable techniques can be given financial incentives for improved land management, for resource conservation including water, energy and fossil fuels. As 21st century represents the crisis of survival of human beings there is an urgent necessity to think of future simultaneously. Development is a holistic concept growth cannot alone be termed as development. Development in agriculture has to look into the aspects of social equity, environmental sustainability and people's participation. Sustainable development is not just about conserving our resources; it is about changing our culture to make conservation our way of life. Mahatma Gandhi has rightly said that: The Earth provides enough to satisfy every person's need but not every person's greed.


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