Environmental Sustainability and Food Security of Traditional Agricultural Practices in India: A Review

D. R. K. Saikanth

Department of Agricultural Extension, CoA, PJTSAU, Rajendranaagar, Hyderabad, India.

Khushboo Gupta *

ICAR - Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, 110012, India.

Priya Srivastava

Department of Zoology, St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi, India.

Manoher Saryam

Department of Extension Education, Rabindranath Tagore University, India.

K. Sudha Rani

Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, India.

Pooja Jena

Bihar Agricultural University, India.

Sandeep Rout

Faculty of Agriculture, Sri Sri University, Cuttack, Odisha-754006, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

This synthesis consolidates current research on sustainable agriculture and its pivotal role in enhancing food security, conserving biodiversity, and mitigating climate change. Sourced from a wide array of references, it accentuates exercises such as organic farming, agroforestry, and diversified farming systems as cornerstone approaches, sustainable agriculture. The potential of these practices is also explored, highlighting the carbon sequestration capacity of agroforestry systems, the environmental advantages of organic farming over conventional methods, and the implications of diversified farming systems on food security. However, sustainable agriculture still confronts numerous challenges, especially regarding the environmental repercussions of pesticide use and the barriers hindering the adoption of sustainable farming practices. The substantial role of traditional agricultural practices, which often reflect fundamentals of sustainability and resource preservation, is also underscored. The transformative impact of integrated aquaculture-agriculture systems on small-scale farms in Southern and Southeastern Asia is with Farmer Field School experiences worldwide. Critically, the synthesis acknowledges the daunting task of feeding a burgeoning global population and the environmental ramifications of land utilization. Synthesis concludes by asserting that future research and policy must perpetually focus on these issues, aiming to generate innovative strategies for sustainable agriculture and to bolster the resilience of farming systems in the face of climate change.

Keywords: Sustainable agriculture, traditional farming practices, agroforestry, organic farming, food security


How to Cite

Saikanth , D. R. K., Gupta , K., Srivastava , P., Saryam , M., Rani , K. S., Jena , P., & Rout , S. (2023). Environmental Sustainability and Food Security of Traditional Agricultural Practices in India: A Review. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change, 13(8), 1847–1856. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijecc/2023/v13i82138

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Ministry of Agriculture & farmers welfare. New Delhi, India: Government of India; 2020 [annual report]. 2019-20.

Pathak H, Ladha JK, Aggarwal PK, Peng S, Das S, Singh Y, et al. Transforming Rice Production in Asia: flash-flooding resistant, drought-tolerant rice offers new hope. Oryza. 2018;55(3):305-15.

FAO, FAOSTAT. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 2021.

Singh DR, Basavarajappa R, Deshmukh B, Rathore P, Sastry P, Verulkar S. Climate resilience in agriculture: an overview. In: Singh NK, Singh S, Kumar S, editors. Climate change and agriculture in India: impact and adaptation. Singapore: Springer. 2019;43-58.

Tilman D, Balzer C, Hill J, Befort BL. Global food demand and the sustainable intensification of agriculture. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011;108(50):20260-4. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1116437108, PMID 22106295.

Gliessman SR. Agroecology: the ecology of sustainable food systems. CRC Press; 2015.

FAO. Rome declaration on world food security and world food summit plan of action. Rome, Italy. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 1996.

Godfray HCJ, Beddington JR, Crute IR, Haddad L, Lawrence D, Muir JF et al. Food security: The challenge of feeding 9 billion people. Science. 2010;327(5967):812-8. DOI: 10.1126/science.1185383, PMID 20110467.

Altieri MA. Linking ecologists and traditional farmers in the search for sustainable agriculture. Front Ecol Environ. 2004;2(1):35-42. DOI:10.1890/1540-9295(2004)002[0035:LEATFI]2.0.CO;2.

Kumar BM, et al. Agroforestry in South India: species diversity, farmer preferences, and the environmental economic services and disservices of trees in the farm. Agrofor Syst. 2018;92(5): 1457-71.

Meldrum G, et al. Sustainable agriculture for the American tropics: building on the legacy of farming with nature. Agric Ecosyst Environ. 2017;240:5-11.

Sharma AK. The history of agriculture in ancient India. Bull Deccan Coll Res Inst. 1990;49/50:173-80.

Aryal JP, Bhattarai U, Jat ML, Sapkota TB, Khatri-Chhetri A. Impacts of laser land leveling in rice-wheat cropping systems of the northwestern Indo-Gangetic plains of India. Food Sec. 2014;6(3):389-99.

Maikhuri RK, et al. Hill agriculture in the Central Himalaya: Problems and prospects. Environmentalist. 2000;20(1): 23-39.

Dey MM, Paraguas FJ, Kambewa P, Pemsl DE. The impact of integrated aquaculture-agriculture on small-scale farms in Southern and Southeastern Asia: a review. Sci World J. 2010;10:1359-71.

Kumar BM, Nair PKR. Tropical homegardens: A time-tested example of sustainable agroforestry. Springer Science+Business Media; 2006.

Sharma S, Patwardhan A, Parthasarathy D. Organic farming in Sikkim: A study of its socio-economic impact. Econ Pol Wkly. 2020;55(37):41-9.

Nair PKR. An introduction to agroforestry. Springer Science+Business Media; 1993.

Behera UK. Multi-cropping and soil fertility. Fert News. 1985;30(11):29-40.

Sundriyal RC, Sundriyal S, Sharma E, Purohit AN. Shifting cultivation in North-East India: A case study of Mizoram. In: Bahuguna VK, Singh RP, Todaria NP, editors. Ecology and development. 2014;261-87.

Sah LB, Jat ML, Yadav M, McDougall C, Yadaw RB, Bishnoi DK. Barriers and strategies to the adoption of sustainable farming practices in the mid hills of Nepal. J Agric Sci. 2017;9(12):105-19. DOI: 10.5539/jas.v9n12p105

Ministry of Agriculture & farmers welfare. National mission for sustainable agriculture. New Delhi, India: Government of India; 2021.

Tripathi R, Behera MD, Roy PS, Barik SK. Traditional seed exchange practices support on-farm conservation of rice landraces in Odisha, India. Genet Resour Crop Evol. 2018;65:1551-7.

Jeswani HK, Azapagic A, Schiliro L, Ritorto A. Environmental impacts of conventional and organic farming: A case study of wheat cultivation in India. J Cleaner Prod. 2015;110:106-13.

Carvalho FP. Pesticides, environment, and food safety. Food Energy Secur. 2017;6(2):48-60. DOI: 10.1002/fes3.108

Tscharntke T, Clough Y, Wanger TC, Jackson L, Motzke I, Perfecto I et al. Global food security, biodiversity conservation and the future of agricultural intensification. Biol Conserv. 2012; 151(1):53-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2012.01.068

Kumar BM, et al. Carbon sequestration potential of agroforestry systems in India. J Earth Sci Clim Change. 2011;2(1):1-7.

Smith P. Land use change and soil organic carbon dynamics. Nutr Cycl Agroecosystems. 2008;81(2):169-78. DOI: 10.1007/s10705-007-9138-y

Foley JA, DeFries R, Asner GP, Barford C, Bonan G, Carpenter SR, et al. Global consequences of land use. Science. 2005;309(5734):570-4. DOI: 10.1126/science.1111772, PMID 16040698.

Gomiero T, Pimentel D, Paoletti MG. Environmental impact of different agricultural management practices: conventional vs. organic agriculture. Crit Rev Plant Sci. 2011;30(1-2):95-124. DOI: 10.1080/07352689.2011.554355

Agarwal A, Narain S. Dying wisdom: rise, fall and potential of India’s traditional water harvesting systems. Centre for Science and Environment; 1997.

FAO. An introduction to the basic concepts of food security. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 2008.

Altieri MA, Funes-Monzote FR, Petersen P. Agroecologically efficient agricultural systems for smallholder farmers: contributions to food sovereignty. Agron Sustain Dev. 2012;32(1):1-13. DOI: 10.1007/s13593-011-0065-6

Kremen C, Iles A, Bacon C. Diversified farming systems: An agroecological, systems-based alternative to modern industrial agriculture. Ecol Soc. 2012;17(4). DOI: 10.5751/ES-05103-170444

Jones AD, Shrinivas A, Bezner-Kerr R. Farm production diversity is associated with greater household dietary diversity in Malawi: findings from nationally representative data. Food Policy. 2014;46:1-12. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodpol.2014.02.001

Pingali PL. Green revolution: impacts, limits, and the path ahead. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109(31):12302-8.

DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0912953109, PMID 22826253.

Nayak PK, Rao YK, Saxena KB. Performance and prospects of mixed cropping of pigeon pea with finger millet on terraced lands of Nagaland, India. J SAT Agric Res. 2017;15:1-7.

Mohanan AN, Suresh TK, Kumar BM, Sankar S, Jeeva ML. Homegardens of Kerala: A study on ecological concepts, species composition, and food security role. Environ Dev Sustain. 2018;20(1):407-32. DOI: 10.1007/s10668-016-9881-8

Tilman D, Cassman KG, Matson PA, Naylor R, Polasky S. Agricultural sustainability and intensive production practices. Nature. 2002;418(6898):671-7. DOI: 10.1038/nature01014, PMID 12167873.

FAO. The 10 elements of agroecology. Rome, Italy: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations; 2018.

Braun AR, Thiele G, Fernández M. A global survey and review of farmer field school experiences. Nairobi, Kenya: International Livestock Research Institute; 2006.

Mellor JW. Agricultural development and economic transformation: promoting growth with poverty reduction. Palgrave Macmillan; 2009.

Pretty J, Toulmin C, Williams S. Sustainable intensification in African agriculture. Int J Agric Sustain. 2011;9(1): 5-24. DOI: 10.3763/ijas.2010.0583