Extent of Soil Degradation in India
Therefore the deleterious effect of new agricultural technology is not only detrimental to presentable generation but would have formidable adverse impact on future generation also. This threat has to the need for promoting sustainable. This concept of sustainability of agriculture is increasingly gaining importance throughout the world. But it is of special significance to India as the country will have to produce additional 5 million tones of food grains per year to meet the needs of growing population while availability of farmland and irrigation facilities will continue to shrink.
Sustainable agricultural development implied that the environmental capital stock should be held constant over time. Maintaining the natural capital stock should leads to the protection of both environmental function useful to humans and the habitats and ecosystems essential for biological diversity. What we now need urgently are simply and reliable tools of measuring sustainability. For example an appropriate form of measuring agricultural productivity will be
Productivity = —————— + changes in environmental capital stocks
We face many challenges in our quest to achieve sustainable food security. First land is a shrinking resource for agriculture and we have to produce more and more from less and less land. Secondly as agriculture becomes intensive soil toxicities and deficiencies of various kinds threaten sustainable production. Third pest and post harvest problems as well as energy requirements multiply when cropping intensity increase. Maximum yields start declining in high production areas and the cost of production goes up, if sustainability concepts are not integrated in both technology development and transfer.
Sustainable agriculture does not mean reverting back to traditional agriculture as it is commonly misunderstood. Induced it only recommends combining some old cultivation practices like crop rotation and green manuring with new ones which have natural ingredients too viz. Integrated pest management (IPM) integrated plant nutrient (IPNM) and crop rotation involving leguminous crops. This approach by duly taking care of environmental and social aspects will produce long run profits as against short run profits and thus sustaining production.
The Sustainable Agriculture Means:
1. To satisfy human food and fiber needs,
2. To enhance environmental quality and natural resource based upon which the agricultural economy depends,
3. To make the most efficient use of non-renewable resource and of farm resources and integrates, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls,
4. To sustain the economic viability of farm operations and enhances the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.
The essence of sustainable agriculture is that natural, environmental and capabilities have to be kept intact even while meeting the needs of current generation.