In India progress in agriculture was through explitation of recourses to serve the interest of rules in the power. In the post- independence era, we were faced with the difficult task of feeding an increasing population and were burned by recurring import of food grains. Attending self- sufficient in food grain production was the challenges and a goal before Agriculture scientist. The element of strategy to achieve self- sufficiency in food production within a short time were to expand the area under cropping, make large investments in development of water resources, develop input supplies and market infrastructure. Developments and promotion of high yielding varities responsive to high inputs was the cornerstone for green revolution of 1970.
We are self sufficient in food grain production. Now the question arises whether to follow the same strategies, which resulted in green revolutions or to redefine them. Consideration of our past achievement new challenges and the related development worldwide can answer this question.
1. Although we are now self sufficient in food grain production, the per capital availability has not increased significantly and a large fraction of population are still below poverty line due to lack of purchasing capacity.
2. At the present, growth rate of 2 % per annum, we will be about 1.3 billion by 2025 and 1.6 billion by 2060. hence there is need to produce more from shrinking resources base.
3. Major gains in productivity and production in the past three ecades have been from areas, which had no serious limitation to production (adequate irrigation productive soils, ideal climate etc.) productivity and production increases was moderate in eastern and central India and Deccan plateau.
4. Even in areas with no serious limitation for production, technology adopted for enhancing productivity has also simultaneous weekend the resource base resulting in a series of second – generation problems.
Modern crop production technology has considerably raised output but has created problems of land degradation pesticide residue in farm produce, gene erosion, and atmosphere and water pollution. The natural resources base is degraded and diminished and the quality of the environment sustaining human life is adversely affected. Agricultural production has sustained man and great civilization. The history of the world reveals that great civilization flourished along irrigation sources and mismanagement of these resources saw the extinction of these civilizations. With expanding population and rapid depletion and degradation of the natural resource base. Sustainable agriculture has assumed very great significance. The task of meeting the needs of the present generation without eroding the ecological assets of the future generation is receiving up priority by environmental planners.
The world sustainability is now widely used in developments circles. But what does it really mean? According to a dictionary meaning sustainability refers to keeping an effort going continuously, the ability to last out and keep from falling. In the context of agriculture, sustainability basically refers to the capacity to remain productive while mainating the resources base. For example, the Technical Advisory Committee og the Consultative group on International Agricultutal Research ( TAC/CGIAR) States: Sustainable agriculture is the successful management of resources for agriculture to satisfy human changing needs, while maintaining of enhancing the quality of the environments and conserving natural resources.
Judging Agricultural to be Sustainable if it is:
1. Ecological sound: which means that the quality of natural resources is maintained and the vitality of then entire agro-ecosystem form humans, crop and animal to soil organism is enhanced.
2. Economically viable: which means that farmers can produce enough for self- sufficient and or income is measured not only in terms of direct farm produce ( yield) but also in terms of function such as conservation resources and minimizes risks.
3. Socially just, which means that resources and power are distributed in such a way that the basic needs of all the members of society are met and their rights to land use, adequate capital technical assistant and market opportunities are assured.
4. Humane: Which means that all forms of life (plant, animal, human) are respected.
5. Adaptable: which means that rural communities are capable of adjusting to the constantly changing condition for farming populating growth, policies, market demand. Etc.
Definition: There are many definition of sustainable agriculture. Simply stated “Sustainable agriculture isa form of agriculture aimed at meeting the needs of the present generation without enhancing the resource base of the future generation.
In order to feed the burgeoning population more food has to be produced and this to be done without enhancing the resources base. Expanding agriculture to ecologically fragile area means Greater threat to environment. According to some workers sustainable agriculture is minimal dependence on synthetic Fertilizer, pesticide and antibiotics. It is also considered as a system of cultivation with the use of manure, crop rotation and minimal tillage.