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Agriculture: Instrument for Sustainable Development

Agriculture: Instrument for Sustainable Development

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Published by Pharmenash Ch Marak
Agriculture: Instrument for Sustainable Development.
Agriculture was one of the oldest trades practiced by a man. In late 6000 B.C., man developed what Professor Gordon Childe calls “an aggressive attitude to his environment.” He learnt to grow food crops, to tame domestic animals, to make pots, and to weave garments. Developed agriculture and permanent settlement probably began in the 7th millennium B.C., in the Middle East. Agriculture in the modern world is technically adaptive and most of the crops are improved and genetically modified in the developed nations. But advance modern agriculture in the developing nations suffers from technical backwardness and unavailability of know-how, though developing nations account for two-third of the world’s agriculture value in terms of money.
In the 21st century agriculture continues to be fundamental instrument for sustainable development. According to the Brundtland Report “Our Common Future,” (1987); “sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
With rising resource scarcity and mounting externalities, agricultural development and environmental protection have become closely intertwined. Agriculture globally accounts for 30 percent of the green house gases emissions and agriculture’s large environmental footprint can be reduced by making farming systems made less vulnerable to climate change, and agriculture harnessed to deliver more environmental services. More sustainable production systems can be achieved through proper government policies and incentives. The first step in this is to get the incentive right by strengthening property rights and removing the subsidies that encourage the degradation of natural resources. It may not be out of place to mention here that expenditure on gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) is comparatively more effective in enhancing the value of agricultural production. Impact of subsidies is restricted only to the short run, whereas, investment on fixed capital has a longer and sustained impact on agricultural growth. Also imperative is adapting to climate change, which will hit poor farmers, the hardest—and hit them unfairly because they have contributed little to its causes.
Agriculture in the World Development Report 2008 consists of crops, livestock, agro forestry, and aquaculture excluding forestry and captured fishes. Agriculture contributes to development as an economic activity. Given the ‘Big Push’ agriculture can be a source of growth for our national economy. Revival of agriculture in the more sustainable platform will be a prime driver of agriculture-related industries and the rural nonfarm economy. In India agriculture and allied sectors contribute nearly 22 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while about 65-70 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.
Agriculture can create negative and positive externalities. Agriculture is the largest user of water, contributing to water scarcity. It is also a major cause of underground water depletion, agrochemical pollution, accounting for 30 percent of green house gas emissions, which is due to lack of proper disposal of the biomass, which is the negative externalities of the agriculture. In most part of India shifting cultivation is practiced, which is unsustainable and it is one of the major causes of deforestation and soil erosion. It is also a major provider of environmental services; it provides the required resource and acts as sink (absorbent of effluent discharged by human activities).the environmental services provided by agriculture are generally unrecognizable and unremunerated. Substitution of fossil fuels by bio fuel is helpful in meeting the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change to reduce green house gas emissions. Substitution of fossil fuel with ethanol and bio-diesel has been particularly successful in develo
Agriculture: Instrument for Sustainable Development.
Agriculture was one of the oldest trades practiced by a man. In late 6000 B.C., man developed what Professor Gordon Childe calls “an aggressive attitude to his environment.” He learnt to grow food crops, to tame domestic animals, to make pots, and to weave garments. Developed agriculture and permanent settlement probably began in the 7th millennium B.C., in the Middle East. Agriculture in the modern world is technically adaptive and most of the crops are improved and genetically modified in the developed nations. But advance modern agriculture in the developing nations suffers from technical backwardness and unavailability of know-how, though developing nations account for two-third of the world’s agriculture value in terms of money.
In the 21st century agriculture continues to be fundamental instrument for sustainable development. According to the Brundtland Report “Our Common Future,” (1987); “sustainable development is the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
With rising resource scarcity and mounting externalities, agricultural development and environmental protection have become closely intertwined. Agriculture globally accounts for 30 percent of the green house gases emissions and agriculture’s large environmental footprint can be reduced by making farming systems made less vulnerable to climate change, and agriculture harnessed to deliver more environmental services. More sustainable production systems can be achieved through proper government policies and incentives. The first step in this is to get the incentive right by strengthening property rights and removing the subsidies that encourage the degradation of natural resources. It may not be out of place to mention here that expenditure on gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) is comparatively more effective in enhancing the value of agricultural production. Impact of subsidies is restricted only to the short run, whereas, investment on fixed capital has a longer and sustained impact on agricultural growth. Also imperative is adapting to climate change, which will hit poor farmers, the hardest—and hit them unfairly because they have contributed little to its causes.
Agriculture in the World Development Report 2008 consists of crops, livestock, agro forestry, and aquaculture excluding forestry and captured fishes. Agriculture contributes to development as an economic activity. Given the ‘Big Push’ agriculture can be a source of growth for our national economy. Revival of agriculture in the more sustainable platform will be a prime driver of agriculture-related industries and the rural nonfarm economy. In India agriculture and allied sectors contribute nearly 22 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while about 65-70 percent of the population is dependent on agriculture for their livelihood.
Agriculture can create negative and positive externalities. Agriculture is the largest user of water, contributing to water scarcity. It is also a major cause of underground water depletion, agrochemical pollution, accounting for 30 percent of green house gas emissions, which is due to lack of proper disposal of the biomass, which is the negative externalities of the agriculture. In most part of India shifting cultivation is practiced, which is unsustainable and it is one of the major causes of deforestation and soil erosion. It is also a major provider of environmental services; it provides the required resource and acts as sink (absorbent of effluent discharged by human activities).the environmental services provided by agriculture are generally unrecognizable and unremunerated. Substitution of fossil fuels by bio fuel is helpful in meeting the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change to reduce green house gas emissions. Substitution of fossil fuel with ethanol and bio-diesel has been particularly successful in develo

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Published by: Pharmenash Ch Marak on Aug 25, 2011
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05/30/2012

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