Natural Resource Management
Enhancing farmers’ capacities to use and conserve natural resources (agro-biodiversity, land and water management) and indigeous knowledge in an efficient and sustainable manner is an important issue in Indian agriculture. This includes enhancement of crop and livestock including fishery productivity in intensified and more sustainable farming systems. Farmer participation is decisive for this approach.
In view of the water scarcity and the growing competition for water for agricultural, household and industrial use, efficient and sustainable management of water resources, with a focus at the watershed and local level is another important topic. Through its consortia the NAIP will aim to combine short- and possibly long-term economic benefits (farmers’ interests) with longer-term environmental concerns (public interest) and favorable institutional development.
Soil health has been affected adversely owing to depletion of organic carbon, imbalanced use of nutrients, micro-nutrient deficiency, etc. The proper understanding of this issue and addressing the issue through appropriate interventions by following an IPNM approach assumes significance.
Precision agriculture may be explored to tackle the inadequate replenishment of the soil with nutrients in very intensive cropping systems like rice-wheat, which have led to reduction in factor productivity, water use efficiency, nutrient use efficiency, and as a whole, input use efficiency.
Global warming is becoming an important issue for sustainable agriculture. Understanding its effects and developing adaptation and mitigation strategies should receive attention. Component 4 address this issue.
There is an increasing appreciation about the quality of food as well as the extent to which the environment is affected by excessive and indiscriminate application of chemicals. Therefore, organic farming is attracting greater attention worldwide. The various factors for successful adoption of organic agriculture in selected areas where they have competitive advantage may be analyzed, and research for generating technologies that support modern organic farming may be strengthened. Such research may not only contribute to enhanced nutritional and environmental security but also improve export prospects in the country.