Striking a balance between sustainable farming and feeding a billion people

Farm inputs these types of as chemical fertilisers, hybrid seeds and insecticides have performed a essential part in expanding the country’s food items output around the previous number of decades. Even so, the enter-intensive cropping techniques have raised problems on their economic, social and environmental affect, triggering desire to make farming far more sustainable.

The availability of more affordable urea has led to its surplus software by farmers, resulting in a nutrient imbalance, which has impacted soil health and fitness and major, in transform, to degradation in soil excellent. These kinds of a craze has started impacting farm efficiency.

Soil health and fitness card

The soil health and fitness card (SHC) plan introduced by the Modi governing administration in 2015 has entered into the fifth 12 months. So much, the governing administration has issued about 22.forty three crore SHCs. The card gives facts to farmers on the nutrient status of their soil, and produces recognition on the correct dosage of nutrients to be applied for enhancing soil health and fitness and its fertility.

The SHC plan seems to have started earning an affect as the use of nitrogenous fertilisers has dropped marginally since 2015-16. At the identical time, the offtake of phosphorous and potassic nutrients has improved marginally. Modern studies clearly show that fertiliser use has occur down by about a tenth, although boosting efficiency, resulting in increased farm incomes.

The around-use of pesticides and insecticides remains a issue. The poisonous residue on food items items thanks to the use of pesticides has led to health and fitness difficulties, triggering a variety of life style conditions. This has only improved the clamour for sustainable farming.

The session on ‘Balancing farm efficiency and sustainable agriculture’, at the BusinessLine Agriculture Summit to be held in New Delhi on February 28, will have industry experts from the enter sector deliberating on the steps necessary to sustain development in food items output although earning it sustainable.

Though the governing administration has been urging farmers to go back to the essentials and adopt methods these types of as natural farming, the challenge ahead is to maintain and increase food items to feed the burgeoning inhabitants. This assumes significance as the shrinking craze in sources these types of as land and drinking water will pose major difficulties going ahead.

In these types of a circumstance, inputs are going to have a essential part in feeding the developing inhabitants. Biotechnology-led alternatives, by enhanced seeds, offer an selection for the plan makers to check out. As local climate improve manifests alone, there is a will need to strike a harmony in the usage of inputs to make farming sustainable and deal with problems on the environment and health and fitness.

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