Water Spouts will speak volubly and endlessly about all the issues concerning water. The ongoing degradation, and growing scarcity, of the water supply here in the US, and the rest of the world. The continued absence of potable water in so many parts of the world. The work being done by NGOs, and charities, in the third world, to help alleviate the situation. The emphasis on WASH ( Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene ) so health and healthy water are maintained. "Water Spouts" will spout it all out.
Pro-farmer, eco-freindly: Natural manure from vermi-compost avoiding use of
chemical fertiliser adds to food safety initiatives.
That India faces the daunting challenge of feeding its
large and growing population with rising purchasing power amid current
low level of per capita food availability has by now become a clichéd
With a population of over 120 crores (1.2
billion) expanding at about 1.5 per cent a year and, thereby, adding
roughly 1.8 crore (18 million) mouths to be fed year after year, the
demand for food can only keep rising. Even as food and nutrition
security remains under stress, it is imperative that the poor are lifted
out of their poverty soon. The vantage position of agriculture to
deliver ‘growth with equity’ is by now well recognised.
the same time, demands on resources are set to propel higher, driven by
demographic pressure and emerging constraints in the availability of
natural resources such as water and land. So, can we have a ‘Green
economy’ that pursues growth while also promoting sustainable
development through more efficient use of resources?
a recent policy brief titled ‘Ensuring Food and Nutrition Security in a
Green Economy ’, the International Food Policy Research Institute
(IFPRI), has pointed out that the objective of a green economy is to
simultaneously work toward economic development, environmental
protection and greater social welfare.
particular, it can be achieved by reducing reliance on fossil fuel and
non-renewable resources. Like many emerging economies, India is already
facing the serious challenge of satisfying the basic needs of people -
provision of adequate and nutritious food, water, energy and housing at
Food prices rise
population growth and rising incomes drive demand for food higher,
rapidly changing food habits especially among the burgeoning middleclass
are set to transform the composition of the traditional food basket.
Importantly, with supply growth trailing demand growth and production
costs escalating, food prices will rise significantly. This is sure to
have adverse consequences for the poor, whose food and nutrition intake
already stands diluted. With higher incomes, the emerging middleclass
can afford to consume more fruits and vegetables, and more meat which
requires much more water and land to produce.
Food safety risks
addition, as people demand more perishable and processed foods, food
safety risks along the supply chain increase. These risks may also
increase with more intensive crop and livestock farming through
contamination with chemicals or pathogens, the IFPRI report pointed out.
Interestingly, while intensifying food production can boost the
country’s food security and serve the poor, it can also cause land
degradation, water pollution, depletion of water resources, and new pest
conditions, the frontline States of Punjab and Haryana are classic
examples of how grain mono-cropping over long years has resulted in soil
degradation and alarming decline in water table. Indeed, experts
assert, an ecological disaster is waiting to happen. The unintended
consequences highlight the need for adequate agricultural extension,
effective regulation, careful pricing policies, the correction of
inappropriate incentives, and policy responses that make intensive
agriculture compatible with sustainable management of natural resources
and the environment, the policy brief has asserted.
is significant for India in that our farm policies must discourage
sustained mono-cropping of grains and encourage crop rotation, enforce
water use efficiency by pricing it appropriately and more efficient
nutrient use as also have a more rational, well-dispersed national
procurement policy for fine cereals.
argue that agriculture in a green economy has immense potential to
address the unsustainable use of natural resources for food production;
and a strategy to develop a green economy can support poverty reduction
as well as food and nutrition security, if it is both pro-poor and
pro-agriculture because, in low-income countries, the agriculture sector
employs almost two-thirds of the labour force and generates about a
third of the gross domestic product. As for India, nearly 55 per cent of
the population is said to be dependent directly or indirectly on
agriculture and allied activities for a living and the contribution of
this sector to GDP is about 16 per cent.
represent the bulk of the poor and half of the world’s hungry; they
also depend on natural resources and ecosystem service for their
livelihoods; and so a sustainable management through a green economy is
bound to directly benefit them, experts point out. According to IFPRI,
an integrated approach to economic development, sustainable use of
natural resources and food production will avoid solutions with adverse
consequences for any one sector.
agriculture, such ‘triple-win’ situations can be achieved through
practices that reduce negative environmental effects while increasing
productivity and smallholder income. Important technologies include
plant breeding and slow-release fertilisers that increase nutrient-use
efficiency, integrated soil fertility management, precision agriculture,
integrated pest management, and further expansion of alternative wet
and dry irrigation for rice production (particularly in Asia). For a
green economy, there are additional factors to be considered. To fully
reflect the value of natural resources and set appropriate incentives,
the full cost of environmental degradation as well as all benefits of
ecosystem services should be taken into account by decision makers. New
indicators to evaluate cross-sectoral impacts - food and nutrition,
agriculture and natural resources - are necessary. Multiple
stakeholders, especially smallholders, consultations are critical. The
transition to a green economy is an opportunity to reconcile economic
needs with environmental concerns while promoting food and nutrition
security for poor and vulnerable people in one coherent policy
framework. By giving agriculture a central role in the green economy and
managing this transition effectively, the nation can accelerate its
efforts directed at hunger eradication and lifting people out of