Adopt agro-ecol­ogy

Down to Earth - - LETTERS -

This is with ref­er­ence to the ed­i­to­rial Prom­ise me the mon­soon (1-15 June, 2015). To­day, we can go to the moon, but are de­pen­dent on the mercy of the rain gods to pro­duce our food. This is be­cause of our overde­pen­dence on high-car­bon, mono-crop­ping, in­dus­trial agri­cul­ture lead­ing to ap­pro­pri­a­tion of huge amounts of fresh­wa­ter for ir­ri­ga­tion. We ex­pect that ex­ter­nal in­puts will en­able us to pro­duce the de­sired out­put. So we defy plan­ta­tion of suit­able crops in ac­cor­dance with agro-cli­matic zones and cul­ti­vate wa­ter-guz­zling crops in dry ar­eas to max­imise profit. The re­sult is ei­ther wa­ter­log­ging or de­ple­tion of ground­wa­ter due to ex­cess ir­ri­ga­tion. It is time to shift our fo­cus to the al­ter­na­tive avail­able—tra­di­tional, low-car­bon, poly-crop­ping, re­source-pre­serv­ing type of agri­cul­ture based on agro-eco­log­i­cal prin­ci­ples. This will im­prove crops' re­silience to the va­garies of cli­mate—by adopt­ing bio­di­ver­sity as well as soil qual­ity to re­tain more mois­ture. This will also mit­i­gate cli­mate change by bio-se­questring car­bon, both in the soil and plant mass. Large-scale in­tro­duc­tion of agro-eco­log­i­cal meth­ods along with wa­ter har­vest­ing will surely bring food se­cu­rity to the na­tion. SWA­PAN KU­MAR MUKHOPAD­HYAY

(FROM THE WEB)

TARIQUE AZIZ / CSE

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