Sustainable Indigenous and Ancient Agriculture in India
Overview of Indian Agriculture
India is a large country, and agriculture is a direct and indirect livelihood for most people. Agriculture’s contribution to India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has reduced by less than 20%, while the advancement of other sectors has increased at a considerable rate.
India is a blessed country with plenty of arable lands with 15 agro-climatic zones and has all weather conditions and soil types. The largest producer of milk, tea, pulses, spices, jute and cashew in the world. India also leads in producing wheat, oilseeds, sugarcane, vegetables, rice, cotton and fruits.
The increase in population, average household income, and globalization will increase the demand for better quantity, quality, and nutrient varieties. However, the decreasing availability of cultivable land will place pressure to meet the needs of more than a billion people.
Despite these progressions, the average productivity of crops is low. In the next decade, India would have the largest population globally and keeping the people well-fed with nutritious food will be a prime concern.
Most Indian farmers still don’t have respectable earnings as many of them get exploited by middlemen and other price control mechanisms. For the longest time after India independence in 1947, it has been a neglected area and caused a great deal of suffering to farmers. The recently passed farm laws is a big step forward, but that is only the first step.
Indigenous vs Modern / Sustainable vs Unsustainable
The proper implementation of these farm laws is an enormous task at hand, given the cultural diversity and different farming practices. Modern agriculture comes with a higher cost and inbuilt unsustainability associated with non-renewal resources like fertilizers made from foreign petrochemicals. There is a need to relook at these modern practices and adopt sustainable and organic farming methods.
Indigenous farming has been practised for thousands of years, and the inevitable proof lies in the survival and thriving of the Indian population and its ancient rich cultural history. The other exciting feature of these practices is the phenomenal diversity and understanding of food in India. It is witnessed clearly in the diverse and elaborate cuisine, which is unrivalled by any other part of the globe.
In fact, upon comparing the diversity of food and the variety of recipes for cooking that food, India is undoubtedly the most developed nation. The conventional view of developed western countries has poor food traditions that gravitate towards unhealthy junk fast food.
Agriculture projects in India
There are plenty of agricultural-related projects in India with tons of learning awaiting. Deep root into the indigenous farming, understand the importance of sustainable organic agriculture. The farmer is called the backbone of India for thousands of years; take the opportunity to explore why.