How Integrated Farming Systems Contribute to Promotion of Agricultural Biodiversity and Dietary Diversity in the Face of Climate Change in India

IMG_20160419_092303The latest report from the IPCC predicts that climate change will reduce agricultural production by 2% and the huger statistics shows that 827 million hungry people live on developing countries. And India has the highest number of underweight children less than five years of age. The Asian Development Bank predicted that failure to respond to climate changes may result in about 8.7% economic loss to India’s GDP by 2100. The recently released ‘The State of Food Insecurity in the World 20141’ by FAO, IFAD & WFP report says that though there is decrease of proportion of undernourished in total population by 36% when compared to 1990-92, the “progress insufficient to reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target 1C if observed trends persist”. Earlier, the planning commission of India in its XII plan document concern regarding food security, farmers’ income, and poverty. As the agriculture in India provides employment and livelihood opportunities to most of India’s rural population, and the climate change in temperature and rainfall leads to increase in floods and droughts, there is an urgent need to develop mitigating strategies for food and nutritional security and livelihoods of the people. In the selected area of intervention, the Chotanagpur region which comprises all the districts of Jharkhand has about 40% people living in below the poverty line, about 50% of the children under age of 3 years are malnourished, and 3/4th of young children and adolescent girls are anaemic, with significant vitamin A deficiency (UNICEF, 2014)2. And in study carried out to know the local perceptions on climate change; it was found that the farmers in Chotanagpur plateau have meagre knowledge about its possible impact. Thus there is a need for more awareness on the impact of climate change, conservation of biodiversity for food and agriculture (agro biodiversity). This would help us in working towards food and nutritional security and sustainability in India.

Source: How Integrated Farming Systems Contribute to Promotion of Agricultural Biodiversity and Dietary Diversity in the Face of Climate Change in India

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Author: Sridhar Gutam

Plant Physiologist and Open Access evangelist

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