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1. Introduction.
2. Indias Agricultural Development.
3. Agricultural Links to Biodiversity.
4. Agriculture: Its Impact on biodiversity.
5. Measures for Developing Agriculture In
6. Conclusion.
7. Reference.

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AGRICULTURE (also called farming or
husbandry) is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other
life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life.
Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary
human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species
created food surpluses that nurtured the development of
civilization. The study of agriculture is known as agricultural
science. Agriculture is also observed in certain species of ant
and termite, but generally speaking refers to human activities.
Agriculture in India is a major economic sector and it creates
plenty of employment opportunities as well.
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BIODIVERSITY refers to the number, variety, and
variability among plant, animal, and microorganism species,
their genetic diversity, and the ecological systems in which they
exist. Biodiversity is defined at three levels.

Genetic diversity refers to the different genes and variations
found within a species. The different varieties of wheat are
an example.

Species diversity is the variety and abundance of different
species in a region. Examples are the number and variety
of trees, and the different species of mammals and their
populations found within an area.

Ecosystem diversity is the variety of habitats, such as
grasslands or wetlands that occur within a region. An
ecosystem is a complex of plants, animals, and
microorganisms, interacting with each other as well as with
the chemical and physical factors making up their
environment. Ecosystems are difficult to define, since the
boundaries of ecosystems are inherently fluidcomponents
move in and out. Ecosystems often overlap, or are components
of larger ecosystems. This lack of clear delimitation is often a
barrier to the effective design and enforcement of ecosystem

For too long the agricultural and environmental
communities have been at odds with each other over
biodiversity when in fact they share many concerns. Agriculture
is often cost as a homogenization agenda on the landscape
obliterating much of the biodiversity to make room for crops and
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livestock. Some agricultural practices also trigger downstream
impact on biodiversity such as water pollution with agro
chemicals. While it is true that agriculture has caused harm to
the environment, agriculture is the key to saving biodiversity
and farming and livestock practices can be honed to minimize
environmental damage
Humanity has been farming for at least 10,000 years.
For most of that time, agriculture has been small-scale, labour-
intensive and relatively low-tech. The last half-century,
however, has witnessed a rapid revolution in the technology of
agricultural production, particularly in the developed world, that
has allowed the widespread adoption of industrial-scale farming
By contrast, the agricultural landscape in many of the poorest
countries continues to be dominated by smallholder farmers
growing crops either for their own subsistence, or for markets
over which they have limited influence. Governments,
particularly in developing countries, are no longer investing
heavily in agriculture. But they remain keen, on the one hand, to
ensure that their countries produce enough food for their
growing populations, and on the other, to exploit any
opportunities that exist in the export market.
Developing countries that try to meet these two objectives find
themselves in a dilemma. Highly productive agriculture is
undoubtedly good for a countrys social and economic stability.
And greater agricultural productivity should, in theory, enhance
food security and raise standards of living in farming
communities. But there is growing evidence, backed by a
substantial body of research that modern agricultural techniques
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in both rich and poor countries are helping to undermine the
natural resource base of the economies that depend upon it. This
includes contributing significantly to the loss of biodiversity.
The aim of this policy brief is to outline the challenges, and
some of the choices, that face policymakers in the developing
world who want to increase the agricultural productivity of their
country, yet also safeguard biodiversity. In this way they might
prevent the sacrifice of their populations long-term interests in
favor of short-term social or economic gains.

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Indias Agricultural Development

Agriculture in India is a major economic sector and it
creates plenty of employment opportunities as well.
India agriculture has an extensive background which goes back
to 10 thousand years. At present, in terms of agricultural
production, the country holds the second position all over the
world. In 2007, agriculture and other associated industries such
as lumbering and forestry represented around 16.6% of the
Gross Domestic Product of the country. In addition, the sector
recruited about 52% of the entire manpower.

Regardless of the fact that there has been a gradual slump in its
contribution to the gross domestic product of the country, India
agriculture is currently the biggest industry in India. On the
whole, it has a key role in the socioeconomic growth of the

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In terms of agricultural contribution, the following states in
India are the most developed states:
Uttar Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
West Bengal
All these states play a key role in the agrarian development of

Agricultural Products in India

India ranks first in producing the following agricultural outputs:
Fresh fruit
Tropical fresh fruit
Pigeon peas
Castor oil seed
Safflower seeds
Sesame seeds
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Dry chillies and peppers
Cow's milk
Cashew nuts
Buffalo milk
In addition, the country also ranks as the top producer of millets
such as Bajra, Jowar, and Ragi. In terms of rice production,
India holds the second position after China.

About 10% of the fruits produced in the world are produced in
India. India holds the first position in the world in producing the
following fruits:
India holds the third rank in the world in the production of the
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By coffee production, India holds the sixth rank in the world.

India houses the biggest number of livestock in the world and
the count is 281 million. In 2008, the country housed the second
biggest number of cattle in the world and the count was 175
million livestock.

India ranks as the second biggest producer of the following:
Fresh vegetables
Cotton seed and lint
Goat meat
Nutmeg and Mace
Dry beans
Green peas
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Inland fish
The population of India is increasing at a faster pace than its
capacity to produce wheat and rice.

India holds the second position in production of wheat, rice,
cotton, sugarcane, and groundnuts. It is also the second biggest
harvester of vegetables and fruit, representing 8.6% and 10.9%
of the overall vegetable and fruit production in the world

The country is the top producer of jute, milk, and pulses and
holds the second rank in the production of silk and it is the
biggest consumer of silk in the world. In 2005, the country
produced 77,000 million tons of silk.

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Agricultures Links To Biodiversity

Agriculture and biodiversity are interlinked without biodiversity,
agriculture cannot progress. Biodiversity is both wild and
managed habitats are vital resources for crop and livestock
improvement and without improved agriculture most of the
remaining habitats for wild life will be destroyed to make room
for farms plantations and ranches. Biodiversity is thus much
more then the preservation of habitats for unique and interesting
plants and animals. People in rural and even urban areas are
intimately involved in using biodiversity to supply their needs.
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Most of the earths surface has been transformed by human
activities and how biological resources are treated in cultural
landscapes will largely determine how much biodiversity
survives in the next century. Both indigenous knowledge and
scientific research are needed to meet the challenge of
intensifying agriculture in an environment friendly manner and
understanding how the landscape mosaic of cultural habitats
could contribute to conservation of biodiversity.
Agriculture in the strictest sense is the rearing of a breed or
variety of our choice for human (nutrition) purposes. As such,
agriculture alters the natural landscape and necessarily impacts
flora and fauna which can be found there by dictating what may
flourish and what not. It is a well-researched fact that
biodiversity is grossly impacted through human activities, with
agriculture taking up 47% of land.
Biodiversity is responsible for a plethora of ecosystem services
we currently take for granted: pollination, cleansing of air and
water, producing organic matter, recycling nutrients, pest control
through natural enemies, etc. Many of these services play a
significant role for agricultural productivity and maintaining a
healthy environment. It is therefore no exaggeration to claim
that biodiversity is the foundation for all agriculture, and it is
thus pivotal to be mindful of the loss of biodiversity when
designing and managing farms and agricultural land.
Maintaing this biodiversity is essential for sustainable
agriculture and food production from ensuring the quality and
health of soil, air and water, to maintaining the diversity of
pollinators and plants.
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In part, biodiversity has even been created by humans. Mankind
has introduced countless new varieties and breeds of indigenous
plants and animals the so-called agro biodiversity. Over
10,000 years, we have bred numerous plant species and
re-gional varieties for human use.
Agriculture is widely considered the single most important
threat to biodiversity conservation and the greatest driver of
habitat destruction and change in India.
Agriculture also has a negative impact on biodiversity
conservation primarily through the expansion of the agricultural
frontier, at the expense of natural habitat. Today, the nature of
the threat of agriculture to biodiversity conservation has

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Agriculture: Its Impacts On

Agriculture has the potential to disturb or destroy the balance of
an ecosystem through disruptive practices on existing farmland
or by converting uncultivated land to farmland. While extensive
farming has over time destroyed natural habitats, especially in
the Great Plains region, massive expansion of U.S. farmland is
no longer a major concern. Agricultural land use has remained
relatively stable since 1945, while cultivated area has declined.
Activities associated with agricultural production may affect
biodiversity in several ways. Examples of such activities include
erosive tilling, improper grazing and animal waste disposal
practices, irrigation with its potential for salinity, the
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introduction of new species into an ecosystem for pest control,
and application of agrichemicals with their potential for leaching
into ground water, or runoff into streams and other waterways.
As a result of such activities, soil composition may be altered so
that naturally occurring , soil-enriching organisms and nutrients
are lost. Water distribution and quality may be diminished such
that certain naturally occurring plants and animals may no
longer thrive. Atmospheric properties may change if carbon
dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide levels are higher than they
would be in unmanaged systems. The landscape structure may
increase erosion and/or reduce wildlife habitat. Or species
interactions may be altered as the diversity of flora and fauna are
diminished, thus reducing linkages between species and
impairing ecosystem functions.
Agricultural activities vary widely in their intensity and effects
on biodiversitye.g., unmanaged rangeland used periodically
for grazing will have higher levels of biodiversity than close
grown field crops that are not rotated. Moreover, agricultures
adverse effects on biodiversity can be mitigated. Adoption of
more judicious grazing practices in recent years has
aided wildlife production and plant growth by enhancing habitat
and reducing shading. This allows a greater variety of plants to
grow. Crop rotations, particularly those involving nitrogen-
fixing plants, can restore soil nutrients. Intensive management
techniques e.g., site-specific or precision farmingcan use
water and agrichemicals more efficiently, helping to prevent
degradation of water quality. The use of buffer/filter strips near
waterways, and proper crop cover on marginal land, can lower
erosion and chemical runoff while improving water quality and
creating wildlife habitat. Integrated pest management techniques
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allow farmers to use pesticides more selectively, and can include
the introduction of beneficial insects.
There are a number of factors that directly or indirectly link to
the impact agriculture has on Biodiversity, these include:
Arterial and field drainage - Active drainage for the
creation of farmland (land reclamation) has caused a
decrease in wetlands, which has led to direct damage and
decline in many species of plant, mammal and insect.

Commonage Division Division of commonage areas
into small more intensively farmed units.

Land reclamation including the removal of small-
scale farmland habitats-The removal of habitats such
as trees, hedges, dry stone walls, woodland and scrub,
together with land reclamation, create a decline in the
native biodiversity of areas.

The substitution of silage making for haymaking-
Silage making is generally more intensive than
haymaking leading to a decline in grassland habitats
creating problems for many species, most publicly the
corncrake (Crex crex).

The abandonment of small-scale crop rotation -The
abandonment of small-scale crop rotation and the
intensification of large-scale farming has increased the
amount of nutrients being added to the land resulting in
eutrophication and pollution of water courses.

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Increasing the number of sheep and overgrazing of
marginal grasslands and heaths - Overgrazing has
caused the destruction of many habitats especially
peatlands. Overgrazing results in the exposure of bare
rock and the widening of rivers, and increased
braiding of channels, making their course highly
unstable from one flood event to another.

Increased use of fertilisers, increased stocking
densities and increased nutrient inputs through
supplementary feeding - Due to these increases in
fertilisers, stocking densities and nutrients there has
been an increase in pollution of rivers leading to loss of
biodiversity, especially in sensitive rivers such as
Salmonid rivers

There are many environmental, economic,ethical and social
reasons why you should be concerned with protecting
biodiversity on your farm. The following are some of those
The raft of legislation that is now in place at both a European
and a National level makes it compulsory for you to protect
and enhance biodiversity to some extent. The main pieces of
legislation that apply to agriculture are The Local
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Government (Water Pollution Act) 1977 & 1990, The Nitrates
Directive and Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of
Waters Regulation 2006. Failure to comply with legislation
that is in place may result in fines, disruption to your farming
operations and cost of rehabilitation for damage done. It is
therefore imperative that you are aware of obligations.

Designation of Special Areas of Conservation, Natural
Heritage Areas and Special Protection Areas means that there
may be areas on your land that are of particular importance to
biodiversity and have been afforded special protection under
European and domestic legislation. The system of farming
therefore is usually different here and prescribed to protect the
biodiversity. It is therefore important that you are fully aware
of any designations on your farmland and that your
agricultural practices in these areas are in line with those

3.Protect the local natural heritage:
For many farmers the land that you farm today has been part
of your familys heritage for generations. The ecosystems that
make up your farm are part of your natural local heritage and
should be protected in order to ensure its survival.

4.Meet the expectations of consumers and local
More and more there is demand from consumers and local
communities for farmers to carry out their activities in a
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manner that is sustainable and protective of all aspects of the
environment. Consumers are demanding a high standard when
it comes to food and many are turning to organic produce.
Likewise local communities expect farmers the custodians of
the landscape to protect and enhance the local biodiversity.

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10 measures for developing the
Agricultural sector in India:
Since the dawn of independence, several steps have been taken
to develop the agricultural sector of the country. The major
breakthrough has been achieved in food grains production.
The production of food grains which was 550 lakh tonnes in
1950 substantially moved to 1991 lakh tonnes in 1995.
However, the various measures employed from time to time can
be discussed as: The various technical measures employed to
develop agriculture are as under:
1. Multiple Cropping:
Multiple cropping aims at maximizing production per unit of
land and per unit of time by taking three or four crops in a year.
By adopting multiple cropping, there are two advantages as of
getting increased returns and economy of the farm resources.
2. Expansion of Irrigation Facilities:
Irrigation facilities have increased manifold over time. Several,
minor, medium and major irrigation projects have been launched
in the country. At the inception of First Five Year Plan, India
had only 18% of total irrigated area which at present increased
to about 33.9 percent.
Moreover, dry farming has also been introduced in those areas
where means of permanent irrigation cannot be installed. In
1994-95 the country witnessed total irrigated area of 876 lakh
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3. Use of HYV Seeds:
HYV seeds have absolutely revolutionized Indian agriculture by
increasing yield per acre. Among these, mention may be made
of dwarf varieties of wheat PU-18, Kalyan Sona 227, Sona Lika,
Hybrid maize, Vijay, Rice I R-8, Jhona 351, Padma and Jaya
4. Plant Protection:
Considerable efforts have been made to protect the crops from
the insects and pests. For this purpose, 14 Central Plant
Protection Centres have been set up by the Govt.
5. Scientific Methods of Cultivation:
In the planning period, stress has been laid on the scientific
methods of cultivation. It has been emphasized to adopt superior
agricultural technology in respect of crop rotation, selection of
quality seeds, use of proper manure, treatment of soil, selection
of crops etc.
In this regard, Government has initiated Intensive Agricultural
Area Programme. Moreover, several Agricultural research
centers and universities have also been established.
In this regard, Haryana Agricultural University Hissar, Punjab
Agricultural University Ludhiana, Himachal Agricultural
University Palampur, ICAR, Delhi is playing a pioneer role to
develop agriculture.

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6. Use of Mechanization:
Mechanization is another noteworthy step employed to develop
agriculture. Small farmers are assisted with cheap credit
facilities through co-operative societies, community
development blocks to purchase machinery and other modern
7. More Use of Chemical Fertilizers:
Use of chemical fertilizers has also contributed significantly to
the growth of agricultural output. Several steps have been taken
to encourage the use of cow-dung as manure rather than as fuel.
In 1950-51, 0.13 million tonnes of chemical fertilizers was used
which in 1980-81 increased to 5.52 million tonnes and further to
12.54 million tonnes in 1990-91. In 1995-96, the use of
chemical fertilizers was recorded to the tune of 15.7 million

8. Development of Agricultural Land:
Efforts have been made to develop agricultural land during the
five year plans. Major success has been achieved in the leveling
of land, terracing of fields and contour building. Land surveys
are also being conducted.
9. Animal Husbandry:
Animal husbandry has assumed a much broader role in the
overall agricultural development. Presently, this sector accounts
for 25% of gross value of agricultural output. India's vast
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livestock population offers tremendous potential for meeting
domestic demand for milk, egg, meat, wool, etc.
10. Land Reforms:
In a bid to increase agricultural productivity, land reforms are of
immense use. Since the dawn of independence, Government, of
India has undertaken several land reform measures. For instance,
Abolition of zamidari system, Fixation of ceilings on Land
Holdings, Consolidation of Land Holdings, co-operative farming

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Although India missed the opportunity to open up two decades
ago, its attempts to do so now must be regarded as better late
than never .It is observed that the logic of the global economy as
well as Indias interests dictate that India becomes proactive in
its liberalization policies. India must liberalize not because it has
no choice but because it is the best choice. India has adopted a
victim mentality when it really needs to adopt a winner
mentality has become less of a concern as over time, India has
shown commitment to stay on the bandwagon of globalization.
Having realized that globalization is a necessary but not a
sufficient condition for high growth production, India has
undertaken economic reforms, both internal and external.
However, it must be ensured that these reforms are synchronized
so that the pace of both reforms is set right in order to work hand
in hand to promote agricultural productivity grow.
Thus, training the farmers and educating them
appropriately to change their mindset and reorienting them to
take up new activities or adopt foreign technology is of utmost
importance. In this context, it is necessary to involve non-
governmental organizations in training and mobilizing the rural
poor to face the challenge of liberalization. Also, with domestic
economic reforms, more care needs to be exercised to draw up
state-specific liberalization measures to maximize their benefits.
Lastly, in the implementation of these reforms for successful
globalization, one crucial element, not entirely within control is
the need for good governance and stability in the political and
economic environment. Political leaders who are the ultimate
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decision makers in these matters need to examine their own role
It is quite apparent that at this relatively early stage,
there is little observable evidence of gains to Indias agricultural
performance after opening up. However, there could easily be
benefits that have not yet surfaced, or are yet to be identified and
perhaps too difficult or intangible to measure. Whatever the
case, it is highly likely that it is too soon to assess the full impact
of globalization and economic reforms. Furthermore, the process
of liberalization has been gradual and remains incomplete. For
example, the complete removal of quantitative restrictions after
March 2001 will have provided an opportunity for Indian
farmers to tap world markets and, if they are successful, results
should start to become evident soon. Export promotion via the
development of export and trading houses as well as effective
liberalizing export promotion zone schemes for agriculture are
fairly recent measures and only time will tell as to how effective
these measures are. Other possibilities such as agro-industry
parks for promoting exports are also in the pipeline.
In conclusion, India has successfully set sail on the
waters of globalization and economic reforms and even in the
wake of economic and political instability, she has to carefully
steer her course in order to reap the benefits of increased
productivity growth in the agricultural sector.
Of all the aspects of biodiversity, the conservation of
agricultural biodiversity, and the provision of space for
conserving wild biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, has
perhaps the greatest potential for practical, sustainable solutions
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that are implemented because they benefit both people and
natural ecosystems.
In recent times, agriculture and biodiversity have
coexisted uneasily, with modern agriculture largely winning
most battles for resources. Yet the future of each is inextricably
bound up in the other.

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