Sustainable agriculture practices for food and nutritional security
The demand for increased food production and ecological threats for sustainable food production in years to come has resulted in relooking at the current agricultural practices. Globally, scientists are developing solutions for increasing crop productivity and developing nutritionally better crops that are more efficient in resource utilization. The challenge is not just restricted to more mouths to feed but also due to economic growth, the demand for food is increasing and so are the preferences for the kind of food. The availability of land for agricultural purposes is also on a decline because increase in population also demands additional infrastructure in terms of housing, land and industrial development. The threat of climate change is expected to have negative impact on agriculture especially in the developing part of the world as in the tropical region which is more densely populated. The impact might be more positive in temperate areas where temperatures are low and increase in temperature will actually help in agricultural growth. Unfortunately, water which is essential for plant growth is also becoming a scarce resource. All these demands for renewed thinking on agricultural practices being followed, becoming more innovative in terms of developing new technologies and developing policies for long-term sustainability for agriculture. The government policies are also shifting from providing more subsidies to favouring technologies that provide long-term ecological security. Issues related to some of the new technologies, such as biosafety concerns with transgenic crops and issues related to receding water table by some paddy varieties, are being seriously considered by the governments. This chapter discusses about issues related to sustainability of existing agriculture, lessons learnt from green revolution and possibility of new technologies so as to have sustainable ever-green revolution.