(The Gist of Science Reporter) ECO – AGRI REVOLUTION
ECO – AGRI REVOLUTION : PRACTICAL LESSONS AND THE WAY AHEAD
THINKING about revolution, this is what this book offers - timely solution to
eco-agriculture restoration in the anthropogenic era. "Eco-agriculture", a
relatively recent concept, promotes socially and ecologically improved
sustainable rural land use practices, and higher levels of bio-diversity within
production systems.It also focuses on ecosystem services including bio-diversity
and watershed services at a landscape scale so as to make more space available
for wildlife habitat.
The author starts with a holistic view of man-earth and environment, their
inter-linkages in a rapidly worsening situation of the planet's environment. He
re-imagines the vision towards a pollution free eco-agriculture system with a
detailed synthesis of a range of agro-ecological practices to restore the
eco-agro system. So, eco-agriculture entails strategies and activities, such as
sustained land use systems based on agroecology, organic agriculture,
agroforestry permaculture; increasing agricultural and livestock productivity on
lands already in use; educing agrochemical use in rural areas; and establishing
corridors (strips of perennial vegetation linking fragments of native forests or
natural ecosystem), among other options.
At a time when the SDGs - Sustainable Development Goals endorsed by the
United Nations - put great emphasis on moving away from heavy and hazardous
inputs in the agricultural system to more eco-friendly and balanced farming,
eco-agriculture is the approach capable of producing enough food and accessible
food without harming the environment. This book is about moving from 'Know How'
to 'Do How' and brings about rich experience in industrial research and
farm-scale demonstrations in different parts of the world to show the practical
aspects of Eco Agriculture.
In the Foreword to the book, Prof. M.S. Swaminathan (eminent scientist and
father of Green Revolution) says, "Dr. Mehta has shown the way on how we can
achieve advances in productivity perpetuity without ecological harm and
therefore this book is extremely important and timely."
His 20:20 model for Eco Agriculture is increasingly regarded as the
practical and appropriate model for the coming Eco Agri Revolution. This model
is considered as most suitable for eco agri revolution and water management
practices . It increases farm production by over 20 % and reduces input cost by
over 20 % and that too in a sustainable manner. This sustainable agro-ecology
practice emerges as one of the significant practices in this book. Further, this
model seems relevant and practical for most countries of the world as emphasized
by Prof. LiJi (of Beijing Agri University, China) in his message: "I hope this
book and its 20-20 model will initiate policy makers, industry leaders and
practical farmers (in India, China and other countries) into the mainstream of
'Eco agriculture revolution' in this changing world".
The author's field experiences in the area of Bioshield, Water use
efficiencies, ICT, Rehabilitation post disasters viz. earthquake and tsunami,
Saline water agriculture and River revival projects, Urban agriculture and their
common link for Eco Agriculture Revolution make the book especially significant.
Though each of these topics and the author's field experiences are well
documented, one feels that more detailed accounts and the world scenario should
have been elaborated in more detail. There are at least three chapters regarding
multi microbial mixtures for bio-composites from agro wastes, eco-village-clean
village and a possible solution to crop residue burning which are technically
very important but how to scale up such efforts and policy guidelines needs
Finally, the author describes the 'Way Ahead' for the Eco Agri Revolution
including aspects of soil and water and COP 22. The conviction about the coming
Eco Agri Revolution and planning and implementation for a sustainable future are
the final thoughts that make this book extremely valuable.
In his message, Dr. R. Chidambaram (Principal Scientific Advisor to the Govt.
of India) says, "It (the book) should have a major impact on agricultural
planning and practices in India and around the world.”
Courtesy: Science Reporter