On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
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1.1 World agriculture will undergo far-reaching economic and physical change in the coming 50 years. Population increase, urbanization and income growth will drive the demand for food while high energy prices, stress on natural resources, and climate change may act to constrain supply.
1.2 To feed the world’s growing population – projected to exceed 9 billion in 2050 (UN, 2009) – it will be necessary to boost the production of food and to do so sustainably. To be sustainable, agriculture will need to be intensified and its environmental footprint made to shrink.
1.3 Most of the projected population growth will occur in developing countries, where smallholder farming dominates and average yields are low.
1.4 The diminishing availability of agriculturally productive land and the need to minimize the further loss and degradation of natural habitats such as forests, wetlands, and long-term pastures call for efficiency gains in the use of resources and the achievement of higher yields.
1.5 The agricultural sector has potential to create economic growth in rural areas. It generates job opportunities in adding value (as in the food processing industry), in bringing agricultural products to the consumer (market linkages), and in providing support (infrastructure, information, quality control and training).
2.1 At the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defined “Sustainable agriculture and rural development” as follows:
“Sustainable development is the management and conservation of the natural resource base and the orientation of technological and institutional change in such a manner as to ensure the attainment and continued satisfaction of human needs for present and future generations. Such sustainable development (in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors) conserves land, water, plant and animal genetic resources, is environmentally non-degrading, technically appropriate, economically viable and socially acceptable.”
In 1995 FAO went on to define sustainable agriculture and rural development more specifically as a process that meets the following criteria:
• “ Ensures that the basic nutritional requirements of present and future generations, qualitatively and quantitatively, are met while providing a number of other agricultural products.
• Provides durable employment, sufficient income and decent living and working conditions for all those engaged in agricultural production.
• Maintains and, where possible, enhances the productive capacity of the natural resource base as a whole, and the regenerative capacity of renewable resources, without disrupting the functioning of basic ecological cycles and natural balances, destroying the socio-cultural attributes of rural communities, or causing contamination of the environment, and
• Reduces the vulnerability of the agricultural sector to adverse natural and socio-economic factors and other risks, and strengthens self-reliance.”
“ A sustainable agricultural system is one that can indefinitely meet the requirements for food, feed, and fiber at socially acceptable economical and environmental costs”
-Adapted from Pierre Crosson
3. Types of Farming
3.1 There are three broad types of farming:
traditional production systems,
conventional modern agriculture (such as Green Revolution technologies), and
4.1 Conway’s three properties are:
Source: Conway, G.R. and Barbier, E.B. 1990. After the Green Revolution. Sustainable Agriculture for Development. Earthscan, London. 205 p.
4. Properties of Sustainable Agriculture
4.2 Productivity Net increment of valued product per unit of resource (kg/ha for example)
4.3. Stability Degree to which productivity remains constant over time when not faced with a shock (1/CV productivity)
4.4 Resiliency The ability of a system to maintain or recover productivity when subject to stress or shock.
5. Sustainable agriculture indicators
Producers harvest food, feed and fiber
“Food” includes grain, fruits and vegetables, livestock, aquaculture, as well as natural products
Producers may also engage in processing and marketing of food, feed and fiber
Producers may reside in settled communities, refugee/IDP camps or be pastoralists
5.2 Agricultural Technologies
Agriculture technologies refer to
The practices of combining of land, labor, capital, and knowledge to
Produce, market, distribute, utilize, and trade food, feed, and fiber
Some examples: planting in rows, rotation, integrated farming systems, water conservation/harvesting, cover cropping, etc.
5.3 A sustainable agriculture system
Nurtures natural resources and maintains ecological balance
Is driven by market demand and economically viable
Ensures local replicability, gender equity, and social acceptability
Generates predictable income
Considers availability of household labor and seasonality of labor demand
6. Contribution of Agriculture to Economy in BANGLADESH
6.1 84% : Population in rural areas
- 23.4% : Agri-contribution to GDP
- 13.44%: Crop sector’s contribution
- 63% : Labour force in agriculture
- Modern Agriculture: Production, Development, Processing,
1972-73 : US$ 13000 Export Earning from Horticulture
1992-93 : US$ 9 m Export Earning from Horticulture
1997-98 : US$ 32 m Export Earning from Horticulture
1998-99 : US$ 18 m Export Earning from Horticulture
2001-02 : US$ 15 Export Earning from Horticulture
8. Challenges in Agriculture
8.1 Depletion of Soil Fertility : low nutrition + low C
8.2 Falling Productivity of HYV : Stagnancy in Research
8.3 Dominition of Rice : 75% Cropped area
8.4 Decrease of Cultivable Land : 82000 ha decrease annually
8.5 Population Increase : Additional 2.5 mmt by 2015
8.6 Non-Irrigated Land : 42%
8.7 High Production Cost : Irrigation 26% P. Cost Subsidy only 0.1%
8.8 Marketing and storage Problems
Fig-2 : Projected Food Availability Scenario
9.1 Transforms Agriculture into a dynamic Sector
9.2 Requires Updating
10. Farewell Call
“ If you want to be happy for the whole day- slaughter a sheep and have a feast with your friends. If you want to be happy for about a month then marry. But if you want to be happy for many years to come then go for gardening.”