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• Introduction
• From Natural Ecosystems to Agro-Ecosystems
• Present situation of major agro-ecosystems in Sri Lanka
• Recommendations for transformation to agro-ecosystems
• Rice field agro-ecosystem
• Evergreen agro-ecosystem concept
• Boundary Green Avenue Concept
• Home garden intensification
• Activities to establish tea, rubber and coconut agro-eco systems
Biomimicry and Sustainable Agriculture: Nature-
Inspired Solutions for a Greener Future
Presentation made for the Webinar Series on Biomimicry for
sustainability on 1st June 2024
Dr. P.B. Dharmasena, dharmasenapb@gmail.com
Evolution of small agricultural societies in Sri Lanka
Wild-life
Customs
Natural disasters
External invasions
Pre-agrarian society
Discipline
Traditions
Sharing
Rearing
Farming
Water
Protection
Beliefs
Food
Foraging Society
Practices
Gathering
Hunting
Agrarian society
Trading
Industries
Agriculture Culture
Technology
Politics
Leadership
Transport
CHALLENGE SOCIETY STRATEGY OUTCOME
Biomimicry in agriculture: Nature-Inspired Solutions for a Greener Future
• Biomimicry: A new term for ancient
wisdom?
• Biomimicry or Biomimetics
– the imitation of natural models,
systems, and elements to solve
multifaceted human issues.
• In ancient Greek language bios = life,
mīmēsis = imitation
• The concept of modern biomimicry
was first introduced in 1982
• A book published in 1997
"Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by
Nature". Janine Benyus
MODERN BIOMIMICRY
Biomimicry in agriculture: Nature-Inspired Solutions for a Greener Future
Natural ecosystems have evolved to survive in many challenging
landscapes. Over millions of years they have tried, tested, and
optimized strategies for surviving droughts, floods, and plagues.
Innovative farmers are learning from native ecosystems to design
resilient landscapes which clean rivers, reverse climate change,
and provide more stable food production.
Example: Mangrove
ecosystem
Mangroves have special
adaptations to take in extra
oxygen and to remove salt,
which allow them to tolerate
conditions that would kill most
plants.
Can we study this natural
ecosystem to improve saltwater
farming?
What is Biomimicry in Agriculture?
• The imitation of natural
models, systems, and
elements to solve issues in
agriculture.
• Transform present
agricultural production
models to agro-ecosystem
models
• Learn from natural
ecosystem models and
develop agro-ecosystem
models Hydrophobicity of the lotus leaf for storage and
transportation of fruits and vegetables
Agricultural Ecosystems in Sri Lanka
• Total extent of agricultural lands – 2,812,000 ha
• The agricultural landscape of the country consists
of mainly:
– Rice paddies - 983,550 ha
– Plantation crops
• Tea – 228,118 ha
• Rubber – 186,334 ha
• Coconut – 208,368 ha
• Sugarcane – 28,808 ha
– Field crops – 307,311 ha
– Home gardens – 839,124 ha
Agro-ecosystems selected
• Rice fields
• Field crop cultivation
• Home gardens
• Tea plantation
• Rubber plantation
• Coconut plantation
Teachings of the natural ecosystems
Characteristics of the Natural
Ecosystems
• Mixture of species (rich
biodiversity)
• Canopy stratification
• Root depth variation
• Micro-climate creation
• Natural soil fertility
enhancement
• Improved soil microbial
activities
• Resilience to natural
disasters
• Enhanced C sequestration
Biomimicry levels of Major Agro-Ecosystems in Sri Lanka
Biomimicry factor Rice Field crops Home gardens Tea Rubber Coconut
Mixture of species (rich
biodiversity)
L M H L M M
Canopy stratification L M H L M M
Root depth variation L M H L M L
Micro-climate creation L L H L H H
Natural soil fertility
enhancement
M M H L M M
Improved soil microbial
activities
M M H M H H
Resilience to natural
disasters
L L M L M M
Enhanced C
sequestration
M L M L H H
– High – Moderate – Low
H M L
A Situation Analysis
Recommendations for transformation
Natural Ecosystem Agro-ecosystem Recommendation for Bio-
mimicry
Solar energy only – no
additional energy
input
Solar energy plus energy
from food (labour) and
fossil fuels (machinery
and transport
Green energy* - Use solar
energy plus energy (electricity)
derived from natural energy
sources.
Lower productivity Higher productivity Sustainable and optimum
productivity
More species diversity Less species diversity Boundary Green Avenue
Concept to increase diversity
introducing more species
More genetic diversity
within a species
Less genetic diversity
within a species
Introduce varieties adaptable to
natural stresses (water shortage,
excess moisture, pest and high
winds)
Green energy* The energy that can be produced using a method, and from a
source, that causes no harm to the natural environment.
Recommendations for transformation
Natural Ecosystem Agro-ecosystem Recommendation for
Bio-mimicry
Nutrients are recycled
naturally within the
ecosystem with little
addition from outside
Natural recycling is more
limited and supplemented
by the addition of
artificial fertilizers
Add more organic
matter sources in-situ.
“Evergreen Agro-
ecosystems” concept
Populations are
controlled by natural
means such as
competition and climate
Populations are
controlled by both natural
means and by use of
pesticides and cultivation
Use bio-pesticides and
adapt ecological
farming
It is a natural climax
community
It is an artificial
community prevented
from reaching its natural
climax
Adopt Agro-forestry
approach
Types of Rice Field Agro-Ecosystems in Sri Lanka
1. Irrigated environments, which have sufficient water
available during the entire growing season, with controlled
shallow water depth between 5 to 10 cm.
2. Rain-fed lowland environments, which are mainly
dependant on the duration of rainfall and hence with an
uncontrolled shallow water depth, ranging from 1- 50 cm.
3. Deep water environments, which are unbunded fields with
maximum sustainable water depths from 0.5 m to 3 m.
4. Rain-fed upland environments, which are bunded or
unbunded fields with no surface or rhizosphere water
accumulation.
5. Tidal wetlands, which are located near the sea coasts and
inland estuaries, and are influenced by tides.
Controlling soil
erosion through
bunding and
terracing
Reducing the impact
of drought through
water retention and
groundwater
replenishment
Regulating the
runoff through
the drainage
system
Reducing the effect
of dry wind
through live fence
and green hedges
Regulating flood
through rainwater
absorption and
excess water
drainage
Regulating Services
Goods and Services from Improved Rice Field
Agro-ecosystem
Provisioning Services Providing green
manure from live
fence and green
hedges
Providing nutritional
and healthy food by
growing medicinal rice
Providing habitats
for predators
Goods and Services from Improved Rice Field
Agro-ecosystem
Support to human
health (nutrients,
medicine, moist and
shady and pollution
free environment)
Support
enrichment of soil
micro-organisms
Support to assure a steady
income from increased
cropping intensity and crop
diversification
Supporting Services
Goods and Services from Improved Rice Field
Agro-ecosystem
Aesthetic beauty of
the surrounding
Social cohesion and
happiness by working
together
Less disturbance
to neighbours
Gathering for
traditional rituals
Cultural Services
Goods and Services from Improved Rice Field
Agro-ecosystem
Education and
ecotourism
Evergreen Agro-ecosystems Concept
- Main features
• Cultivation of crops with different duration to keep green cover even
during the harvesting stage of one crop;
• Cultivation of crops leaving zero fallow period of the land;
• Farming models, which combine seasonal, semi-perennial and perennial
crops ensuring the green cover around the year;
• Green manure plants such as gliricidia, adathoda, erithrina, thespesia etc.
are grown as hedges with strict frequency of pruning;
• Shade management is adopted to minimize light competition and to
maintain the crop land with evergreen situation; and
• Live fence is maintained with plants to create a stratification enabling to
act as wind barrier as well as favourable micro-climate in the crop field.
Benefits of Evergreen Agro-ecosystem
• Year round soil cover protection and increased soil
organic matter
• Improved plant nutrition via nitrogen fixation nutrient
cycling
• Ecologically sound control of insect pests and weeds
• Enhanced soil structure and soil water recharge
• Increased food production
• Increased production of non-food products such as oil,
fodder, fuel and medicines
• Increased landscape carbon sequestration
• Conservation and enhancement of biodiversity
2050 Carbon Net Zero Road Map
Evergreen agro-ecosystem concept for Rice field
and Field crop agro-ecosystems
Total paddy extent in Sri Lanka – 0.984 mil. ha
Total field crop extent in Sri Lanka – 0.307 mil. ha
• Mixture of species (rich
biodiversity)
• Canopy stratification
• Root depth variation
• Micro-climate creation
• Natural soil fertility
enhancement
• Improved soil microbial
activities
• Resilience to natural
disasters
• Enhanced C sequestration
Green hedges for rice and field crops agro-
ecosystems
Nutrient composition of Manure Plants
Plant name Scientific term N % P % K %
Gliricidia Gliricidia sepium 4.6 0.2 1.45-2.95
Wild
sunflower
Helianthus annuus 4.7 0.4 2.15-4.20
Citronella Cymbopogon nardus 0.77 0.40 1.08
Adathoda Adathoda vasica 5.04 0.13 3.00-4.50
Erythrina Erythrina variegata 5.21 0.32 0.92-2.88
Keppetiya Croton laccifer 3.5 0.2 1.25-1.85
Thespesia Thespesia populnea 3.4 0.3 2.3
Water
hyacinth
Eichhornia crassipes 2.56 1.7 1.57-2.58
Azolla Azolla filiculoides 4.5 0.9 2.00-4.50
venture
Boundary Green Avenue Concept
Large
canopy
Medium
canopy
Low
canopy
Ground layer
Creepers
Ground cover
Roots and
tubers
Boundary Green Avenue for Rice Fields and Field Crop
Agro-ecosystems
Large
canopy
Medium
canopy
Low
canopy
Ground layer
Creepers
Ground cover
Roots and
tubers
Aegle marmelos, Wood
apple, Neem, Mango,
Coconut
Papaya, Drumstick, Kathuru
(Sesbania grandiflora), Anguna, Wingedbean, Passion fruits,
Guava,
Pomegranate,
Soursop
Gotukola (Centella asiatica),
Mukunuwenna (Alternanthera
sessilis),
Ginger, turmeric,
vegetables
Potato, Sweet potato, carrot
Food – Forest Garden
• Characteristics
– Diversity of crops
– Forest effect
– Multi layer architecture
– Shade management
– Nutrient recycling
– Moisture sharing
– Micro-climate
– Habitats
– Pest control
– Livestock integration
– Aesthetic beauty
Boundary Green Avenue Concept
Intensification of Home Gardens
1. Mixture of species (rich
biodiversity)
2. Canopy stratification
3. Root depth variation
4. Micro-climate creation
5. Natural soil fertility
enhancement
6. Improved soil microbial
activities
7. Resilience to natural
disasters
8. Enhanced C sequestration
1. Increased biodiversity
2. Filling gaps with species of different
canopy cover
3. Filling gaps with species of different
Root depths
4. Micro-climate creation
5. Soil fertility is enhanced by adding
pruned and lopped plant debris
6. Providing favourable environment soil
microbes
7. Tree canopy structure will act as wind
break, preserve soil moisture
8. C sequestration can be increased
remarkably
Natural Ecosystem
Intensification Targets for Carbon Stock Improvement in
Home Gardens
0
5000
10000
15000
20000
25000
30000
35000
2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050 2055
C
Million
MT
Year
Home garden intensification
Climate Zone Home Garden
extent (ha)
Carbon Stock in home gardens
(MT mil.)
2021 2030
target
2050
target
Dry zone 436,328 4,363 15,272 23,998
Wet zone 219,843 10,553 19,125 31,877
Intermediate zone 187,190 5,429 11,419 18,719
Total 843,361 20,345 45,816 74.594
C stock can be increased by 267 % by the year 2050
through Home Garden Intensification
Activities to establish tea agro-ecosystems
• Physical - Repairing stone bunds and
lock and spill drains, SALT, leader
drains and gully conservation measures
• Establishment – In-filling, replanting
• Intercropping - Planting Pepper,
Cardamom, Mandarin, Cloves, Oranges,
Coffee, Vanilla etc., in vacant spaces in
tea lands.
• Weeding - Manual weeding, loppings of
green manure crops and grasses, soft
weeds as mulch
• Shade management – to optimize light
penetration, micro-climate
Activities to establish tea agro-ecosystems
• Live fence – Food forest garden concept
• Green hedge - A green hedge with grass
species
• Mulch cover - grass and legume tree
lopping
• Composting – with crop residues
• Use of cover crops and green manure for
erosion control
• Water supply during dry periods -
rainwater harvesting ponds , micro-
irrigation systems
• Crop diversification – in under-utilized or
abandoned crop lands into tea
plantations.
• Adoption of sustainable land management
practices
– Structural – stone bunds, terracing, leader
drains
– Vegetative – green hedges and cover crops,
rows of perennial low canopy plants (guava,
pomegranate, lemonime, soursop etc.)
– Agronomic – mulching with drip irrigation,
mixed cropping (different crops in the same
plot. Ex. Carrot, leaks, lettuce), incorporation
of green and organic manure,
– Establishment of boundary green avenue -
Gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium), Aramana
(Cassia siamea), Pawatta (Adhatoda vasica),
Kathurumurunga (Sesbania grandiflora),
Wild sunflower (Helianthus annuus),
Halmassan dambala (Lablab purpureus),
Chow chow (Sechium edule)
Activities to establish rubber based agro-ecosystems
• Bio-fertilizer and bio-
pesticides - Bio-fertilizer
production units,
• Intercropping tea with rubber
• Microbial and natural
pesticides , pest repellant
species - Citronella
(Cymbopogon nardus), Sera
(Cymbopogon citratus),
Turmeric (Curcuma longa),
Ginger (Zingiber officinale),
Araththa (Alpina calcarata)
Activities to establish rubber based agro-ecosystems
Grow pest repellant plants within the farm
Sera Citronella Turmeric
(Cymbopogon citratus) (Cymbopogon nardus) (Curcuma longa)
Ginger Araththa
(Zingiber officinale) (Alpina calcarata)
Activities to establish coconut agro-ecosystems
Coconut intercropped with pineapple
• Integrated nutrient
management,
• Coconut based
intercropping
• Green manuring/cover
cropping,
• Soil and water
conservation measures,
• Weed management,
• Irrigation,
• Fertigation and
• Cropping/farming system
approach.
Coconut intercropped with cocoa
Coconut intercropped with banana Coconut intercropped with turmeric
Agro-ecosystems can be developed in
all major crop cultivation fields
• Rice field agro-ecosystem
• Field crop agro-ecosystem
• Home garden agro-
ecosystem
• Tea plantation agro-
ecosystem
• Rubber plantation agro-
ecosystem
• Coconut plantation agro-
ecosystem
Learn from Nature to make agriculture a
sustainable venture

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Biomimicry in agriculture: Nature-Inspired Solutions for a Greener Future

  • 1. • Introduction • From Natural Ecosystems to Agro-Ecosystems • Present situation of major agro-ecosystems in Sri Lanka • Recommendations for transformation to agro-ecosystems • Rice field agro-ecosystem • Evergreen agro-ecosystem concept • Boundary Green Avenue Concept • Home garden intensification • Activities to establish tea, rubber and coconut agro-eco systems Biomimicry and Sustainable Agriculture: Nature- Inspired Solutions for a Greener Future Presentation made for the Webinar Series on Biomimicry for sustainability on 1st June 2024 Dr. P.B. Dharmasena, dharmasenapb@gmail.com
  • 2. Evolution of small agricultural societies in Sri Lanka Wild-life Customs Natural disasters External invasions Pre-agrarian society Discipline Traditions Sharing Rearing Farming Water Protection Beliefs Food Foraging Society Practices Gathering Hunting Agrarian society Trading Industries Agriculture Culture Technology Politics Leadership Transport CHALLENGE SOCIETY STRATEGY OUTCOME
  • 4. • Biomimicry: A new term for ancient wisdom? • Biomimicry or Biomimetics – the imitation of natural models, systems, and elements to solve multifaceted human issues. • In ancient Greek language bios = life, mīmēsis = imitation • The concept of modern biomimicry was first introduced in 1982 • A book published in 1997 "Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature". Janine Benyus MODERN BIOMIMICRY
  • 6. Natural ecosystems have evolved to survive in many challenging landscapes. Over millions of years they have tried, tested, and optimized strategies for surviving droughts, floods, and plagues. Innovative farmers are learning from native ecosystems to design resilient landscapes which clean rivers, reverse climate change, and provide more stable food production. Example: Mangrove ecosystem Mangroves have special adaptations to take in extra oxygen and to remove salt, which allow them to tolerate conditions that would kill most plants. Can we study this natural ecosystem to improve saltwater farming?
  • 7. What is Biomimicry in Agriculture? • The imitation of natural models, systems, and elements to solve issues in agriculture. • Transform present agricultural production models to agro-ecosystem models • Learn from natural ecosystem models and develop agro-ecosystem models Hydrophobicity of the lotus leaf for storage and transportation of fruits and vegetables
  • 8. Agricultural Ecosystems in Sri Lanka • Total extent of agricultural lands – 2,812,000 ha • The agricultural landscape of the country consists of mainly: – Rice paddies - 983,550 ha – Plantation crops • Tea – 228,118 ha • Rubber – 186,334 ha • Coconut – 208,368 ha • Sugarcane – 28,808 ha – Field crops – 307,311 ha – Home gardens – 839,124 ha
  • 9. Agro-ecosystems selected • Rice fields • Field crop cultivation • Home gardens • Tea plantation • Rubber plantation • Coconut plantation
  • 10. Teachings of the natural ecosystems Characteristics of the Natural Ecosystems • Mixture of species (rich biodiversity) • Canopy stratification • Root depth variation • Micro-climate creation • Natural soil fertility enhancement • Improved soil microbial activities • Resilience to natural disasters • Enhanced C sequestration
  • 11. Biomimicry levels of Major Agro-Ecosystems in Sri Lanka Biomimicry factor Rice Field crops Home gardens Tea Rubber Coconut Mixture of species (rich biodiversity) L M H L M M Canopy stratification L M H L M M Root depth variation L M H L M L Micro-climate creation L L H L H H Natural soil fertility enhancement M M H L M M Improved soil microbial activities M M H M H H Resilience to natural disasters L L M L M M Enhanced C sequestration M L M L H H – High – Moderate – Low H M L A Situation Analysis
  • 12. Recommendations for transformation Natural Ecosystem Agro-ecosystem Recommendation for Bio- mimicry Solar energy only – no additional energy input Solar energy plus energy from food (labour) and fossil fuels (machinery and transport Green energy* - Use solar energy plus energy (electricity) derived from natural energy sources. Lower productivity Higher productivity Sustainable and optimum productivity More species diversity Less species diversity Boundary Green Avenue Concept to increase diversity introducing more species More genetic diversity within a species Less genetic diversity within a species Introduce varieties adaptable to natural stresses (water shortage, excess moisture, pest and high winds) Green energy* The energy that can be produced using a method, and from a source, that causes no harm to the natural environment.
  • 13. Recommendations for transformation Natural Ecosystem Agro-ecosystem Recommendation for Bio-mimicry Nutrients are recycled naturally within the ecosystem with little addition from outside Natural recycling is more limited and supplemented by the addition of artificial fertilizers Add more organic matter sources in-situ. “Evergreen Agro- ecosystems” concept Populations are controlled by natural means such as competition and climate Populations are controlled by both natural means and by use of pesticides and cultivation Use bio-pesticides and adapt ecological farming It is a natural climax community It is an artificial community prevented from reaching its natural climax Adopt Agro-forestry approach
  • 14. Types of Rice Field Agro-Ecosystems in Sri Lanka 1. Irrigated environments, which have sufficient water available during the entire growing season, with controlled shallow water depth between 5 to 10 cm. 2. Rain-fed lowland environments, which are mainly dependant on the duration of rainfall and hence with an uncontrolled shallow water depth, ranging from 1- 50 cm. 3. Deep water environments, which are unbunded fields with maximum sustainable water depths from 0.5 m to 3 m. 4. Rain-fed upland environments, which are bunded or unbunded fields with no surface or rhizosphere water accumulation. 5. Tidal wetlands, which are located near the sea coasts and inland estuaries, and are influenced by tides.
  • 15. Controlling soil erosion through bunding and terracing Reducing the impact of drought through water retention and groundwater replenishment Regulating the runoff through the drainage system Reducing the effect of dry wind through live fence and green hedges Regulating flood through rainwater absorption and excess water drainage Regulating Services Goods and Services from Improved Rice Field Agro-ecosystem
  • 16. Provisioning Services Providing green manure from live fence and green hedges Providing nutritional and healthy food by growing medicinal rice Providing habitats for predators Goods and Services from Improved Rice Field Agro-ecosystem
  • 17. Support to human health (nutrients, medicine, moist and shady and pollution free environment) Support enrichment of soil micro-organisms Support to assure a steady income from increased cropping intensity and crop diversification Supporting Services Goods and Services from Improved Rice Field Agro-ecosystem
  • 18. Aesthetic beauty of the surrounding Social cohesion and happiness by working together Less disturbance to neighbours Gathering for traditional rituals Cultural Services Goods and Services from Improved Rice Field Agro-ecosystem Education and ecotourism
  • 19. Evergreen Agro-ecosystems Concept - Main features • Cultivation of crops with different duration to keep green cover even during the harvesting stage of one crop; • Cultivation of crops leaving zero fallow period of the land; • Farming models, which combine seasonal, semi-perennial and perennial crops ensuring the green cover around the year; • Green manure plants such as gliricidia, adathoda, erithrina, thespesia etc. are grown as hedges with strict frequency of pruning; • Shade management is adopted to minimize light competition and to maintain the crop land with evergreen situation; and • Live fence is maintained with plants to create a stratification enabling to act as wind barrier as well as favourable micro-climate in the crop field.
  • 20. Benefits of Evergreen Agro-ecosystem • Year round soil cover protection and increased soil organic matter • Improved plant nutrition via nitrogen fixation nutrient cycling • Ecologically sound control of insect pests and weeds • Enhanced soil structure and soil water recharge • Increased food production • Increased production of non-food products such as oil, fodder, fuel and medicines • Increased landscape carbon sequestration • Conservation and enhancement of biodiversity
  • 21. 2050 Carbon Net Zero Road Map Evergreen agro-ecosystem concept for Rice field and Field crop agro-ecosystems Total paddy extent in Sri Lanka – 0.984 mil. ha Total field crop extent in Sri Lanka – 0.307 mil. ha • Mixture of species (rich biodiversity) • Canopy stratification • Root depth variation • Micro-climate creation • Natural soil fertility enhancement • Improved soil microbial activities • Resilience to natural disasters • Enhanced C sequestration Green hedges for rice and field crops agro- ecosystems
  • 22. Nutrient composition of Manure Plants Plant name Scientific term N % P % K % Gliricidia Gliricidia sepium 4.6 0.2 1.45-2.95 Wild sunflower Helianthus annuus 4.7 0.4 2.15-4.20 Citronella Cymbopogon nardus 0.77 0.40 1.08 Adathoda Adathoda vasica 5.04 0.13 3.00-4.50 Erythrina Erythrina variegata 5.21 0.32 0.92-2.88 Keppetiya Croton laccifer 3.5 0.2 1.25-1.85 Thespesia Thespesia populnea 3.4 0.3 2.3 Water hyacinth Eichhornia crassipes 2.56 1.7 1.57-2.58 Azolla Azolla filiculoides 4.5 0.9 2.00-4.50 venture
  • 23. Boundary Green Avenue Concept Large canopy Medium canopy Low canopy Ground layer Creepers Ground cover Roots and tubers
  • 24. Boundary Green Avenue for Rice Fields and Field Crop Agro-ecosystems Large canopy Medium canopy Low canopy Ground layer Creepers Ground cover Roots and tubers Aegle marmelos, Wood apple, Neem, Mango, Coconut Papaya, Drumstick, Kathuru (Sesbania grandiflora), Anguna, Wingedbean, Passion fruits, Guava, Pomegranate, Soursop Gotukola (Centella asiatica), Mukunuwenna (Alternanthera sessilis), Ginger, turmeric, vegetables Potato, Sweet potato, carrot
  • 25. Food – Forest Garden • Characteristics – Diversity of crops – Forest effect – Multi layer architecture – Shade management – Nutrient recycling – Moisture sharing – Micro-climate – Habitats – Pest control – Livestock integration – Aesthetic beauty Boundary Green Avenue Concept
  • 26. Intensification of Home Gardens 1. Mixture of species (rich biodiversity) 2. Canopy stratification 3. Root depth variation 4. Micro-climate creation 5. Natural soil fertility enhancement 6. Improved soil microbial activities 7. Resilience to natural disasters 8. Enhanced C sequestration 1. Increased biodiversity 2. Filling gaps with species of different canopy cover 3. Filling gaps with species of different Root depths 4. Micro-climate creation 5. Soil fertility is enhanced by adding pruned and lopped plant debris 6. Providing favourable environment soil microbes 7. Tree canopy structure will act as wind break, preserve soil moisture 8. C sequestration can be increased remarkably Natural Ecosystem
  • 27. Intensification Targets for Carbon Stock Improvement in Home Gardens 0 5000 10000 15000 20000 25000 30000 35000 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 2040 2045 2050 2055 C Million MT Year
  • 28. Home garden intensification Climate Zone Home Garden extent (ha) Carbon Stock in home gardens (MT mil.) 2021 2030 target 2050 target Dry zone 436,328 4,363 15,272 23,998 Wet zone 219,843 10,553 19,125 31,877 Intermediate zone 187,190 5,429 11,419 18,719 Total 843,361 20,345 45,816 74.594 C stock can be increased by 267 % by the year 2050 through Home Garden Intensification
  • 29. Activities to establish tea agro-ecosystems • Physical - Repairing stone bunds and lock and spill drains, SALT, leader drains and gully conservation measures • Establishment – In-filling, replanting • Intercropping - Planting Pepper, Cardamom, Mandarin, Cloves, Oranges, Coffee, Vanilla etc., in vacant spaces in tea lands. • Weeding - Manual weeding, loppings of green manure crops and grasses, soft weeds as mulch • Shade management – to optimize light penetration, micro-climate
  • 30. Activities to establish tea agro-ecosystems • Live fence – Food forest garden concept • Green hedge - A green hedge with grass species • Mulch cover - grass and legume tree lopping • Composting – with crop residues • Use of cover crops and green manure for erosion control • Water supply during dry periods - rainwater harvesting ponds , micro- irrigation systems • Crop diversification – in under-utilized or abandoned crop lands into tea plantations.
  • 31. • Adoption of sustainable land management practices – Structural – stone bunds, terracing, leader drains – Vegetative – green hedges and cover crops, rows of perennial low canopy plants (guava, pomegranate, lemonime, soursop etc.) – Agronomic – mulching with drip irrigation, mixed cropping (different crops in the same plot. Ex. Carrot, leaks, lettuce), incorporation of green and organic manure, – Establishment of boundary green avenue - Gliricidia (Gliricidia sepium), Aramana (Cassia siamea), Pawatta (Adhatoda vasica), Kathurumurunga (Sesbania grandiflora), Wild sunflower (Helianthus annuus), Halmassan dambala (Lablab purpureus), Chow chow (Sechium edule) Activities to establish rubber based agro-ecosystems
  • 32. • Bio-fertilizer and bio- pesticides - Bio-fertilizer production units, • Intercropping tea with rubber • Microbial and natural pesticides , pest repellant species - Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), Sera (Cymbopogon citratus), Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Araththa (Alpina calcarata) Activities to establish rubber based agro-ecosystems
  • 33. Grow pest repellant plants within the farm Sera Citronella Turmeric (Cymbopogon citratus) (Cymbopogon nardus) (Curcuma longa) Ginger Araththa (Zingiber officinale) (Alpina calcarata)
  • 34. Activities to establish coconut agro-ecosystems Coconut intercropped with pineapple • Integrated nutrient management, • Coconut based intercropping • Green manuring/cover cropping, • Soil and water conservation measures, • Weed management, • Irrigation, • Fertigation and • Cropping/farming system approach. Coconut intercropped with cocoa
  • 35. Coconut intercropped with banana Coconut intercropped with turmeric
  • 36. Agro-ecosystems can be developed in all major crop cultivation fields • Rice field agro-ecosystem • Field crop agro-ecosystem • Home garden agro- ecosystem • Tea plantation agro- ecosystem • Rubber plantation agro- ecosystem • Coconut plantation agro- ecosystem Learn from Nature to make agriculture a sustainable venture