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21-October-2023-Special-Article

November 3, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm

LEVERAGING AGROECOLOGICAL APPROACHES FOR CLEAN AND GREEN VILLAGES

In India, villages hold the key to the nation’s transformation, especially in an agrarian economy. The concept of ‘Clean and Green’ Villages is central to this rural development endeavour. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has adopted this as the fifth theme in its mission to rejuvenate rural ecosystems through the Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP). Achieving ‘Clean and Green’ Villages is integral to India’s vision of a developed nation by 2047. Agroecological practices, spanning agriculture, energy, and forestry, play a pivotal role in making this vision a reality.

Components of Clean and Green Village

Clean VillageGreen Village
•      Access to safe and adequate drinking water and sanitation services.

•      Low pollution and emission levels.

•      Clean air and water, promoting healthy and productive lives.

 

•      Sustainable management of village natural resources, including land and forests.

•      Ensuring food security while conserving the environment.

 

 Agroecological Approach

Agroecology represents an integrated approach that combines ecological and social concepts in the design and management of food and agricultural systems. Its aim is to optimize interactions between plants, animals, humans, and the environment.

Agroecological Practices for ‘Clean and Green’ Villages

‘Organic and Natural Farming’ Practices:

  • These practices are rooted in agroecological principles and exclude synthetic or chemical inputs.
  • They provide chemical and pesticide-free food, improve soil health, and reduce environmental pollution.
  • Schemes and programs include
  1. Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana (PKVY),
  2. Mission Organic Value Chain Development for North Eastern Region (MOVCDNER),
  3. Bhartiya Prakratik Krishi Paddhati (BPKP),
  4. PM Programme for Restoration, Awareness Generation, Nourishment, and Amelioration of Mother-Earth (PM-PRANAM).

‘Waste to Wealth – Biogas and Organic Manure’ Practices:

These practices convert various wastes into energy and agricultural input.

They reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pollution, and improve waste management.

Key programs include The Galvanising Organic Bio-Agro Resources Dhan (GOBARdhan), National Biogas Programme, and Sustainable Alternative towards Affordable Transportation (SATAT).

‘Agroforestry’ Practices:

Agroforestry integrates crops, trees, and livestock, providing economic and environmental benefits to small and marginal farmers.

Programs like Sub-Mission on Agroforestry (Har Medh Par Ped) Scheme and Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) encourage tree planting on farmland, boosting income and climate resilience.

Advantages of Agroecological Practices

Economic Transformation: These practices increase revenue sources for villages, leading to economic transformation.

Increased Employment: They create employment opportunities, especially for rural women.

Climate Change Mitigation: Agroecological practices enhance ecological resilience, sequester carbon, and improve water capture in soil.

Biodiversity and Resource Conservation: They conserve soil organic matter, water, crop diversity, and natural pest control.

Health and Nutrition Improvement: Adoption of organic farming reduces pesticide poisonings and pesticide-related diseases.

Challenges in Adoption

Opposition from Powerful Lobbies: Agribusiness interests, fertilizers and seed companies, and fossil fuel companies see agroecology as a threat to their influence and oppose it.

Low Awareness: Many farmers lack awareness of these practices.

Lack of Financial Resources: Access to financial resources for setting up rural industries is limited.

Impact on Food Industry: Devoting good agricultural land to plantation may reduce crop production and impact food availability.

Conclusion

To achieve the objectives of Clean and Green Villages, scaling up agroecology-based programs and schemes is essential. Implementation at the grassroots level requires support from panchayats, cooperatives, Self Help Groups (SHG), and women-SHGs. The journey to Vikshit Bharat by 2047 begins in our villages, where the synergy of ‘Clean and Green’ principles and agroecological practices can pave the way for a sustainable and prosperous rural India.

UPSC Mains Question

  1. Discuss the significance of agroecological practices in achieving the vision of ‘Clean and Green’ Villages in India. Examine the various agroecological practices being followed in the country and their contributions to rural development (150 Words)

Details

Date:
November 3, 2023
Time:
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
Event Category: