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Ashok Gulati writes: Feeding people, saving the planet

GS Paper III:

Syllabus : Environmental conservation, Agriculture and cropping patterns


Source: Indian Express

Directions: This Article has been taken from the Indian Express. Although the article was long but we are providing here only those points which are important.

Context:  Feeding people while saving the planet requires a balancing act writes Ashok Gulati.

Key concern for Today’s world:

  • Access to food at affordable prices, however, remains a challenge despite the availability of ample food.
  • lack of sync between policies and technologies.
  • develop technologies that supply the food and nutritional needs of the world while also addressing climate change imperatives.

What needs to be done?

  • Developing tools to understand the impact of climate change
    • As climate shocks are getting intense with higher frequency in form of heatwaves, droughts and untimely floods, putting millions at risk of food security.
  • Promoting scientific knowledge and innovation instead of ideologies and dogmas as it has led to terrible outcomes.
    • For instance, China suffered heavily due to starvation during 1958-61 period when it tried to follow a commune-based system of communist ideology.
  • Invest not only in climate adaptation strategies but also re-work our policies that can mitigate GHG emissions for agriculture.
    • Since agriculture contributes to 28 per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and also gets severely impacted by climate change.
  • Focusing on changing the behaviour of peoplee. working on policies that incentivise people to change their way of doing things, be it in agriculture or in any other field.
  • Increase Expenditure on agri-research and development and education: India’s current expenditure hovers around 6 per cent of the agri-GDP for the Centre and states combined.
    • This needs to go up to at least 1 per cent, and, preferably between 1.5 to 2 per cent of the agri-GDP.

Only then India can be self-reliant (atmanirbhar) in food even in the face of adverse climate change.

What is the World food prize?

  • it was started by Norman Borlaugh (Noble prize for peace in 1970) for saving millions of lives through scientific research.
  • It was established in 1986 and currently, It is presented by the World Food Prize Foundation which has over 80 companies, individuals, etc. as donors.
  • Indians including M S Swaminathan, Verghese Kurien, Gurdev Khush and Rattan Lal have been recipients of the prize.
  • It is given every year on October 16 in a special ceremony in Des Moines, Iowa.


Insta Links

Prelims link

  • World food prize is released by?
  • About World Food prize foundation.
  • FAO.

Mains Links:

Q. What do you understand by climate-smart agriculture (CSA)? How can this approach helps us in maintaining food security, while mitigating the impact of climate change on agriculture?

Q. How is climate change impacting agriculture in India? Discuss the steps that are needed to adapt to the ongoing climate crisis. (250 words)