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Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition • FSN Forum

Re: Mainstreaming biodiversity in agriculture, fisheries and forestry for improved food security and better nutrition

Joseph George Ray
Joseph George RayMahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, KeralaIndia

Where a (sustainable) production system played a key role for the conservation of the biodiversity surrounding it?

Definitely, a sustainable produyction system such as organic farming system always conserve a lot of biodiversity in the agroecosystem, which include not only diversity of crops but also soil biodiversity.

In the organic farming system, soil is rich in algae, fungi (mycorrhiza) and bacteria. In addition to the same such soil systems, especially in the tropics different varieties of earthworms, millipedes, centipedes and molluscana, all of which are very important partners in organic degradation and conservation of nutrients in the soil.

For example, in the traditional domestic farm yards of Kerala, one can see diversity of crops, vegetables, fruit crops along with cash crops and serials, where soil fertility remain quite sustainable as well

Where a(n) (unsustainable) production system played a key role for the degradation of the biodiversity surrounding it? 

Definitely, in the chemicalized farms one can see poor soil without any form of living organisms. The microbial flora also remain poor in such systems. Most of the chemicalized farms are monocultures without the sign of life and hence are called ecological cemetries

Do you have any examples of such enabling factors and initiatives or the lack of it? 

Awareness of unhealthy and poisoned food from chemicalized farms prompt people to cultivate themselves and generate food stuff organically. In Kerala, such an awarness is causing people to do so and there is an 'organic cultivation boom' now visible in the society.

Biodiversity rich conservation agriculture is possible only when individuals are interested in the cultivation of healthy foods and domesting farm yards come up everywhere. Because industrial farming has limitations in the conservation of biodiversity. Productivity, marketting and cost effectiveness are issues that prevent organic farming at industrial level. But there is no such constrains when individuals cultivate for own use.

Which partners need to be involved in institutional frameworks, policies and processes for biodiversity mainstreaming to strengthen them?

Institutions such as Local governments, residence associations and farmer clubs need to be included in the mainstreaming of biodiversity farming. The state should formulate proper policies to promote individual farming for own use.

What needs to be done to increase awareness of farmers, livestock keepers, fisher folks and foresters, their organizations and the industry of the relevance of biodiversity and ecosystem services for the food and agriculture production in their sector?

One of the most important form of awareness is health impact of the chemicalized farm products. Naturally, the health consciousness cause individuals and groups to engage in time consuming and labour intensive organic farming which naturally protect biodiversity and soil fertility.

In addition to the health related awareness campaigns, there should be strengthening of ecological education in the schools which will enable the young generation to understand the interrelatedness in nature and the problems of temporary gain oriented agriculture activities that have deleterious environmental impacts

How can the technical and institutional capacity needed to promote sustainable agriculture and reduce the impact on biodiversity be developed?

Agriculture need to become people involving and people oriented

Agriculture shuold beocme a culture and not business.

In ancient times agriculture was really a village culture.

In modern times the state need to support individual involvement of every one - the lowest to the highest educated or the low income to the highest income groups - to get involved in some kind of agriculture activities.

There should be tax excemption to personal income tax for those who involve in organic agriculture production to promote sustainable agriculture - at least the non-cultivators should be encouraged to get involved in farmer's clubs to support them financially and morally so that they eat healthy food and conserve biodiversity 

Leaving cultivation as an activity of few farmers cause them to cultivate intensively and carelessly which is the major reason for unsustainable agriculture

Agriculture has to become a collective effort of all to eat healthy food