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THE BASICS OF HUMAN CIVILIZATION: FOOD, AGRICULTURE AND HUMANITY VOL.01: PRESENT SCENARIO

Dr. Prem Nath
  • Country of Origin:

  • Imprint:

    NIPA

  • eISBN:

    9789389571325

  • Binding:

    EBook

  • Number Of Pages:

    708

  • Language:

    English

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Everything is revolving around food and we are all working for food either as farmer or as consumer whatever occupation we are engaged in it ends in access to food and human health. The question of food effects the farmer what to grow and how best to grow, scientists and technologists are engaged in producing efficient food, housewives and hoteliers are coming up with modern menus, dieticians are advocating healthy food, and governments are busy in procuring storing and distributing food. However it is apparent that there is not enough food for millions, either there is shortage of grain and vegetables or they are available in plenty but not accessible to millions. This publication tries to sketch present scenario on food, agriculture and humanity as its first volume with the hope to prepare subsequent three volumes with further discussion on food, agriculture and humanity. The present publication The Basics of Human Civilization Food Agriculture and Humanity, Volume I: Present Scenario is intended to make attempt to update present scenario with reference to past in food agriculture and humanity and identify challenges, followed by opportunities to bring changes in food habits and preferences, technology, and proper implementation of programmes and of proper utilization of a natural resources. Mention has been made of food and agriculture policies and developments improved agriculture challenges and opportunities and to address them appropriately.

0 Start Pages

Foreword Everything is revolving around food and we are all working for food either as farmer or as consumer; whatever occupation we are engaged in, it ends in access to food and human health. The subject of food is influencing all. The farmer is pondering what to grow and how best to grow; scientists and technologists are engaged in producing efficient food; housewives and hoteliers are coming up with modern menus; dieticians are advocating healthy food; and governments are busy in procuring, storing and distributing food. However, it is apparent that there is not enough food for millions; either there is shortage of grain and vegetables or they are available in plenty but not accessible to millions. At this time, more than before, the world is faced with natural disasters, climate changes, drought and man-made calamities due to free use of natural resources particularly soil and water. We recognize that we have been bestowed with rich and poor natural resources and asking farmers with rich natural resources to utilize usefully and wisely, however extra efforts will be required to mitigate loss of natural resources, and we all have to work hard. It is recognized that the areas with fertile land and good weather will produce better and more. The food is not only family or community issue, but is of the nation, the region and the world. The question is of availability and accessibility to healthy_ food. The present publication will attempt to address the subject of food, agriculture and humanity which have major issues tightly linked with each other. We realize fully that food and human being can not be separated, at the same time food can not be weaned from mother agriculture which is blessed by nature. The present publication “The Basics of Human Civilization-Food, Agriculture and Humanity; Volume-I: Present Scenario” is intended to make attempt to update present scenario with reference to past in food, agriculture and humanity and identify challenges, followed by opportunities to bring changes in food habits and preferences, technology and proper implementation of programmes and of proper utilization of natural resources. Mention. has been made of food and agriculture policies and developments, improved agriculture, challenges and opportunities, and to address them appropriately. On the whole, the attempts will be made to give adequate treatment to the three basics of human civilization-food, agriculture and humanity in 5 volumes, namely I) Present Scenario, II) Food, III) Agriculture, IV) Humanity and V) Expectations. The present first volume has the contribution of 38 articles by 50 authors/co-authors invited nation and world-wide, to each of whom the PNASF is very grateful as they have gladly agreed to our request io extend voluntary contribution in the interest of the subject we are dealing with. The authors have drawn their own views based on their own findings and referred other authors, and the views of scientists, professionals and other specialists. Additional effort has been made to refer feelings of common masses available through press news during the recent years; in other words, it reflects the feeling of masses with regard to challenges and opportunities ahead.

 
1 Introduction
Prem Nath

Food is basic to human being and agriculture is the catalyst between the two which is basically supported by natural resources. The human being is entirely dependant on food and food is fully dependent on agriculture and humanity. Eventhough food, agriculture and humanity have their own entity; they are inseparable for the survival and existence of each other. Hence, the three pillars of food, agriculture and humanity forming a triangle symbolize the roots of human civilization. I find myself fortunate to have the opportunihj to live and experience the working life of the farmers and the farming in Kansas (USA), Nigeria (Africa), Saudi Arabia and Yemen (Middle East), Italy (Europe) and India, Myanmar and Thailand (Asia). It zvas fiirther strengthened by visits to farmers in another about 100 countries. Day after day and month after month and even years, it made me to realize that community culture, language and farming in each state, country and continent are different from each other but some things are common and that they are all doing farming, they are growing food and they all doing for the livelihood of their families, neighbors and communities near and far (Nath, 2011). The foundation of agriculture is laid on available natural resources e.g. land, water, sunlight, air, plant, animal and human beings. The human beings, being the leader to manage the resources have contributed to redefine agricultural science and promote and develop technology. This has led to augment agriculture and its science and technology. At the end, the human efforts have brought about changes and improved agriculture production at the cost of excessive use of natural resources, knowing well that without natural resources, without good soil and water hardly anything will survive. Presently world produces enough to feed the present human population, but it is not available to millions of people. It is not the lack of availability of food but is the unequal distribution and lack of entitlement which are causing hunger and malnutrition in millions of population.

1 - 4 (4 Pages)
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2 Food and Nutrition

1. INTRODUCTION It is hard to conceive which came first on earth, human being or food. If the human was born first, he or she needed food immediately to survive. Thereafter, the human beings continued to need food and continued to eat food throughout his or her life. Hence, the relationship between human being and food is permanent and the requirement of food for the human being to be alive is everlasting. Further, sources of food may survive in nature without human intervention but human being can not remain alive without food. This clearly signifies the permanent bondage of human being and food which is inseparable under any circumstances. ‘Thus, should we state that every human being necessarily needs food and should have right to food as soon as born. In order to further strengthen this view, the governance which rules human beings should also be protective and enact laws to ensure food to each human being born in respective countries. 2. BACKGROUND •   “Hunger is exclusion”, wrote de Castro (1963) a Brazilian anti-hunger advocate. “Exclusion from the land, from jobs, wages, income, life and citizenship. When a person gets to the point of not having anything to eat, it is because all the rest has been denied. This is a modern form of exile. It is death in life”. •   Simply by being born, everyone has the right to food. A person doesn’t have to do anything to “deserve” it; the right to food is a birthright. But this does not entitle a person to sit back and ask for free food. People are responsible for doing all they can to realize their own right to food. Governments that are parties to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights are responsible for ensuring that all those living within their borders have the means to do so, (FAO, 2007). •   Broadly speaking, governments should create peaceful, stable, free and prosperous environments in which people can feed themselves in dignity. Even without a legal obligation to do so, countries have a moral obligation to ensure freedom from hunger (FAO, 2007).

5 - 96 (92 Pages)
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3 Natural Resources and Food

1. INTRODUCTION The paradigm of world’s livelihood is built on the basic foundation of natural resources which includes humans, plants, animals, soils and minerals, water and air. But the very livelihood of these resources are at stake because they are strongly linked and dependant on each other. And to add, the material resource namely ‘economy’ has invaded the tranquil habitat and life of the community of natural resources. Thus the present crisis is challenging livelihood of each of these natural resources whether it is human, plant or water or earth and the element of economy is interfering with the natural recourse of human depending on water and soil; and human, plant, animal together are depending on soil, water and air. But when the livelihood of soil, water and air is at stake how human, plant and animal can survive; hence the design of livelihood of world has the essential ingredients of all natural resources. We humans are selfish and concerned about our livelihood security only and try to over-exploit other natural resources and assumed themselves as the master of all natural resources. Practically, there is war going on between and among natural resources. The world could be better if each natural resource has its own right with prospects to safeguard its livelihood and all resources together with better livelihood could offer the lively world. 2. UTILIZATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES We should underscore that none of the natural resources are in ‘plenty’ and that we should ‘economize’ on each natural resource to build together the world’s livelihood. The food security of humans can not be attained without plants and plant security can nor be achieved without soil and water and it is impossible to keep secured soil and water without economics of management. In short, the livelihood security of humans is entirely dependant on all other natural resources coupled with the material resource economy. It is incumbent on us to initiate appropriate steps from gross root to policy levels to make the world better.

97 - 122 (26 Pages)
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4 Agriculture and Food Policy Changes

SYNOPSIS Until recently, agriculture was primarily valued for producing staple cereals. Today, there is increasing recognition that agriculture has an important role to play in improving nutrition, human health and environmental health. Helping agriculture successfully forge links with nutrition and health can enable the research, development and policy communities to more effectively address the looming challenges of hunger, malnutrition and agriculture-associated diseases. Already, there is growing momentum around the world to bring these sectors together to improve food and nutrition security of the world’s poorest people. Keywords : Food security, nutrition, health, agriculture. 1. INTRODUCTION During the past fifty years, the world has made substantial progress in improving the food security of millions of people. Using science and technology, agricultural extension and appropriate policies and incentives complemented with infrastructure, farmers, researchers and policymakers have worked together to increase the global production of cereals, cutting the proportion of hungry people from approximately one-third to one-sixth of the world population (Spielman and Pandya- Lorch 2010). Yet more needs to be done. Nearly one billion people still suffer from hunger. Micronutrient deficiencies affect billions more today and potentially in the long-term. Malnourishment in children’s first two years of life, for example, causes largely irreversible damage, impeding their physical growth and intellectual development, increasing their susceptibility to diseases such as diabetes and cancer and even drastically reducing their incomes as adults. Undernourished women are more likely to give birth to smaller babies, thereby creating an inter- generational trap of under nutrition and poverty. While agriculture has traditionally been put to work to raise the productivity and production of staple crops, there is increasing recognition that agriculture is also key to improving nutrition security, individual health and environmental health. This nuanced understanding has come just in time, considering the looming challenges of hunger, malnutrition, climate change and its link to energy and resource scarcity and urbanization. Placing agriculture in this larger context may enable the global community to better address and cope with these challenges, whilst meeting the food and nutrition security needs of the world’s most vulnerable people. This paper will briefly review the evolving role of agriculture in meeting food and nutrition security. It will identify emerging challenges, describe promising developments and highlight opportunities for leveraging agriculture-nutrition-health links to overcome challenges.

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5 Improving Agriculture

1. INTRODUCTION India is principally an agricultural country with seventy per cent of its population living in villages and fifty nine per cent of the total work force dependent on agriculture for its daily bread. Almost 20% of the gross GDP is contributed by agriculture. A steep surge in production since late 1960s has made country self-reliant in food grain production with buffer stocks full to the brim. Since independence, 0.66% growth/ year in gross agricultural area combined with 2.67%/year increases in food grain production led to a net increase in per capita food grain availability from 395 g/ day to 475 g/ day. An outstanding achievement, as it happened despite an unabated population build up at a rate of 2.15 %/ year or 13 million more mouths to be fed every year. Not only in food grain production, the country has made revolutionary progress in milk, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetable production also (NAAS, 2004). Needless to say that the economic growth of our country depends largely on the prosperity of the agriculture. The agricultural sector acts as a bulwark in maintaining food security as well as national security. The first and the foremost role of agricultural is its promotion of economic progress in the country by enlarging the savings of the rural sector and making them available for the development of industries. Gandhiji, the father of the nation called “Agriculture as the soul of India”. Also, agriculture has been termed as “The mother of all industries and the maintainer of human life standing at the need of all sciences and arts, indeed, at the head of civilization and progress”. The significance of agriculture in India arises also from the fact that the development in agriculture is an essential condition for the development of the national economy. Thus any change in the agriculture sector- positive or negative- has a multiplier effect on the entire economy (Rekha & Rangappa, 2010). Over 70 years ago, Mahatma Gandhi made the following observations while addressing youth who wanted to serve rural India: ‘The fact is that the villagers have lost all hope. They suspect that every stranger’s hand is at their throats and that he goes to them only to exploit them. The divorce between intellect and labour has paralyzed our agriculture. The worker should enter a village full of love and hope, feeling sure that where men and women labour unintelligently and remain unemployed half the year around, he working all the year round and combining labour with intelligence cannot fail to win the confidence of the villagers’. This message is as relevant today as it was 60 years ago. Integrating brain and brawn in farm enterprises should hence be the purpose of agricultural education. (ICAR, 1997)

225 - 464 (240 Pages)
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6 Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture

SYNOPSIS This millennium has brought about serious challenges as well as excellent opportunities for the betterment of humanity. The migration of rural population to urban areas is one of the major challenges foreseen. It is expected that much of the population growth is expected to take place in the cities of the developing world. By 2020, about 52 percent of the developing world’s population will be living in urban areas (IFPRI, 1999). The agricultural areas around cities offer great promise to urban and peri-urban agriculture. The interventions on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture (UPA) suggested and initiative undertaken by FAO is timely and valuable in the interest of the teeming population demanding for both nutrition and health. The International Conference on Vegetables (ICV-2002) held during 2002 has emphasized the importance of vegetables; FAO International Workshop on Urban and Peri-urban Agriculture for Asian Countries organized during 2005 had amply emphasized the important role of horticulture; and the International Conference on Horticulture (ICH-2009) held during 2009, has amply illustrated the importance of horticultural crops particularly vegetables in UPA for the benefit of urban population. The urbanization process is a reality that drives people to go and live in the cities. It is very pronounced in Latin America where already 85% of the population lives in cities; in Asia the average is reaching 60% whereas in Africa the phenomenon has started later and has now reached 35%. Besides the increased demand for food, there has been a rapid increase of poverty, unemployment, hunger and malnutrition in the Urban and Peri-urban environment around the world that are of great concern to central and municipal authorities. UPA can contribute to feeding the urban population, generate income and employment and thereby reduce poverty. In reality many countries have already UPA related activities going on in areas of horticulture including vegetables, dairy production, small livestock, aquaculture and forestry. However, it has been realized that very few countries had actually investigated the real opportunities and constraints linked to the urban agriculture sector. Keywords : Urban Agriculture, Urban Food, Peri-urban Agriculture, UPA.

465 - 564 (100 Pages)
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7 Challenges and Opportunities

During the last 50 years or so, the world has witnessed tremendous changes in terms of population exodus, accessibility to food, advancement in agricultural science and technology, increased food production, efforts in mitigating food and nutrition security, natural and human made disasters and developmental efforts in handling and containing national and global issues. Inspite of these efforts, the challenges which have cropped up are plenty and at the same time creating avenues of opportunities to address those challenges in the interest of humanity. The world is large, countries are many, agro- climatic regions vary significantly, socio-economic conditions are distinct and the national, regional and global issues vary greatly. For ease of presentation and convenience of illustration, common issues only will be dealt in this chapter. Keeping in view the theme of this book, the following topics/issues will be discussed which pose challenges for the living humanity and for future generation within next 50 years. The views are limited to developmental, planning and implementation processes only in order for governments and others to consider overcoming these challenges.

565 - 668 (104 Pages)
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8 End Pages

PNASF Outstanding National and International Awards The Board of Trustees of the PNASF have been pleased to announce periodical awards to national and international personalities who have made outstanding contribution in food and nutrition security towards human kind. •  First PNASF International and National Awards - 2002 The PNASF, Bangalore announced the First International and National Gold and Silver Medal Awards for known personalities who has contributed significantly to agriculture/horticulture, food and nutritional security. The first of the series of PNASF Awards was presented to the following nominations by the Chief Guest Honourable Chief Minister, Mr. S. M. Krishna, Karnataka State during the ICV-2002 held from 11-14 November, 2002. PNASF Gold Medal Awards International •   Dr. Jacques Diouf, Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy. •   Dr. Charles V. Hall, Emeritus Professor, Iowa State University, Ames, USA.  

 
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