A Jagadeesh, Director, Nayudamma Centre for Development Alternatives, Andhra Pradesh, India, offers thoughts on innovations in the context of India.
Technological advancements help to provide farmers with tools and resources to make farming more sustainable. Technology permits innovations like conservation agricuture, a farming process which helps prevent land loss to erosion, reduces water pollution, and enhances carbon sequestration. In the past natural pesticides from neem (Azadirachta indica), oil from the seeds of custard apple (Annona squamosa), tobacco and moonseed (Tinospora cordifolia) were in use and were environment-friendly but chemical pesticides replaced them. There is a need to revive them, especially as they provide employment at the local level.
He reviews opportunities provided by other innovative approaches: Calotropis as a green manure, Opuntia and Sisal (Agave sisalana) as carbon sinks, multiple uses for water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), including nutritious ruminant feed, and suggestions for gloves and gum boots for rice planters! Read more