MPPSC Prelims & Mains Notes, MPPSC Test Series
Environment & General Science
Mention the importance & relevance of Agroecology in detail
Agroecology applies ecological principles to food production systems. It focuses on four properties of agriculture systems: productivity, stability, sustainability, and equity. Especially important to this field is the incorporation of indigenous farming practices.
Tropical regions are defined by warm temperatures with no frost and varying intensity of precipitation from dry to wet. Of considerable importance in tropical agriculture are the highland ecologies of hill and mountain agriculture that are relatively cool in temperature. These include the arid to semiarid tropics, the sub-humid tropics, and the humid tropics.
Agroecology varies from the subarctic to temperate, with pronounced warm and cold seasons, to subtropical and tropical. In temperate and drier zones, by contrast, there are cold periods or aridity that can provide a break in the growth of pests. These agro-ecologies are characterized by precipitation patterns that vary markedly over short distances, depending on topography, producing heterogeneous microclimates.
Pests, as well as agriculturally desirable plants and livestock, thrive in the sub-humid and humid tropics. Deeply weathered soils predominate in this agro ecozone, where the excess of moisture in relationship to evapotranspiration demand has leached nutrients, and chemical weathering has reduced nutrient supplies.
This often limits the production of food and other agricultural products. The constant warmth and moisture availability in the humid tropics can support high levels of productivity; however, soil resources are often depleted and limit growth in the humid tropics.
This approach also can provide insights into which types of interventions or technologies might be expected to perform well. Careful consideration of agro-ecologies, based around gradients of moisture and temperature, along with soil resources, can provide a guide regarding which farming systems or crop combinations will be present.
Agroecology aims at the holistic study of agroecosystems which are seen as a complex system in which ecological process occurs, e.g. nutrient cycling, predator/prey interaction, competition, etc. At the heart of the Agroecology, the strategy is the idea that an agroecosystem should mimic the functionalities of the local ecosystem thus exhibiting a tight nutrient cycle, enhanced biodiversity, and complex structure.
The expectation is that such mimicking of the natural world would enhance productivity, can be pest resistant and conserve the nutrients in the soil.
They also have the potential for bringing solutions for many uncertainties facing humanity in this oil era of global climate change and financial crisis. Agro ecologist recognizes and values the wisdom and traditions creating a dialogue with local actors via participatory research that leads to a constant creation of new knowledge.
The poor farmers represent a rich resource for agroecosystem seeking to create a novel agroecosystem. The smart farming system not only have fed much of the world population for centuries and are continuing to do so, especially in developing countries. Recent research has demonstrated that small diverse farming is more resilient to hurricanes and droughts. Undoubtedly many resources in agroecology use the ensemble of the traditional crop management practices.
Also, read our blogs and notes on MPPSC Prelims & MPPSC Mains Exams – General Studies – Environment and General Science: