Food and Environmental Security Imperatives of Indigenous Knowledge System

Food and Environmental Security Imperatives of Indigenous Knowledge System
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Food and Environmental Security Imperatives of Indigenous Knowledge System

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Publisher: Agrobios Publications
ISBN: 9788177545098
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Preface
Though the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, established by the UN in 1948, identifies nutrition as a fundamental human right, malnutrition remains the biggest contributor to child mortality in the world. According to the FAO of the UN, there were nearly 217 million undernourished people in India at the beginning of the last decade. The scenario has not changed much. Fighting malnutrition, mostly through fortifying food with micronutrients is one of the world's highest priority health issues. Researchers, world-wide, are working towards creating maximum nutrients in the minimum possible amount of food. Food security is likely to be major casualty in an era of climate change. Adverse change in precipitation, temperature and sea level rise will harm the present and potential food production. This will be a disaster particularly in countries like India where population is still growing and per capita land and water resources are shrinking. The most urgent task therefore is to strengthen agricultural production systems under conditions of uncertain weather patterns. Our food security must be based on home grown food, so that it is both reliable and affordable. Food and fuel will be the most expensive commodities in coming years. Home grown food based food security will also help to strengthen rural livelihoods and help to achieve the goal of food for all surely and speedily. Historically enough most of the developing societies countries have their ancient tradition in almost all walks of life, not to speak of food front and safeguarding against the environmental degradation alone. However, much remains yet to be done in the matter of introducing improved scientific technology and organization to enhance productivity and ensure viability. Our organized farming is the cause of the start of the current civilization. Simultaneously, this organized farming is viewed as the beginning of the threatened earth. The IPCC has emphatically confirmed the gravity of the problem. The biggest impact of global warming in humans is obviously through the effect of changed climate patterns on farm and forestry. History at different phases has reiterated that only after intervention of S T the very question of security in farm and environmental front has been alarming. As a result, the world has already entered into an era of scarcity insecurity. Water, food, energy and environment forming quadrilateral conundrum have got interwoven in a spiral of decline and degradation. The Concomitant consequences of food crisis and environmental degradation go beyond simple economics. Such crisis will deepen over time, and until action is taken, the risk of a 'NO FUTURE' future will become alarmingly real. The cost of our inertia lethargy inaction in dealing with environmental issues is increasingly higher. Indigenous agriculture and experiential knowledge gained global recognition through the United Nations Conference on Environment and Education in 1992, as well as through documents such as the World Conservation Strategy of International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources in 1980 and the Brundtland Commission and our Common Future and World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987. Again, given the state of enlightenment and mental inertia among the rural folk, the adoption of innovations, the only pragmatic way out seems to lie in the direction of opting for a innovative middle course of synthesizing modern scientific technology with those aspects of indigenous knowhows and practices which are compatible with the Knowledge System of common people in general
and indigenous communities in particular, as being increasingly utilized to identify useful species and methods for preservation, processing and application of those species. The knowledge system is usually not found in written form and it transmits from generation to generation through word of mouth. Studies by various social and biological scientists around the globe explored indigenous technical knowledge related to wild and domesticated plants and animals and the soil and water upon which they depend. Indigenous knowledge IK is dynamic and may modify over a period of time. The basic component of any country's knowledge system is its IK. It encompasses the skills, experiences and insights of people, applied to maintain or improve their livelihoods. Advocates of IK in development argue that we should aim to play off the different perspectives, the strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages of different knowledge