Biodiversity and sustainable livelihood

Biodiversity for food and agriculture includes the components of biological diversity that are essential for feeding human population and improving the quality of life. It includes the variety and variability of ecosystems, animals, plants and micro-organisms, at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels, which are necessary to sustain human life as well as the key functions of ecosystems.

Importance of biodiversity:

Crop genetic diversity has a critical role to play in increasing and sustaining production levels and nutritional diversity throughout the full range of different agroecological conditions. Diverse organisms contributing to soil biodiversity perform a number of vital functions that regulate the soil ecosystem, including: decomposition of litter and cycling of nutrients; converting atmospheric nitrogen to an organic form, and reconverting this to gaseous nitrogen; and altering soil structure. Diversity in deliberate plantings on-farm- through crop rotations, crop species mixtures, permanent soil cover crops employed in conservation agriculture or agroforestry – are oft used techniques to increase yield stability, and increase soil fertility. Grassland and pasture/crop systems that diversify and integrate ruminant livestock and crops tend to be more sustainable because they provide opportunities for rotation diversity, perennial cultivation, and greater energy efficiency.

The introduction of grazing animals at certain points in farming cycles may help to break down plant material and increase nutrient availability. Predators and parasites which attack pest insects or pathogens on crops, or plant-feeding insects which attack crop weeds contribute to pest regulation. Beyond these direct trophic relationships, a web-like pattern of interactions amongst diverse life-forms on-farm can deliver additional benefits. For instance, crop production may benefit from benign micro-organisms which colonize crops and their habitats such that pathogens do not establish, or from non-crop plants which are attractive to pests and thereby reduce their numbers on crops. Taken together, this directly and indirectly acting biodiversity may create “pest suppressive” conditions. on-farm diversity of plants, closeness between crop
plants and thus coverage of bare ground, and more perennial cultivation may be measures lending greater resistance to invasion of farming systems by noxious species, and assist in weed management. Pollinators are essential for orchard, horticultural and forage production, and contribute to improvements in quality of both fruit and fibber crops. Healthy pollination services are best ensured by an abundance and diversity of pollinators, in large part provided by wild biodiversity.

Disability Entrepreneurship And Leadership (DEAL) Foundation works across the districts of Gadag and Bengaluru. The aim of the foundation is  to provide sustainable livelihood opportunities for households of people with disabilities

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