An Analysis of theAgrobiodiversity Scenario in India post Green RevolutionAbstract Formany years, mankind has lived in an environment supported by various kinds oforganisms- plants, animals, bacteria, etc. It is a cycle where a symbioticrelationship becomes mandatory to keep the balance in the surroundings.
Therefore, it becomes a responsibility for people to take care of the kind ofenvironment they live in and it also becomes essential to optimally utilizethese gifts of nature so that no one is found deficient of these commodities.It also becomes necessary to understand the adverse effects, if overutilization of these genetic resources takes place. This paper is going tofocus on Access Benefit Sharing Agreements that India has made for protectingthese genetic resources and the measures that have been adopted to regulatethese schemes and clarifying ambiguities that have been laid down in the schemeof Natural Biodiversity Act with regards to agriculture. The research paperwill also provide an insight to various methods of exploitation of agriculturalproducts so that it can make the readers introspect whether this kind ofexploitation is necessary under the disguise of ‘development’, or is there away to control such activities. It will give a brief on farmers’ rights andprivileges and how they can help without having to exert themselves in yieldinghigher returns. It will go further discuss sustainability of plant resources asthey are being highly used for its divided purposes including extraction ofoils and utilization of the seeds of the plant for commercial purposes. Toconclude, it will stress upon the need to preserve this bio diversity peopleare living in and why agriculture is one of the first aspects one needs to lookat. Introduction Incommon parlance, biological diversity or ‘biodiversity’ can be defined as agiven species richness (plants, animals, microorganisms) be it on land, wateror sea.
It is significant as it ensures the very stability and health of thebiosphere and contributes to the renewability of air, water and soil withoxygen, carbon and nitrogen cycles. Thus, it renders free recycling of thewaste in the environment which is why its preservation and conservation becomesvery important. Agriculturalbiodiversity or ‘agrobiodiversity’ encompasses these components of biologicaldiversity that are of relevance to food and agriculture including plants,animals and microorganisms. Presently, the excessive application of chemicalinputs in agriculture like fertilizers and pesticides has led to the depletionof the soil and significantly affected crop pattern and soil sustainability.There has also been a considerable erosion of agrobiodiversity including thatof genetic resources of plants and animals.
The current paper attempts toanalyse this depletion by taking into account the various provisions of theBiodiversity Conservation Act, 2002 and what the Indian Council of AgriculturalResearch has done to secure them. Moreover, it will also try to identify thelacunae existing in agreements like that of Access Benefit Sharing and deviseon ways to eradicate them. Green Revolution and itsImpact on Indian Agriculture Agricultureplays a vital role in India’s economy. Over 58% of India’s rural householdsdepend on agriculture as their principal means of livelihood.
According to the 2ndadvised estimates by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the share ofagriculture and allied sectors (including agriculture, livestock, forestry andfishery) has been calculated to be 17.3 per cent of the Gross Value Added (GVA)during 2016-17 at 2011-12 prices. Hence, it can be said that India’s economy ispredominantly agriculture based and the market of Indian agriculture isconsidered to be characterized with huge growth because of its increasingcontribution to world food trade every year due to its immense potential forvalue addition.
This is evident from the fact that the Indian food and grocerymarket is considered to be the world’s sixth largest with retail contributingto 70% of the sales. In order to maintain and for further growth of thisindustry several initiatives have been taken by the government over the yearsin the form of policy decisions, land laws and agricultural reforms which haveincluded steps to modernize and mechanize agricultural practices so that moreoutput can be achieved with less input. Though not all such initiatives havebeen successful, the Green Revolution has been one of the most strikingsuccesses of the sixties in India.
Green Revolution was introduced with theobjective of achieving “self sufficiency” in food production and ruralprosperity however it taught the nation some valuable lessons due to excessiveapplication of chemical inputs like fertilizers and pesticides which affectedthe soil system and the environment as well as the eco system. At present thereare a large number of high yielding varieties, hybrids and farm technologiesthat are available but at the same time but it must also be kept in mind thattechnology transfer should be such that it addresses the issues of “ecofriendly”, “farm-friendly” and “agro biodiversity friendly” so that the localfarmers’ needs are conserved.India has been blessed withrich agro biodiversity that includes both agricultural as well as horticulturalcrops. A large number of cereals, millets, oilseeds and vegetable varietieshave originated and are cultivated in India making it one of the richestCentres of Origin of crop and plant diversity in the world. The diversity inlivestock, poultry and fish species in India is also magnificent. The mainproblem that needs attention here is that since much of the agro biodiversityis in the control of traditional farming or tribal communities who followage-old and backward agricultural techniques like shifting cultivation or “slashand burn”, the agricultural scenario requires immediate reforms.Current Agricultural Scenario and Biodiversity ConcernThe Indian Council forAgricultural Research which is the second largest agricultural researchorganization in the world has undertaken serious work for formulation of newsystems and program based approach to conserve the agro biodiversity in thecountry.
Such effort is required as India as to reorient the previous policiesto tackle the current challenges of meeting increased demand in the foodproduction industry that has to be done through sustainable utilization. Such effort witnessed ashift from the traditional commodity based approach to an approach that is moreneed based and demand driven. Recently, the quality of the high yield andhybrid varieties is being strictly monitored and on farm conservation of geneticresources and diversified cultivating practices are being promoted to reducethe negative impact of agriculture on biodiversity. Sustainable agriculturalpractices are being introduced even in the grass root levels by promotion ofintegrated crop culture and livestock farming, revival of the traditionalwatershed management practices, discouraging the excessive use of chemicalfertilizers and popularizing the benefits of bio fertilizers or bio pesticides.These changes brought about in farming will not only ensure environmentfriendly farming but also help in augmenting the income of the farmers.Farmers’ Privilege and Rights India is among the firstcountries to have passed a legislation granting farmers’ rights in the form ofthe Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001.
The law passedis significant because it aims to protect both breeders and farmers. The actnot only upholds farmers’ rights to save, use and exchange seeds andpropagating material but also aims to enable farmers to claim specific forms ofproperty rights over their varieties. Nine rights can be said to have beengiven to farmers under the Act including: the right to save, exchange and (to alimited extent) sell seeds and propagating material, to register varieties, torecognition and reward of conservation of varieties, to benefit sharing, toinformation about expected performance of a variety, compensation for failureof variety to perform, availability of seeds of registered variety, freeservices for registration, conducting tests on varieties, legal claims underthe Act, and protecting from infringement. This legislation has ensuredthat the farmers are able to freely produce their requirement of seeds and alsoexchange the seed material with other farmers of the country. As long as thefarmers remains a grain producer and does not form himself into a large scalecommercial seed producer of the protected varieties, his freedom to use farmseed or exchange seeds with other farmers, is not affected by plant breeders’right. Access and Benefit Sharing Agreements Theword “fair” and “equitable” both means “Just” or unbiased.
Fair means havingthe qualities of impartiality and honesty and free from prejudice, favoritismand self-interest. Equitable also means just comfortable to the principles ofjustice and right. Fair likewise implies only agreeable to the standards ofequity and right. TheBiodiversity Act – 2002 basically delivers access to hereditary assets andrelated learning by outside people, organizations or organizations, toguarantee impartial sharing of advantages emerging out of the utilization ofthese hereditary assets and related or Traditional learning to the nation andthe general population. Article 3 and 4 in the BD Act, 2002 are the imperativeareas for access of bio resources, conventional learning and also exchange ofresearch comes about (Technology) on biodiversity of India.
To direct theentrance of biodiversity a three level structure at the national, state also,neighborhood level is built up under the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) manages all issues identifying withdemands for access by remote people, foundations or organizations, and allissues identifying with exchange of aftereffects of research to any outsiderand endorsement for IPR related bio resources. State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) managesall issues identifying with access by Indians for business purposes. The Indianenterprises are required to give earlier insinuation to the concerned SBB aboutthe utilization of natural asset. The SBBs have the ability to confine any suchmovement, which abuses the targets of preservation, economical utilize andimpartial sharing of advantages. The Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs)are set up by the State Biodiversity Boards at neighborhood level in eachPanchayat in their separate territories for protection, supportable utilize,and documentation of biodiversity and chronicling of learning identifying withbiodiversity in People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR). Any individual alluded toin sub area (2) of section 3 of the Biodiversity Act, 2002, who expects toacquire any organic asset happening in India or information related thereto forexplore or for business use or for bio study and bio usage or exchange theconsequences of any exploration identifying with organic assets happening in,or acquired from, India, should make application to the National BiodiversityExpert. The NBA and SBBs are required to counsel the concerned BMCs on issuesidentified with utilization of natural assets and related learning inside theirlocale.
Additionally, to check bio theft, the Biodiversity Act, 2002 gives thatentrance to organic assets and related information is liable to terms andcondition.TheNational Biodiversity Authority while allowing endorsements under Section 19and 20 guarantees that the terms and conditions subject to which endorsement isconceded secures impartial sharing of advantages emerging out of theutilization of got to natural assets, their side-effects, developments andpractices related with their utilization and applications and learning relatingthereto as per commonly concurred terms what’s more, conditions between theindividual applying for such endorsement, nearby bodies concerned furthermore,the advantage claimers. Reasonable and impartial offer of advantage isadministered by section 21 of BD Act, 2002 and Rule 20 of Biological DiversityRules, 2004 on case by case premise.
The offer of advantage sharing out of theutilization of bio resources might be chosen by NBA in discussion with theneighborhood bodies. The advantage claimers are conservers of natural assets,makers and holders of learning and data identifying with the employments ofnatural assets. While allowing endorsements, NBA will force conditions, forsecuring fair offer in the advantages emerging out of the utilization oforganic assets happening in India or learning identifying with them. Theseadvantages incorporate fiscal picks up, concede of joint responsibility forproperty rights, exchange of innovation, relationship of Indian researchers ininnovative work, setting up of investment subsidize and so on. Through warningof rules from NBA, regularly exchanged items are exempted from the domain ofthe BD Act 2002 and exclusion for cooperative research government supported orgovernment affirmed foundations subject to general strategy rules andendorsement of the Central Government.
The approach rules have been created byNational Biodiversity Authority and as of late informed by the CentralGovernment for undertaking community oriented research with a consent to sharethe advantage emerging out of the organic assets. Rich harvest landraces andcustomary ranchers’ assortments are predominant in a few pockets and regions.These constitute a precious supply of qualities that are required by plantreproducers for improvement of predominant yield assortments. In any case, theassorted variety is being lost from the “regular” environmentsbecause of the developments of horticultural generation to boondocks regionsand furthermore from the horticultural fields because of the selection of madestrides assortments and other innovation by the ranchers. Thus, logicaladministration of these precious assets have expected more prominent hugenessafter some time. Additionally, the wild species furthermore, relatives of yieldplants contain important qualities that are of enormous incentive as hereditaryasset for additionally use in edit rearing projects. These assets are probablygoing to play a special part in the improvement of new cultivars andfurthermore in rebuilding the current ones which need either trait. The mostvital legacy factor acquired from the wild has been that for disease(s) orpest(s) protection or dry season resilience.
ConclusionThenatural habitat of plants, animals and microorganisms become essential fortheir ultimate survival. Keeping that in mind, the basic crop varieties need tobe protected for the final consumption and development. But this diversity isbeing lost from the “natural” habitats due to the expansion of agriculturalproduction to frontier areas and also from the agricultural fields due to theadoption of improved varieties and other technology by farmers. In thisscenario, it becomes increasingly important to preserve these resources forfuture generations. References:1. TheBiological Diversity Act, 2002 and Biological Diversity Rules, 2004.
National BiodiversityAuthority, 2004, Chennai2. Khoshoo,T.N. 1995. Biodiversity, Bioproductivity and Biotechnology. In: Farmers Rightsand Plant Genetic Resources – Recognition and Rewards: A dialogue (ed) M.
S.Swaminathan, Mac Millan India Ltd. pp.156 – 159.3. Swaminathan,M.S 1992.
Biodiversity and Biotechnology. In: Biodiversity implication onglobal food security (ed.) M.S.Swaminathan and S.Jena Macmillan Publication,Madras. pp.3264.
Paroda,R.S., Mangala Rai and P.L. Gautam.
1999. National Action Plan on Agrobiodiversityin India. Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, p. 555. http://www.farmersrights.org/state/countries_india.html