Abstract

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Sustainability in the Three Dimensions of Society - Urbanization, Food Insecurity and Agriculture


Maninder Singh Saini


Panjab University - University Institute of Legal Studies

Rishav Jain


Panjab University - University Institute of Legal Studies

May 25, 2014

OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, Vol. 07, No. 02, pp. 79-90, 2014

Abstract:     
In view of our present day knowledge concerning sustainability we usually are predisposed to follow the principles of sustainable development by the Bruntland Commission which have significant influence on present day issues of sustainability but the idea of earth and its entities being in symbiosis, in a matrix of interrelation was already there in our religious texts.

Pavan guru Pani Pita, Mata dharata mahat, Divas raat doe daee dia, Khele sagal jagat. (Jap ji Sahib, Guru Granth Sahib Ji, 8)

In the holy book of the Sikhs Guru Nanak Dev says Air is vital force, Water the progenitor, the vast Earth is the mother of all, Days and Nights are nurses, fondling all creation in their lap. The Sikh Gurus showed the world, the way to appreciate the interdependence of living beings and their environment and the way to nurture this interrelationship.

Sustainability essentially involves maintaining non–reducing level of per capita well being over time. With coming of the concept of sustainability the line of distinction existing between Human and society got vanished, without this fragmentation there was a paradigm shift to understanding the various dimension of human society and their inter linkages along with the challenges we face. This paper reviews current thinking, and outlines these challenges with regard to the three very important dimension namely urbanization, food insecurity and agriculture.

Food production being the corner stone for sustained improvement in human well being and in reducing risks and shocks, without there being proper investment in our food systems, sustained improvements cannot be achieved. Despite there being a substantial increase in agriculture production yet the problem of food insecurity persists. Amongst the various reasons for growing food insecurity the key reason has been Urbanization and its consequential increase in population. Cyclical representations via flow charts have been used to give an outline of increasing food insecurity, where with increased food insecurity dependence on import increases, thereby reducing income level which in turn effects the access to food thereby leading to reduced nutritional intake, this results in migration of people from rural area in search of food, more importantly with this migration agricultural production further decreases and the cycle continues.

Sustainability in agriculture is gradually garnering support because in order to address the environmental concern as well as attaining food security, sustainability in agriculture is essential. It really is important to identify the basic ideas, practices and policies that constitute our concept of sustainable agriculture. Through this paper we have achieved in presenting the ideas, practices etc. of agricultural sustainability through a diagrammatic form and fragmenting the concept of agriculture sustainability to: Agro-environmental Sources, Inputs System, Socio-Economic system and the various Farming Systems. Effective agriculture forms a matrix or a framework around which the food security builds up but can this be done through a sustainable approach? The answer to this could be well explained through 1960’s Asian Agrarian policy for achieving multiple crop production level to increase food intake and increasing purchasing power, though there were sign of substantial gains in production level but late on it raised concern about sustainability due to excessive use of agro chemical inputs at the cost of environment.

Due to the outcome of certain social political and economic developments there is a growth of cities, changes in land use pattern. Urbanization has been connected with development process as an essential strand in contemporary economic system. But scholars have also contested that urbanization includes several factor of which social change is one factor. This urbanization process goes together closely with growing urban poverty and food insecurity.

In this paper outline for ideas of urban sustainability incorporating the concept of urban social sustainability, understanding the importance of urban ecology have been studied. Concept of urban farming is also important since it helps in reducing shocks in urban food supply thereby ensuring urban food security.

Growth of cities may be part of certain problems but equally it can also become the part of solution. Concept of governance both climate governance and metropolitan governance are important as they form the basis for the integrated urban planning.

The concept of sustainable agriculture will remain ever evolving in the coming years. For the society it really is important to identify the basic ideas, practices and policies that constitute the concept of sustainable agriculture. Urbanization has had a big impact on fundamental changes taking place in contemporary food system. The rapid unsustainable growth of cities is adversely affecting the basic Urban Support Service system which hampers the basic health of individuals. This Along with migration from rural area adds to growing number of urban slum dwellers further worsening food security.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 14

Keywords: Food security, sustainability, education, ecology

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Date posted: May 26, 2014  

Suggested Citation

Saini, Maninder Singh and Jain, Rishav, Sustainability in the Three Dimensions of Society - Urbanization, Food Insecurity and Agriculture (May 25, 2014). OIDA International Journal of Sustainable Development, Vol. 07, No. 02, pp. 79-90, 2014. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2441667

Contact Information

Maninder Singh Saini (Contact Author)
Panjab University - University Institute of Legal Studies ( email )
Sector 14
Chandigarh, 160014
India
Rishav Jain
Panjab University - University Institute of Legal Studies ( email )
Sector 14
Chandigarh, 160014
India
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