Agriculture faces many challenges, making it more and more difficult to achieve its primary objective ‐ feeding the world – each year. Population growth and changes in diet associated with rising incomes drive greater demand for food and other agricultural products, while global food systems are increasingly threatened by land degradation, climate change, and other stressors. Uncertainties exist about regional and local impacts of climate change, but the overall global pattern suggests that the stability of the food system will be at greater risk due to short-‐term variability in food supply. Humankind has to nourish about 9.5 billion people by 2050 which requires maintaining the integrity of the soil and water resources with changing global climate system. Land degradation is a worldwide challenge, substantially affecting productivity in more than 80 countries and especially serious in developing countries. The impact of land degradation has already put at risk the livelihoods, economic well-being, and nutritional status of more than 1 billion people in developing countries (FAO, 2009).
Agriculture must change to meet the rising demand, to contribute more effectively to the reduction of poverty and malnutrition, and to become ecologically more sustainable. Poverty and hunger must be eradicated in our generation and should therefore be a prominent stand-‐alone goal. The majority of the world’s poor people live in rural areas, and agriculture growth has proven effective in lifting rural families out of poverty and hunger. Managing the linkages between agriculture, poverty and nutrition is critical as we look towards providing children with an opportunity to reach their full potential. Land degradation adversely affects the ecological integrity and productivity of about 2 billon ha, or 23 percent of landscapes under human use and up to 40 percent of the world’s agricultural land are seriously degraded. India with 2.4% land area supports more than 17% of the world population. Achieving food security under the regime of climate change will require a holistic system approach, incorporating the principles of natural farming or conservation agriculture (CA), and judicious crop rotation.
Zero budget natural farming (ZBNF) an offer workable options to eradicate poverty and hunger while improving the environmental performance of agriculture, but requires transformative, simultaneous interventions along the whole food chain, from production to consumption. It also requires unprecedented, large-‐scale behavior change by consumers as well as producers of food. Long‐lasting solutions will require re-‐thinking of rural development and smallholder agriculture towards structural transformations that include and benefit the poor. Improved farming systems and new technologies and business models can create decent jobs, allow the overcoming of resource constraints, enable greater market participation, and also lessen physical hardships in agriculture.