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The Indian Institute of Management (IIM Ahmedabad) has joined a multi-nation body in order to undertake research about how to have sustainable land use and meet the food demand targets by the year 2050. This news was revealed by an official at the B-school.
IIM Ahmedabad is considered to be on the topmost position of all the 20 Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and it keeps incorporating new measures to enhance the quality of education in the country. India is a part of the Food, Agriculture, Biodiversity, Land, and Energy consortium (abbreviated as FABLE) which comprises 18 countries. The aim of FABLE is to develop integrated policies for all the participant nations so that they can meet the food demand targets in a way that is sustainable.
In its first report, the FABLE consortium had expressed confidence that food security and sustainable land use are possible and it also suggested pathways in which this feat could be achieved. Professor Ranjan Kumar Ghosh of the Centre of Management in Agriculture at IIM Ahmedabad told that the FABLE consortium was formed about 18 months back by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the International Institute for Applied System Analysis, and the Food and Land Use Coalition. The fact that the present food systems and land use are unsustainable led to the formation of this consortium.
Ghosh further told that IIM-A was invited for representing India at the consortium. The USA, countries of the European Union and the major G-20 nations are also participating in it. He also pointed out that the expansion of agriculture for meeting the food demand causes severe stress on water, land, forests, and other natural resources. Hence, given the high population growth of India by 2050 and the ever-increasing demand for food, producing enough for feeding everyone while securing the land and other natural resources for the future generations is a task that seems difficult to fulfill.
Professor Ghosh along with a research fellow at IIM-A, Chandan Kumar Jha, is working with teams from different countries as a part of the FABLE consortium in this context. They are developing core modelling skills that are required for answering a series of questions regarding the sustainability of food and systems of land use across the world. Jha said that certain decisions affect not only the country but also have cross-sectoral and cross-country consequences, like importing palm oil in India has caused deforestation in Indonesia.
Several obstacles are being faced at each step that can be taken in this regard. The government’s policy of promoting biofuel production through crop residues can be fulfilled only by the increased availability of land, which in turn causes pasture land reduction and deforestation. The recent fire caused in the Amazon forests has raised concerns around the world and it cannot be ignored that deforestation is taking place in Brazil in order to boost agriculture. If the level of dependence on animal-based protein is increased, it could quite possibly lead to livestock expansion, which in turn may lead to serious effects on land use.
Ghosh said that the findings of FABLE’s first report are based on three pillars- restoration of food security and biodiversity, efficient and resilient agricultural systems, and healthy diets. The pathways that are suggested in the report include shifts in diet towards lesser consumption of meat, investing in technology for larger gains in agriculture productivity, reduced food loss, and decrease in the rate of population growth.
It is no secret that the earth has been plagued by many severe cruel acts of humans which have led to serious problems like climate change, extinction of species, reduced water levels, global warming, etc. Conserving and preserving our environment and natural resources was never more imperative. In a situation like this, such initiatives are absolutely necessary and every human should do their bit to have a more environment-friendly approach in everything.