Tropical Ecology

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 167–185 | Cite as

Challenges and opportunities for agricultural sustainability in changing climate scenarios: a perspective on Indian agriculture

  • Rishikesh Singh
  • Hema Singh
  • A. S. RaghubanshiEmail author
Review Article


Increasing population and related food demand always remain the most imperative challenges for the developing world. It could only be attained by an increased agricultural production based on external inputs like mineral fertilizers and pesticides during the twentieth century. The green revolution-based modern agricultural practices have resulted in the substantial increase in grain yield at the cost of natural resource degradation. The externalisation of agriculture led to a considerable decline in soil fertility and environmental resilience. It calls for a different approach which should educate the farmers to utilise their traditional knowledge to produce more grains using less external inputs. This approach is known as sustainable agriculture which is the need of the hour, at present. The sustainable agriculture practices are derived from the amalgamation of traditionally adapted healthy practices with a modern development of agricultural systems. Thus, sustainable agricultural practices are supposed to be resource-conservative and resilient to the present climate change scenario. Moreover, a higher proportion of traditional inputs either in the form of resources or the knowledge may encompass the socio-economic balance among different societies. In this review, a brief insight has been given on the concept of sustainable agriculture, its need in the present scenario and a critical assessment in terms of challenges and opportunities for overall sustainability in developing nations by considering India as a model country. How the integration of traditional knowledge and modern agriculture practices will improve the agricultural productivity, soil quality and health as well as socio-economic balance, has also been discussed in terms of research opportunities.


Biodiversity Ecological agriculture Food Security Green Revolution Interaction Organic farming 



RS extends his thanks to Mr. Pramit Verma, IESD, BHU, for his help in improving the earlier drafts of the article. RS is also thankful to Dr. Pratap Srivastava, Department of Botany, SPM Govt. College, Prayagraj, for his thoughtful suggestions for drafting the article. RS acknowledges the financial support from University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, India as senior research fellowship. Authors are thankful to the anonymous reviewers for their suggestions for improving the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© International Society for Tropical Ecology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Integrative Ecology Laboratory (IEL), Institute of Environment and Sustainable Development (IESD)Banaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Botany, Institute of ScienceBanaras Hindu UniversityVaranasiIndia

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