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Conserving India's Agro-Biodiversity: Prospects and policy implications

Ashish Kothari

Report/paper, 20 pages

India is one of the world's largest and oldest agricultural societies, one which has remained predominantly rural despite decades of modernisation. The stability and sustainability of its agriculture is therefore of paramount importance; even today, every aspect of the country's economy and polity, and the day-to-day lives of the majority of its 900 million population, are governed by what happens in the agricultural sector. What role does agricultural biodiversity - the diversity of agro-ecosystems, crops and livestock - and of related husbandry practices/knowledge, have to play in this? How has the modernisation process affected the diversity found in nature and on farmers' fields and pastoralists' pastures, and will this have an impact on the paramount goal of providing food security?

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