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December 2019 – Healthy Plants for a Healthy Planet

Healthy plants are the foundation for all life, sustainable ecosystems and food security. Healthy plants constitute the foundation for all life on earth, making up the oxygen we breathe and over 80% of the food for the human and animal consumption. Sustaining plant health protects the environment, biodiversity, and livelihoods enhances food security, addresses the effects of climate change, boosts economic development, and supports efforts to end hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

Rising temperatures while intensifying water scarcity, is also changing the relationship between pests, plants and pathogens. While several predators are disappearing, more plant pests are appearing and in places where they were never seen before earlier, owing to climate change. Already billions of dollars are being spent on pest and disease management, by intensive use of chemicals, thereby affecting human health and the environment. Hope the year 2020, declared by the UN as The International Year of Plant Health, serves as an opportunity to increase awareness and gain support for the promotion of plant health in a more safe and sustainable way.

Growing healthy plants is all about nurturing the plants to grow to their potential, providing a right ecosystem. This includes, developing healthy soil for better plant nutrition, building an ecosystem that encourages building up of pollinators, having a right mix of crops that encourages predator population, inclusion of biodiverse crops and trees that leads to congenial micro climate, improving plants access to sunlight, air and nutrition etc.

In this background, the December 2019 issue of LEISA India would like to look at what are the initiatives taken by farmers to grow healthy crops? What is the role of women in promoting healthy growth of plants? What benefits (economic, environmental and social) have the farmers received by growing healthy crops? Are farmers capable to grow healthy plants in changing climatic conditions? What is the role of research in developing healthy plants? What is the enabling environment and policy support currently available in promoting healthy plants?

Articles for the December 2019 issue of LEISA India should be sent to the editors before 5th November 2019. Email: leisaindia@yahoo.co.in