Sustainable Economic Growth in India in the Face of Climate Change
Hotter temperatures, more frequent monsoons, droughts and climate refugees: these are all predicted to occur in the years to come in India because of climate change. Luckily, it remains possible for sustainable economic growth in India to occur.

India and Climate Change

India has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. In many ways, however, it is unsustainable and promotes the use of fossil fuels. The research that the Binzagr Institute on Sustainable Prosperity carries out is trying to change this model, and promotes sustainable economic growth which could help local communities in India grow and thrive! Their motto — People, Planet and Prosperity — aims to expand the world to think about more than the bottom line and GDP.

Check out the list below to see three ways that economic growth in India can happen while saving the planet:

  1. Locally-oriented economies could revolutionize the way capitalism operates throughout the globe. The goal is to move from a global-centric, export-oriented model to a more local way of encouraging communities to thrive especially when many members of the labor market depend on agriculture in rural areas. Instead of building foreign factories and paying employees lower than a living wage, focusing on community development is key to ensuring that development, prosperity and sustainable economic growth are promoted in India.
  2. Aquaponics is an agricultural model that combines plant and fish production to create a symbiotic relationship through fish waste and water so as to provide plants with nutrients. The plants use these ingredients to grow and flourish, then release clean water back to the fish. The process is completely sustainable, and provides food for local communities without requiring any soil. By instating this technology, India will fight climate change and spur sustainable economic growth and development in India. This method would also also enable the allocation of fertile land. Just as leafy greens can be grown using the aquaponics system, fertile land can be used to prioritize agricultural products, such as livestock, fruits and grains.
  3. In addition to the above solutions, we must change the world’s mindset about how to measure prosperity. Currently, we use the standard GDP model, but GDP growth does not always mean positive growth. An oil spill will increase GDP because more work is being done to fix the problem — people and businesses are indeed hired, but is this really a positive contribution to citizens’ quality of life? The Binzagr Institute is working on a new way to define growth that takes out negative impacts on people’s quality of life as a contribution to ‘growth.’  This will encourage and support the ideas proposed above.

Hopeful Solutions

As we can see, while there are a lot of problems facing this world, there are solutions developing that can rectify the situation of poverty in India and hopefully prevent the disastrous effects of climate change that could have dire consequences for India’s impoverished. Sustainable economic growth in India can be promoted through the implementation of these strategies.

– Jilly Fox
Photo: Flickr

sustainable agriculture in indiaAs of 2016, over 20 percent of India’s population lives below the poverty line. Part of the problem lies in the lack of food security in India. Since there is little sustainable agriculture in India, many people are malnourished. India is home to at least 15 percent of the world’s malnourished.

One way to combat the malnourishment epidemic in India is to create a sustainable agricultural system. These systems aim to produce food that is not only natural and healthy, but also plentiful and not harmful to the earth. In a sustainable agricultural system, the growers stay away from any form of chemicals or pesticides. This helps keep the food healthy and edible, and decreases disease within the community.

In India, much of the nation’s agriculture is dependent on rainfall. This leads to the slow growth of crops, causing the supply to fall behind the demand. Fortunately, through technological advancements and education, many of the barriers between India and sustainable agriculture can be conquered.

India must optimize its agriculture through three main areas: production, storage and distribution.

By establishing efficient water management, India could increase its supply dramatically. Many of the crops it raises, such as sugar cane, require large amounts of water. By creating an irrigation system, Indian farmers would no longer need to only rely on rainwater for their crops. This would help increase production.

Another reason why India’s agriculture is floundering is insufficient storage. Perishables are going bad in store houses before they can be consumed. New innovations such as certain tarpaulins, which keep perishables cool during transit, can help improve storage and distribution.

Though the country still has a long way to go before it can officially state that it has sustainable agriculture in India, it has already started making headway. One company, BASF, has already started creating and distributing products to India to help drive sustainability. The company’s products include biodegradable mulch film and other seed treatments.

BASF has also created an outreach program, Samruddhi, that has reached over 23,000 Indian farmers in 2016 alone. The company provides kits to Indian farmers that include protective tools and equipment.

While India still has a long way to go, products and education through companies like BASF can help fuel sustainable agriculture in India in the future.

– Courtney Wallace

Photo: Flickr