Dietary Diversity Through Integrated Agriculture: A Cookbook for Sustainable Nutrition


Integrated agriculture systems depend on a good understanding of the interactions in nature between the four main components of such systems – fertilisers, pesticides, cultivation, and rotations, and how these interactions influence crop yields and other economic benefits from farming. Alternatives to energy-based inputs include legume (nitrogen fixing) rotations, use of organic matter from waste as well as that from animals and crops, integrated pest management, pest and disease forecasting, biological and cultural pest control, living mulches, mechanical weed control, conservation tillage, specialised innovative cultural techniques, including intercropping, strip cropping, under sowing, trap crops, and double-row cropping. Mixed cropping introduces diversity and complexity to the farm ecosystem, and offers a sustainable and productive approach to agriculture, promoting ecological balance, soil health, and farm resilience. While it requires careful planning and adaptation, the potential benefits for the health of both farmers and the environment are significant, and helpful for building a more sustainable food system.

Apart from maintaining the soil nutrient status and bio-pest control, this system of cropping also helped in improved diet diversity. The intermittent harvesting of crops enhanced the nutrient intake of the Campus inhabitants. Each recipe in this cookbook features a key ingredient grown on the IIHS Campus using sustainable practices. Reducing food miles is one of the objectives, but another is essentially, to create integrated systems of food, water, energy, biodiversity, and health.