The following points highlight the top nine policies for sustainable development of agriculture.
They are: 1. Reducing Poverty 2. Removing Subsidies 3. Market Based Approaches 4. Classifying and Expending Property Rights 5. Economic Incentives 6. Regulatory Policies 7. Trade Policy 8. Public Awareness 9. Participation in Global Environmental Efforts.
Policy # 1. Reducing Poverty:
The foremost policing is to reduce poverty. Therefore such projects should be started which provide greater employment opportunities to the poor class.
Government should expand health, family planning and education services, that will help reduce population growth.
Investments in civic amenities like the supply of drinking water, sanitation facilities, alternate habitats in place of slums, etc. Will go a long way to improve environment of the country.
Policy # 2. Removing Subsidies:
To reduce environmental degradation at no net financial cost to the Government subsidies for resources use by the private and public sectors should be removed. In fact, these subsidies use of electricity, fertilisers pesticides, diesel, petrol, gas, irrigation water, etc. lead to their wasteful use. In turn, they generate environmental problems. Removing or reducing subsidies will bring benefit the country from all sides.
Policy # 3. Market Based Approaches:
There is urgent need for adopting market based approaches for the protection of environment. They aim at pointing to consumers and industries about the cost of using natural resources on environment. The Market Based Instruments (MBIs) approach is the best policy.
It is of two types, (i) quantity based and price based. They are in the form environmental taxes that include: “pollution charges (emission tax/pollution taxes), marketable permits, depositor fund system, input taxes/product charges, differential tax rates and user administrative charges (ii) Subsidies for pollution abatement equipment for air and water resources.”
Policy # 4. Classifying and Expending Property Rights:
Lack of property rights over excessive use of resources leads to degradation of environment. This leads to overgrazing of common or public lands, deforestation and over exploitation of minerals, fish, etc. Clarifying and assigning ownership titles and tenurial right to private owners will solve environmental problems. Thus, the ownership right should be properly clear in the records of the Govt.
Policy # 5. Economic Incentives:
Economic incentives regarding price, quantity and technology can also help to a greater extent. Incentives are usually given in the form of variable fees to resource users for the quantity of pollutants in air, water and land use. They are given rebates if less waste or pollution is generated than the emission standards laid down by the Govt.
Policy # 6. Regulatory Policies:
Regulatory policies is another weapon to be used in reducing environmental degradation. Regulators have to make decisions regarding price, quantity or the price of pollution or resource use or technologies. The regulating authority decides whether policies should target the environmental problem directly or indirectly.
It lays down technical standards and regulations and charges on air, water and land pollutants. Regulator authority should be impartial in applying environmental standards to both public and private sector polluters or resource users.
Policy # 7. Trade Policy:
Trade policy in relation to environment has two implications (i) Concerning domestic policy reforms; and (ii) relating to international trade policy. Domestic trade policy stresses on the establishment of less polluting industries away from the cities and the use of environmental friendly processes for polluting industries by adopting cleaner technologies.
Policy # 8. Public Awareness:
Public awareness and participation are highly effective to improve environmental conditions. Conducting of formal and informal education programmes relating to environment management and environment awareness programmes can go a long way in controlling environmental degradation and keeping the environment clean.
Therefore public participation can also render costless and useful assistance in afforestation, conservation of wildlife, management of parks, improvements of sanitation and drainage system and flood control.
Policy # 9. Participation in Global Environmental Efforts:
In modern times, it is felt that participation in global environmental efforts can help to minimise damage made by degradation of environment. Therefore, efforts should be made to make agreements of environmental protection. They include the Montreal Protocol in phasing out of ozone-depleting chemicals.