COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
Agricultural Sustainability - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124045606, 9780124046085

Agricultural Sustainability

1st Edition

Progress and Prospects in Crop Research

Editors: Gurbir Bhullar Navreet Bhullar
Hardcover ISBN: 9780124045606
eBook ISBN: 9780124046085
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 11th December 2012
Page Count: 310
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST
Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.


Collaboratively written by top international experts and established scientists in various fields of agricultural research, this book focuses on the state of food production and sustainability; the problems with degradation of valuable sources of land, water, and air and their effects on food crops; the increasing demand of food resources; and the challenges of food security worldwide. The book provides cutting edge scientific tools and methods of research as well as solid background information that is accessible for those who have a strong interest in agricultural research and development and want to learn more on the challenges facing the global agricultural production systems.

Key Features

  • Provides cutting edge scientific tools and available technologies for research
  • Addresses the effects of climate change and the population explosion on food supply and offers solutions to combat them
  • Written by a range of experts covering a broad range of agriculture-related disciplines


Scientists and Researchers in industry and academia working in the field of agricultural research; Graduate and postgraduate students doing research projects; Policy makers, Administrators, Funding bodies, and Research bodies.

Table of Contents




Section I: Agricultural Biodiversity, Organic Farming, and New Crops

Chapter 1. Functional Agrobiodiversity: The Key to Sustainability?

1. Introduction

2. Agricultural Sustainability at the Onset of the Third Millennium

3. Agrobiodiversity: A Conceptual Framework

4. From Agrobiodiversity to Functional Agrobiodiversity

5. Functional Agrobiodiversity in Practice

6. Functional Agrobiodiversity: Opportunities and Bottlenecks

7. Conclusions



Chapter 2. Organic Agriculture—Driving Innovations in Crop Research

1. Introduction

2. Soil Fertility and Organic Farming in the Tropics—Challenges and the Way Forward

3. Plant Breeding Strategies for Organic and Low External Input Farming

4. Functional Biodiversity and Pest Management in Organic Farming

5. Agricultural Innovation—The Need for Transdisciplinary Research and Development

6. Outlook



Chapter 3. Guar: An Industrial Crop from Marginal Farms

1. Introduction

2. Origin, Genetics, and Breeding

3. Water and Salt Stress

4. Seed Composition

5. Galactomannan Properties, Biosynthesis, and Degradation

6. Preparation and Applications of Guar Gum

7. Biotechnology for Guar Gum Modification

8. Summary and Future Prospects


Section II: Effective Management of Resources (Nutrients and Water) and Crop Modelling

Chapter 4. Nitrogen Use as a Component of Sustainable Crop Systems

1. Introduction

2. Principles of Crop Sustainability in Rainfed Farming

3. Improving Nue and On-Site N Management

4. Targeting Crop Sustainability



Chapter 5. Potential of Management Practices and Amendments for Preventing Nutrient Deficiencies in Field Crops under Organic Cropping Systems

1. Introduction

2. Management Practices

3. Agricultural Organic Amendments

4. Industrial Organic Products/Byproducts

5. Mineral Amendments

6. Summary of Research Findings, Gaps, and Future Needs

7. Conclusions


Chapter 6. Effective Management of Scarce Water Resources in North-West India

1. Introduction

2. The Development of Water Scarcity for Irrigation

3. Reasons for Ground Water Depletion in Nw India

4. “Real” Water Savings

5. Improving Management of Water Resources

6. Conclusions


Chapter 7. Modeling for Agricultural Sustainability: A Review

1. Introduction

2. Major Simulation Models

3. Outlook


Section III: Molecular, Biotechnological, and Industrial Approaches for Enhancement of Crop Production and Quality

Chapter 8. Biotechnological Approaches for Increasing Productivity and Sustainability of Rice Production

1. Advances in Rice Biotechnology

2. Approaches for Increasing Yield Potential of Rice

3. Mapping Genes/QTLs and Marker-Assisted Breeding in Rice

4. Broadening the Gene Pool of Rice Through Wide Hybridization

5. Role of Anther Culture in Rice Breeding

6. Genetic Engineering Approaches for Sustainable Rice Production and Enhanced Nutritional Qualities

7. Advances in Functional Genomics Support Rice Breeding


Chapter 9. Biofortification of Staple Crops

1. Introduction

2. Biofortification: A New Tool to Reduce Micronutrient Malnutrition

3. Micronutrient Concentration and Grain Yield

4. Conclusion


Chapter 10. Nutrient-focused Processing of Rice

1. Introduction

2. Nutrient Composition of Rice Fractions

3. Health Problems in Rice Core Regions

4. Rice Processing

5. Potential usages of Edible Co-products

6. Future Scenarios of Nutrient-Focused Rice Processing



Chapter 11. Virus Resistance Breeding in Cool Season Food Legumes: Integrating Traditional and Molecular Approaches

1. Cool Season Food Legumes

2. Methods of Detecting Plant Virus Diseases

3. Source of Resistance to Viruses in CSFLs

4. Molecular Tools for Accelerating Virus Resistance Breeding



Section IV: Expert Advice on Policy and Developmental Aspects

Chapter 12. Talking Agricultural Sustainability Issues—an Interview with Dr. Gurdev Khush

Chapter 13. Economics and Politics of Farm Subsidies in India

1. Consumer Subsidies

2. Agricultural Subsidies

3. Policy Prescriptions

Chapter 14. Public-Private Partnership and Policy Reforms for Effective Agricultural Research, Development, and Training: A Viewpoint

1. The Issue

2. Strengths and Weaknesses of Public, Private, and Ngo Sectors

3. International Collaboration

4. Mechanism(S) for Establishing Public, Private, and NGO Partnership

5. Policy Support

Chapter 15. Contract-Farming for Production and Procurement of Mint—Lessons from Personal Experience

1. Introduction

2. Effective Communication—Foundation for a Good Start

3. Start on a Low Scale and Build Confidence in the Community Before Expanding

4. Cluster Approach for Expansion

5. Overcoming our Own Inhibitions for Expansion

6. Expansion was Required to Conquer Opposition from Within the Company

7. Balancing Company’s and Farmers’ Interests

8. Research and Development Support for Quick Expansion

9. Farmers First

10. Meeting Quality Goals

11. Advisory and Extension Services

12. Synergy with Other Organizations

13. Concluding Remarks





No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2012
11th December 2012
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Editors

Gurbir Bhullar

Dr. Gurbir S. Bhullar is a farming systems expert at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland. He has first-hand experience and expertise in long-term farming systems research in relation to the contemporary challenges faced by the small holder farming communities, particularly in less-privileged parts of the world. His qualifications span across agricultural and environmental sciences, and the focus of his research includes agricultural ecology, climate change mitigation and participatory research for sustainability of rural livelihoods. He undertakes multi-disciplinary and transdisciplinary research approaches, contributing to policy-making for sustainable development.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of International Cooperation, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland

Navreet Bhullar

Affiliations and Expertise

Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland


"There is something here for everyone with a serious interest in agricultural sustainability; each of the 15 chapters delves deeply into its specific topic, but the next begins anew in a tangential fashion. The book is unusual in its coverage of such diverse topics and deserves to be recognized for it…Some chapters were written to inspire readers, and the authors were definitely successful in accomplishing their goal. Summing Up: Highly recommended."--CHOICE Reviews Online, January 2014
"The book is highly topical given current concerns regarding food security, water security and climate change. The book provides the opportunity to develop a clear understanding of how agriculture needs to meet global food, fibre and energy demands whilst ensuring the maintenance of ecosystems and protection of biodiversity…[it] is a well-written, detailed, concise and informative book that I would recommend to students and colleagues."--Soil Use and Management, October 11, 2013
"Among specific topics are whether agrobiodiversity is the key to sustainability, the effective management of scarce water resources in northwestern India, biofortifying staple crops, integrating traditional and molecular approaches in breeding virus resistance into cool season food legumes, and lessons from personal experience regarding contract farming for producing and procuring mint."--Reference and Research Book News, August 2013

Ratings and Reviews