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Organic interventions conferring stress tolerance and crop quality in agroecosystems during the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration
Land Degradation & Development  (IF4.977),  Pub Date : 2021-09-09, DOI: 10.1002/ldr.4094
Deepranjan Sarkar, Pradeep Kumar Dubey, Rajan Chaurasiya, Ardith Sankar, Shikha, Neha Chatterjee, Sabuj Ganguly, Vijay Singh Meena, Sunita Kumari Meena, Hanuman Prasad Parewa, Amitava Rakshit

Excessive use of synthetic chemicals in conventional agriculture largely degraded the agroecosystems that constitute approximately 40% of the global terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, changing climate resulted in a substantial loss in agricultural productivity (both in quantity and in quality) mainly due to diverse abiotic and biotic stresses. This draws public awareness about depleting natural resources, viz., soil, land, and water due to unsustainable agricultural practices and equivalently concerns for food-related animal and human health risks. Modern organic agriculture has shown positive impacts in terms of food/biomass production, climate resilience, soil health, biodiversity, nutritional security, and good quality of life; and is of prodigious demand for nutrient-rich organic food products. In the ensuing decade, owing to the principal focus for the quality aspects or health benefits of organic agriculture, this review explores how organic interventions affect the nutritional value and yield quality in a production system; enable plants to adapt to adverse futuristic environmental conditions, and address the global food and nutritional security challenges. The chronological emergence, current global status, public perceptions, and key components of organic agriculture with their attached health benefits are inextricably synthesized herein. Fostering the ethos of organic agriculture under the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021–2030) is highly imperative for agroecosystem restoration and its sustainable management. Moreover, the multidimensional paybacks of organic agriculture help in attaining important global goals and targets such as the Bonn Challenge and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) by the year 2030. Therefore, invigorating the escalation of organic farming as a concurrent strategy of soil, land, and ecosystem restoration is the need of the hour.