Digital augmentation for accelerating agroecological intensification in the dry areas
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The core of the resilience in any agri-food systems solely relay on the wide array of the diversity that lead to ecological intensification. The digitization of the agroecosystems become essential entry point for such sustainable developmental entities whether it is plant genetics and agrobiodiversity for breeding better varieties, crop diversification and intensification, efficient use of farm inputs, agronomic practices, stable economic return to ecosystem services. The valuing the ecosystem functions is more important than production alone. The crop diversification especially pulses in cereal based production systems is become key pillars of the sustainable intensification of agri-food systems while ensuring the ecological functions under changing climate, diet and demography. Recent advances in Earth Observation System (EOS), OpenAccess (AO), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Information, and Communication Technologies (ICTs) along with smartphone enabled Citizen Science (CS) making Big-Data analytics much smarter, interoperable and much useful ever before. This has opened tremendous opportunity to address the gaps at multiple levels (e.g., data, yield, ecology, economy, resilience) for demand-driven ecological interventions across the scale (e.g., space, time and package). Ongoing efforts in big-data analytics aims at quantifying production dynamics, functions and drivers to target site specific developmental interventions and scaling the ecological intensification such as intensification of pulses in rice fallows, adoption of conservation agriculture, quantification of yield gaps, understanding land potential and yield gaps, geo-options for increased water productivity and transboundary cooperation. Ongoing efforts is to make use of big-data innovations coupled with sound ecological functions and citizen science to incorporate and design an functional agroecosystems and better land use choices for green livelihoods in the dry areas.