Around 25% of the South Asian population falls below the international poverty line
The pressures in South Asia are numerous, ranging from poverty, inequalities, hunger, and malnutrition; inadequate diets and unsustainable consumption patterns; land scarcity; degradation and soil depletion; water scarcity and pollution; loss of living resources and biodiversity; and stagnation in agricultural research. Climate change further aggravates all of these. The management of natural resources is critical because of the livelihoods of millions of rural poor. The region will continue to play a crucial role in determining food security for the growing population and in poverty reduction in the coming decades. New opportunities lie in the knowledge-based management of natural resources, agricultural intensification, adaptation to climate change, technology sharing, institutional innovations, and improved intra-regional trade. Since its inception in 2011, BISA has promoted a wide range of approaches that maximize the use of diverse germplasm, natural processes, and ecosystems; reduce excessive use of external inputs, and enhance the diversity of production while tailoring production intensity to the capacity of the land. These knowledge-intensive and multiply-beneficial approaches typically contribute to increased agricultural productivity, enhanced biodiversity, improved livelihoods, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector.
The BISA strategic plan 2020-2024 is set on five action areas to ensure smallholder farmers’ food, livelihoods, and nutritional security in South Asia.These areas are
i) Development and exchange of improved genetic resources;
ii) Climate-resilient and resource-use efficient practices;
iv) Extending BISA services to new horizons/geographies in South Asia, and
v) Research for policies in South Asia.