Analysis of Sustainable Development in Agricultural Sector through Circular Economy in India


  • Pragnya Patnaik


sustainable development, sustainability, circular economy, SDG, agriculture


Sustainable Development is an emerging and rapidly growing concept in today’s era. There has been a lot of history in the evolution of this concept. According to the report “Our Common Future”, published by Brundtland Commission, Sustainable Development was defined as “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

In other words, Sustainable Development is maintaining the economic progress and growth without compromising on the protection of the Environment. There needs to be an interdependence and integrity amongst the stability of the environment and the advancement of the economy. The three pillars of sustainable development are to be balanced for an effective outcome. These three pillars are: Environment, Economy and Social aspect. They, together are called “the Triple Bottom Line.”
In recent times, the concept of Circular Economy is well connected with achieving Sustainability. The concept of Circular Economy entails an economic system whose purpose is to produce goods and services in such a manner that limits the consumption of resources and reduces the production of waste.

The two Models of Economy, that is, a) the Linear Economy, whose concept is to take > make > use > waste, and b) the Recycling Economy, which is take > make > use > recycle > make > use > waste, is different than the Circular Model. In Circular economy the flow is to reduce, reuse and recycle products in production, consumption, and distribution process. This not only eliminates the waste but also helps in utilising the resources to its fullest. In short, circular economy is optimum utilisation of resources without hampering the profits generated by the company and protecting the resources obtained from the environment.

Agricultural sector is known to be largest producing sector in the Indian economy. It is known to have the major population employed here and is a major contributor to the nation’s GDP. Agriculture over the years has been resource intensive and this sector is known to produce most of the wastes. The ever increasing population and consumption within this population have forced agricultural activities to expand. However, in doing so the wastes produced have also increased with no feasible and effective way which leads to sustainability in this area. The paper focuses on why this concept should be used in the agricultural sector and how this concept can be implemented.

This paper deals with the following sections. The 1st section of this paper will deal with what is circular economy and how it is related to sustainability. The 2nd section will deal with circular economy in the agricultural sector and the current challenges being faced by the agricultural sector and if there is clarity in the concept of circular economy in the existing legislations. The final section will deal with how the Circular Economy promotes the Sustainable Development Goals in the agricultural sector with emphasis on Sustainable Development Goals number 2, 6 and 12.