Madan Poudel

Madan Poudel

Passionate Agriculturist

System Thinking: Developing Solutions to Sustainability Challenges

Permaculture PERIOD: 1
Mr. Madan Poudel


System is a group of component interacting with each other which makes it functional. System is anything that can be separated into its functional unit and reversely different layers/strata arrangement makes it functional. System is a broader aspect of any entity/element. Clearing the concept of system with an example of car, it is made up of different sub-systems and its elements (spare parts). To be a car functional, each element function on their own and interacting with other such elements. Even, driver is one of its critical element as car without a driver is not a system. Human body is made of different organs which is in fact interaction of tissues subsystem and tissues are made up of cells. Every system has its components of what it consists.

Approach of system thinking

The approach of system thinking is to provide solutions over the complex problem which arises due to lack of understanding on system as a whole. Instead of isolating smaller and smaller parts of a system, this approach expands its view to take into account larger system to derive conclusion analyzing relationship and interaction on their functional component. The issue when solving any problem we often encounter is that we fail to picture the problem as a whole and we stress on one specific solution which in turns makes the problem more complex.  

Science today is in advanced stage and several disciplines has been discovered and people started to dig deeper into the knowledge to be specialized in such disciplines. The break up in the body of knowledge makes it difficult to communicate with other aspects knowledge. Physicist talks with physicist, economists to economists even worst electrometricans to electrometricians. The more the science breaks down, increasingly it becomes difficult to communicate to other discipline. Ultimately,  we lose the ability to generalize the framework of the system with which it functions.

System thinking approach can be used in various aspects of our  life, for business development, organization, research and many more. Life is cooperative rather than competitive and life forms of very different qualities may interact beneficially with one another and with their physical environment. Even the bacteria live in collaboration, accommodation and exchange.

System thinking in context of agriculture systems

Increasing debates have been raised on the issues of negative impacts of industrial agriculture which don’t coordinate with the natural system. We all know where the sustainability of our food system lies. It’s not out there in big farms with huge machinery practicing mono culture, heavily tilling the soil destroying its life form without any diversity; this definitely does not harmonies with our natural system!

Agriculture research system are often biased and researchers focus on their specific protocol to meet their research objectives. Specialists in various fields when gather together and observe a stalk of rice. The insect disease specialist sees only insect damage; the specialist in plant nutrition considers only the plant’s vigor. Methods of insect control, which ignore the relationships among the insects themselves, are truly useless. Suppose a scientists wants to understand the nature, he may start with studying a leaf but as his investigation processes down to the level of molecule, atoms and elementary particles, he loses the sight of the whole leaf. 

To illustrate a real example, scientists who studies nutrient to enhances the crop production, he studies the ways by which plant absorb. He control the environment and omit all the relationship plant has got with its supporting factors. He discovers that when there is too little calcium or magnesium in the soil  growth is poor and the leaves whither. When he artificially supplements the calcium or magnesium, he notes that the rate of growth increases and large grains form. Pleased with his success, the scientist calls his discovery scientific truth and treats it as an infallible cultivation technique elements as nutrients. But the real question here is is that a true deficiency? If so, what is the basis to call it a deficiency? When a field really is deficient in some component, the first thing done should be to determine the true cause of the deficiency. Yet science begins by treating the most obvious symptoms. If there is bleeding, it stops the bleeding. For a calcium deficiency, it immediately applies calcium. 

This calls for a new approach. In every cause, there is a second and a third cause. Behind every phenomenon there is a main cause, a fundamental cause, an underlying cause, and contributing factors. Numerous causes and effects intertwine in a complex pattern that leaves little clue as to the true cause. Even so, man is confident of the ability of science to find the true cause through persistent and ever deeper investigation and to set up effective ways of coping with the problem. Yet, just how far can he go in his investigation of cause and effect?

–  Last two Paragraphs adapted from  Masanobu Fukuoka “The natural way of Farming. The Theory and Practice of Green Philosophy”

In the nutshell, systems thinking is critical in developing solutions to sustainability challenges
To be continued...

The happy secret of effective table work with gardening hacks

Your workspace might be messed up things that breaks your attention. Try to surround with good things around to get focused and it will surprisingly delights you with its beauty. I have got half a dozen of bottles mostly reused ones of beverages. I put cuttings of ornamental and medicinal plants submerging stem base into the half water filled bootle.  

Believe me I put these plants into these vessels for more than five months, they stills looks fresh, green and smells good.

This croton is one of the awesome plant I have got in my collection. It has already developed 30cm long  adventitious roots in the water. Trust me, you can put this croton plant cuttings for a year or so alive, healthy and green. You can put 2 inch of white sparky pebbles which gives perfect reflection at light. I utilized this beverage bootle (Golden Oak, Vodka) to grow these plants. Even some beverage bottles has got artistic patterns. Alike croton you can put acalypha, justicia, aloe vera, money plant, balsam etc at these bottles to give a fantastic workspace design.


Pic: Justicia developing its root on volumetric bottom flask

I do spend my time in my mini little table garden keeping a maintained water level, changing the orientation and many more.

As a true natures guy, I feel deep affection at the plants. These environment brings me the strong sense of feeling to spend my time enjoying the work, networking and communicate the online world.

You can make the cuttings of balsam to root keeping at water for 15-20days. You can transplant into little plastic bottle cuttings. Balsam and aloe vera has got wide medicinal properties and it’s good to consume herbs that you could cultivate at your own desk.


You can put it at the window. The bottle with its top part separated is a nice thing to play with. You can raise nursery at it planting small vegetable seedlings and flower seedling. The broad leaf shade loving indoor plants like iron plants placed at the pot gives a nice view.


Try these gardening hacks at your own table. You will get to know how plants can amaze us and could bring positiveness at your work.



#LifeHack: from the twitter feed !

#LifeHack : Never Ending YOU and Your IDEA

Disclaimer: #LifeHack Series is personal feelings on different situation.


Enough is enough, so much of hardship ends in between nowhere. Days pass by looking forward to hear some good email responses from the available opportunities to be engaged. Its pity to mention as it ends with almost same response by meaning REJECTED. How far you will walk the path for searching the opportunities? How long you will have faith on other that he/she will select me for this opportunity? How long you stay awaited? The journey should ends here and by now. Rather be something more. After all it’s your craziness that dives you in. You need to define yourself what you are first not delivering about your biography as per the situation. You need to be yourself. You are really in big trouble my friend, you haven’t even discovered true version of yourself. No matter how other appreciate you on your activities or how much they praise you, if you fail to define yourself, you are long lost. I know you are passionate on your things, but you clearly need to know where your passion leads to. You need others support to grow on your vision but remember that you need to be self-dependent. The true color of you shouldn’t be others leg to push you forward. Rather seek on yourself for the possibilities to grow.

Lead the part of your idea not following on the recent trend on twitter or Facebook. You might have built up the strong portfolio, but you got to be stick on your idea whatever hurdle comes up, whatever the situation you pass through. Feed your idea regularly so that you can have broad perspective on what you want to be and what you want to achieve. Yah, you might be frustrated for couple of moments doubting on your works, or on lonesome path you walk with, but have strong feeling that the journey will walk through the amazing trails and wonderful time. You have forgotten the steps for journey, you might have shifted the low gear for some time wondering on high times, but you got to step up. The never ending you and your idea should always grow and prosper.

#LifeHack Series First