Sustainable agriculture involves the production of food, fiber, or other plant and animal products using suitable farming techniques that protect the environment, animal welfare, human communities and public health. Sustainable agriculture comes with numerous benefits for the entire universe.
Here are some facts about sustainable agriculture that you should know:
The key mission of sustainable agriculture is environmental preservation
Farmers don’t rely on toxic chemical pesticides and synthetic fertilizer to increase their farm produce or raise animals. Secondly, there is no place for genetically modified seeds in sustainable agriculture. Sustainable farmers protect the biodiversity and foster the development and maintenance of healthy ecosystems by using techniques such as crop rotation, pasture-based animal husbandry, and conservation tillage. Alternatively, farmers can opt to grow a wide variety of plants on their farms and avoid practices which degrade the soil, water or any other natural resource. The main goal of sustainable farmers is to develop efficient biological systems which don’t rely on high levels of material input.
Sustainable farmers shouldn’t just accept climate change since it is happening
Farmers who practice sustainable agriculture can’t afford to accept climate change simply because it is happening and its effects are already being felt everywhere. They can’t afford to give up on the efforts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions which make about 25% of the global GHG emissions. There is something that can be done to bring down the emissions. Intensifying sustainable farming on existing land and protecting the remaining forests can go a long way in eliminating gas emissions from land-use change. Once we succeed in addressing key emissions from
agricultural production, then we can go a long way in containing emissions from other sources.
There is a role for everyone to play in sustainable agriculture
According to a report by the World Resources Institute (WRI) titled “Creating Sustainable Food Future,” the world will need 70% more food in 2050 to cater for the 9.6 billion estimated world population. This is no joke; it is a huge challenge that needs to be picked up by everyone if we want to achieve this target without causing more harm to our environment. The fact remains, everyone, needs to eat, and so, it doesn’t matter whether it is reducing food loss, and waste, investing in sustainable production or eating lower-impact diets but every country, organization, and individual can make a difference. The challenge is making everyone understand the consequences of depending on industry-driven production. Think about this;
if everyone tried to grow their own vegetables, wouldn’t it drive home the point of how difficult sustainable food production is?
The key to achieving domestic food security and sustainable agriculture is small-scale farmers
Think about this fact; almost every country produces less food than it consumes. For example, UK produces 24% less food than it consumes. The fact of the matter is that small-scale farmers continue to have a guaranteed and growing market for staple foods in different countries. Therefore, the best thing that governments and banks around the world can do is to support the over 500 million small-scale farmers to scale-up sustainable agricultural activities. The support can be in the form of friendly global policies for a level playing ground, facilitating access to capital and markets, legal land tenure and structured training for both agriculture and business development.
Agroforestry can boost crop yields.
Growing certain species of trees on the farm fixes the nitrogen-deficiency problem leading to improved crop yield and
minimized use of commercial fertilizers. The trees also protect crops from strong winds and water erosion apart from increasing the organic matter in the soil when its leaves drop and decompose. This has been proved especially in African countries such as Niger where farmers have managed the natural regrowth of the native Faidherbia trees across 5 million hectares of land and harvested more crops. Other African countries that have borrowed a leaf from Niger include Kenya, Zambia, and Ethiopia.
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