What is sustainable agriculture?
Sustainable agriculture refers to a farming practice using sustainable modes that help in meeting the demand for the produce while keeping in mind the environmental needs and understanding the preservation of the eco system. Sustainable farming gives the agricultural industry various flexible options that can be implemented in improving the environmental positivity and controlling the environmental footprint.
Sustainability can be simply understood as the process of meeting the current needs without compromising on the future generations ability to meet their needs.
Sustainable agriculture helps in satisfying the human consumption needs while enhancing the environmental quality and preserving natural resources at the same time. It helps in the optimum use of non-renewable resources and integrate the right biological controls for optimum production cycles. This not only enhances the quality of living for famers and the society as a whole but also helps in sustaining the economic viability of various agricultural practices.
Why is sustainable agriculture important?
Various environmental issues are pertaining and directly related to the agricultural industry which can spoil the entire habitable environment if not addressed properly and swiftly. To be confirmed as sustainable, the agricultural practices should be integrated socially, environmentally as well as economically.
Goals of sustainable agriculture:
The most common goals of sustainable agriculture are to maintain and improve environment health, economic standards, farming profits and socio-economic equity. Shifting from traditional agriculture to sustainable agriculture is a long process. It is irrational to expect farmers to become entirely sustainable with immediate results. The motive of sustainable agriculture should be in mind of all the stakeholders of the agricultural industry like farmers, wholesalers, governments, consumers etc.
Sustainable agriculture also helps in creating a level of social awareness and inclusion between all the affected parties and helps in creating a constructive community that works towards the same goals.
Issues that call for a need of sustainable agriculture:
- Environment issues: The traditional modes of agricultural practices often add pressure to the already depleting natural resources. Using chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides can show results in the short-term but are extremely harmful for the environment in the long run. These chemicals used not only deplete the quality of soil, but their run off is often deposited in water bodies that pollutes another resource. Contemporary farming methods rely on the production of a few crops primarily. Crop rotation is not focused on and can cause a hinderance in the availability of produce to meet demand.
- Social and economic issues: Agricultural development is considered to be a driving force in reduction of poverty. However, the prevailing methods of agriculture are not sustainable and actually cause added problems to an economy. With a continuous increase in population and food demand, if the agricultural industry does not adapt to sustainable tools, it will be next to impossible to have enough supply in the long run.
There are various steps that are being taken to make the agricultural industry mores sustainable that are becoming more and more popular across the globe.