Agriculture is the world’s largest industry. Over the years, there was a lot of development that increased food productivity. These developments do not only provide positive effects, but it is also faced with some risks to the environment. To increase food productivity, new technologies, mechanization, and increased chemical use are utilized to maximize production at a lower cost. These processes of improving agriculture are confronted with an environmental footprint, land degradation, water scarcity, greenhouse gas emissions, and deforestation.
With continuous development, there is a need for sustainable agriculture that will benefit environmental health, economic profitability, and social equity. Sustainable agriculture means that the present needs of society are met without compromising the resources for future generations. Experts propose that it is a potential solution to feed the growing populations without putting great impact on the environment.
In sustainable agriculture, different fields of sciences are involved such as biology, economics, chemistry, engineering, and community development. It aims to provide nutrient-rich food, maintain good public health, makes the farming operation profitable, and it promotes healthy biodiversity. Green agriculture makes sure that both consumers and farmers are healthy.
Dimensions of Sustainable Agriculture
This dimension of sustainable agriculture is the ability to utilize natural resources properly. Natural resources that are well utilized will help eradicate agricultural challenges such as soil infertility, soil, erosion, global warming, etc.
The goal of green technology to sustainable agriculture is that it makes the processes much easier and viable for long-term growth. Since it is for the long-term, agricultural activities must have less to no risk to the environment and humans. When sustainability is attained, there will be an increase in profit.
There should be a balance between the social, environmental, and cultural aspects of agriculture. When there is balance, you can easily identify issues that need to be addressed. Social sustainability also makes sure that each factor will play an important role in achieving development.
Benefits of Sustainable Agriculture
Environmental protection is the primary goal of green technology for sustainable agriculture. All activities in agriculture are directed to decrease carbon emissions, reduce erosion, improve air and water quality, and to utilize the natural resources well. Aside from ways on how to help the environment, sustainable agriculture also promotes crop rotation as normal pest management without the use of pesticides.
Sustains the agri-food system long-term
The agriculture industry is faced with different challenges from climate change and pest breakouts. With the help of sustainable agriculture, the challenges that are encountered are lessened to produce more. To attain an agri-food system long-term, you need to ensure that the soil is healthy and nourished. Avoid using chemically-based products because that is one of the reasons why the soil is destroyed.
Reduces certain product costs
Fossil fuels are widely used in the agriculture industry. The use of fossil fuels is expensive, which is why when there is a shift to sustainable agriculture, there will be a significant reduction in the production cost. You can easily save money that you can use for some other things when you practice sustainability.
With sustainable farming, farmers are encouraged to not only plant crops and other food products but to also raise animals that can help nourish the soil’s fertility to grow healthy plants for consumption. Sustainable agriculture is all about biodiversity where each species plays an important role in sustainable development. It is important to utilize agricultural land efficiently to make it more productive.
Sustainable Agriculture Challenges
Even though there are newer technologies that support agricultural activities that increase food production, it can’t be avoided that food shortage is still an issue. These are the different challenges that hinder sustainable development especially in food production:
- Soil fertility
One of the reasons why some places still experience food shortages is because of unavailable land areas. Some agricultural lands are converted to commercial buildings while some just have infertile soil. Soil infertility is a result of inadequate nutrients that is not suitable for plant growth. There are also land pieces that lose soil fertility as time goes by due to the depletion and accumulation of unwanted materials.
- Water irrigation
Sustainable agriculture increases the organic matter content of the topsoil, thus raising its ability to retain and store water that falls as rain. However, because of climate change drought is experienced more frequently that affects and delays the growing season leading to shortages of supply.
- Land use pattern over
The exploitation of land causes landslides, erosion, landslides, and flooding clogs irrigation channels and reduces the arability of the land. Sustainable agriculture avoids these problems by improving guidelines on how to manage and modify agricultural land areas.
- Climate change
The agricultural industry is one of those that produce a significant amount of greenhouse gases. Harmful gases such as methane are produced in the creation of artificial fertilizers. In sustainable agriculture, there is no need to make artificial fertilizers that also lessen the emission of gasses that contributes to climate change.
With the growing population, it’s important to utilize farming techniques that will fulfill the Earth’s needs. The main idea of sustainable agriculture is to provide unlimited agricultural products and services until future generations. Sustainable generations also ensure environmental health, profitability, and social and economic equity.