When it comes to the current world, the sustainability is a popular topic that discuss all over the world. The limited resources like land, water, energy, fossils are degrading or reducing all around the world making it unsecure for the future. The future will have to face so many difficulties due to this degradation. They may not get enough food, water, fossil fuel and etc. for their consumption. It is a great tragedy that lack consideration. But hopefully to overcome these problems or to secure the future world the United nations declared 17 sustainable development goals in 2015 to meet in 2030. All these goals were set in order to have a better future. One of these 17 goals is the sustainable agriculture.
In here, through this post I am going to discuss about some points related to this.
What is this Sustainable Agriculture?
Sustainability simply can understand as causing low or no affect to the environment. If we do so then we can save the resources for our future as well. No harm will occur to the future generation if we cause less harm on the environment. This does not focus only on the current production of the crops and livestock, but also on the long-term production. Simply, the sustainability is the maintenance of the present production to meet the future demands too.
Why we need to talk on this Sustainable Agriculture?
All of you may aware that the world population is increasing greatly. When it comes 2050 it is estimated that the world population will increase more than 9 billion. So that means the number of the mouths to feed also increases. The food demand will increase around 33% as of present when it comes to 2025. Therefore, there should be enough resources to meet this food demand in the future. We must think about the future production thoroughly to meet the increasing demand.
Moreover, the climate pattern of the world is changing gradually due to harmful effects on the environment. This happens due to various actions of the human including agriculture. As well the water, fertile soil, fossil fuels, energy, natural forests are becoming limited. There should be a nice balance between the environment and the human if we want to live better lives now and also in the future.
But most of the practices including agricultural practices we follow today are not sustainable. Therefore, a great attention is need for this sustainability including which promises a better future.
- Producing enough crop and animal products for consumption to meet the increasing demand.
- Conserving water.
- Protecting the soil.
- Minimizing the use of the chemicals like pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers etc.
- Maintaining the biodiversity of the environment.
- Enhancing the economic stability of the farm.
- Enhancing the quality of the life of the farmers as well the society.
- Conserving energy resources.
When we are talking about the Sustainable Agriculture there are some key features we use here. They are:
When producing the crops and animals we have to integrate some ecological and biological phenomenon like nitrogen fixation, nutrient recycling, allelopathy, predation, parasitism and so on. These are very helpful in regaining the soil fertility that we lose in farming.
The other one is we have to minimize the use of the non-renewable resources or inputs that causes harm to human and animals.
In here we have to get use from the human capital as much as possible by replacing all the harmful energy consuming methods in farming. It helps you to be free from the costly external inputs and causes less harm on the environment too.
Sustainable Agriculture practices
There are some practices where we can enhance the sustainability of the farming system. Some of them are discussed here.
Planting various crops in the same land one after the other as a pattern for over a period. For example, you can plant legumes after cereals in the same land after taking the cereal harvest. This practice helps to replenish the soil fertility. This also helps to prevent diseases.
Planting different crops in the same land. In here the crops become vigorous and disease occurrence is also less here. This looks somewhat difficult to practice in a commercial farm targeting one crop. but if you can diversify the farm it bundled with many advantages too.
Integrated pest management
Here you can grow some crops which attract the beneficiary insects who are predators to the other harmful insects. Can use natural predators to control the pests.
Using renewable energy sources
It is better if you can use renewable energy sources like solar power, wind power and hydro power instead of the non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuel. This is a cheap and a environmentally friendly method to practice.
Avoiding soil erosion
Preventing soil erosion is a key factor here. You can use techniques like mulching, cover crops, crop rotation, adding organic matter, fertilizers and ploughing the land like to things to avoid the soil erosion.
Selling your products in a market near to your farm helps you to reduce the transportation cost. Moreover, it reduces the emission of the green house gasses too due to less transportation. Can have a higher profit as well.
There should be a better water management practices to save water. You have to select the crop type according to the water availability of your area. In dry areas you have to grow plants demanding low water. As well you can build rain water harvesting systems to collect the rain water to use in your fields.
Removing weeds manually
You can remove the weeds in the farm manually without using the machines.
Grazing system of the animals can manage in crop rotation. This helps to control weeds and add fertilizers to the soil also. So, my friends here is the brief introduction to the topic Sustainable Agriculture and we will discuss more on this topic in the near future.