Sustainable Agriculture is Our Future
Agriculture is a vital tool in the community that is essential to the way we live. It holds a bigger percentage of the economy and many people are relying on it for various aspects. Other than being a major source of food, it is also a source of income for others.
Sustainability has become one of the major concerns of agriculture. Many professionals are looking for ways to make agriculture a highly dependable tool in society, which can be stable for many generations to come. This is why you should be familiar with the concept of sustainability in agriculture.
What is Sustainable Agriculture?
Basically, sustainable agriculture is the production of fiber, food and other animal and plant products via farming methods that also promotes protecting the environment. This includes protecting the public health, animal welfare, and human communities. With the help of this type of agriculture, people will be enabled to develop and produce healthy food. Sustainable agriculture techniques help to maintain beneficial production methods, the fertility of soil, and a thriving ecosystem long into the future. Often, this type of agriculture is also referred to as green, environmental, or organic agriculture. Ultimately, sustainable agriculture is aimed at developing environment-friendly techniques of producing food that creates high yields while maintaining the vitality of production for many more years to come.
The Concept Theme
Environmental or green agriculture can be expressed in various concept themes. These themes are the foundation for organic agriculture. Here is a look at the concept themes that are vital for environmental agriculture:
The sustainability of agriculture calls for an emphasis of meeting the needs of the present generation, without affecting the future generation and their ability to meet their needs. The management of human resources entails the consideration of other social duties, like the working and living states of the laborers. It also entails the requirements of the rural communities, the present and future safety and health of the consumer. Good stewardship of natural resources includes the enhancement and maintenance of the land and natural resources.
The systems viewpoint
The overall agricultural ecosystem is fragile if unbalanced, but a powerful thing when kept in balance. This starts from the farm of an individual to the local ecology, then to the target communities. When there is a stress on the system, the consequence of farming practices on the environment and the communities can be drastic. Our goal is to promote a self-sustaining system that will last for decades to come.
The transition to organic agriculture is a process that needs gradual and rational steps. The personal goals and family economics will affect the pace and progress of this transition. Realizing the decision will contribute to the development of the system in general, it is important to realize that people have to want to shift to a more organic and sustainable system.
Another concept theme of the system is the realization that it is every participant has a responsibility to help reach the goal of sustainable organic agriculture. The participants include the laborers, researchers, farmers, policy makers, consumers, and retailers. Every participant will have their specific responsibility to play and contribution to make in order to reach a truly sustainable global agricultural ecosystem.
Tools/Techniques of Organic Agriculture
Here is a look at some of the common techniques of organic agriculture:
Since the soil is supposedly the most valuable element of agriculture, it must be kept healthy. The enrichment of healthy soil leads to many benefits for crops. Healthy soil can enhance yields and produce crops that are less susceptible to pests. Further, soil that is less healthy requires more fertilizer and pesticides to produce equivalent yields. Methods of soil enrichment include plowing under cover crops or adding animal manure or composted plant materials to promote natural soil enrichment.
Crop rotation is the process of growing different types of crops in a series within the same field. It is one of the most effective techniques to promote the sustainability and fertility of the soil. Crop rotation is a major component of preventing problems encountered with pests. Many pests prefer a certain type of crop, by rotating crops pest infestation can be limited.
Planting cover crops like clover, oats, and hairy vetch will help to prevent soil erosion, enhance the quality of the soil, and limit the growth of weeds.
Organic pest predators
Organic agriculture also entails fostering an environment for natural pest predators that get rid of pests while maintaining the health of the soil. Some natural predators of pests include spiders, insects, and birds. Excessive use of chemical pesticides can kill these naturally occurring pest predators.
IPM – Integrated Pest Management
The control of pests using IPM is one of the most effective techniques. This technique emphasizes the prevention of pest problems using crop rotation and the restoration of natural microbes that fight disease in plants and the soil. In addition, IPM focuses on the introduction of helpful organisms that feed on pests in the soil and on plants.
Sustainable Organic Agriculture is the Future
In general, sustainable organic agriculture helps to preserve the environment and ensure that future generations can produce adequate food to sustain society. It helps to protect public health and sustain vibrant thriving communities. Organic agriculture helps to uphold animal welfare and preserves their health by producing healthy natural yields. The focus of sustainable agriculture is eliminating the chemical ways of producing crops and getting back to our natural agricultural roots.