Sustainable development has been an elementary precept for all economic and policy sectors since the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development. Moreover, a large census indicates that this is a fundamental objective for agriculture, and sustainable agriculture is seen as basic to sustainable development worldwide. There is widespread recognition of the criticisms of creating frameworks for sustainable agricultural production.
What is sustainable agriculture, though? A lot of people seem confused about the concept, and it is often misinterpreted. Sustainable agriculture is the practice of agriculture, according to the Principles of Ecology, a study of how organisms relate to their environment. This type of farming allows us to produce nutritious food without jeopardizing the capacity of future generations to do so. It has several other names such as natural agriculture, ecological agriculture/ ecoagriculture or biological agriculture, or even permaculture.
However, sustainable agriculture has an ambiguous meaning, and it is a broad term that includes many distinct approaches. Various definitions show that this practice has different implications for different people. However, this may be seen as an opportunity and an essential part of making sustainable agriculture a reality. Sustainable agriculture is not a concept of self-assertion; however, we should no longer look for the only solution, the only common definition.
The idea of sustainable agriculture arose due to the yields of current farming methods (modern commercial agriculture), reaching an optimal level, and subsequent ecological problems caused due to the extreme use of synthetic compounds and composts and the accumulation of pesticides into natural lifestyles. Thus, we need a more sustainable method in order to survive better in the long run. Which is why, practices like ecoagriculture would contribute to the maintenance of ecological equilibrium and the conservation of natural resources.
Currently, as our country’s human population increases, natural resources such as land, water, fossil fuels, etc., are overexploited for food shelter, and urbanization. Human activities have led to environmental degradation and the following problems such as soil erosion, salinization of soils, biomagnifications of toxic substances, wildlife extinction, droughts, floods, ozone depletion, desertification, river siltation, eutrophication, deforestation, etc. Sustainable agriculture develops to ensure that the agro-ecosystem is stabilized and crop yields are sustainable in the long run. Ecological agriculture implies practices such as organic farming and natural pest control, the microflora in close harmony with useful and complete soil inhabitants help with the use of synthetic chemicals and eco friendly practices. This will help us in producing food without soil pollution, and agriculture’s contribution with least damage to the ecosystem.
Why Is It Important?
The reason why sustainable agriculture is essential for the nourishment, the security of the long run:
- Nourishes and restores the soil – Contrary to conventional industrial settings, sustainable agriculture places a strong emphasis on soil nutrition, which ultimately leads to healthier plants and animals. Through natural fertilizers and crop rotation, while minimizing the number of animals on a farm to a minimum of sustainable agriculture, ensuring that there are no toxic compounds that can be hazardous to humans, animals, or pollinators. With healthy soils, plants can withstand attacks from pests and diseases because they have the minerals required to give them resilience.
- Conserves and protects the water – Sustainable agricultural systems use a range of ways to conserve water, including drip irrigation and mulching. It also emphasizes planting perennials with deep roots that do not require much water. Sustainable agriculture also involves practices that protect waterways from pollution. In particular, this agriculture system uses practices such as contour farming and filters strips near rivers or limits contamination of the water bodies.
- Provides crops with resilience – This kind of agriculture plays a vital role in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the preservation of energy and water. For a planet increasingly confronted with the dangers of climate change, sustainable agriculture provides resilience, as it emphasizes growing a variety of crops as opposed to monoculture. While ensuring that soils are healthy to supply the minerals necessary for good plant health.
With sustainable agriculture being an advanced developing strategy, a more beneficial environment could be guaranteed for the future generations. As a result of the environmental crisis, eco-friendly practices such as this contribute to the overall conservation of our environment. It is high time that we seek a healthier choice and choose organic farming using sustainable agriculture which is extremely essential for the world right now.