Thursday, 2 February 2012

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture can be a broad and sometimes vague term with no universally agreed definition. I like to define sustainability in the broadest sense possible, in that sustainability is the ability to carry out practice indefinitely, without having to stop at the end of the negative impact on the environment, community, or the processes themselves. Sustainable agriculture thus involves more than just environmentally sound agricultural practices, but also necessarily includes consideration of economic issues of resource use) and human considerations, as well.

Why is it important to sustainability in agriculture?

Unfortunately, the current agricultural production system in place not only in the U.S., but in many parts of the world are highly unsustainable. Some of the problems with agriculture include the destruction of wild ecosystems, such as the removal of rainforests and other biomes to make room for farming, pollution, nutrient and chemical pollution from agricultural runoff and disruption of navigation and aquifer depletion of irrigation water use, and climate destabilization arising from a combination of factors.

What are best practices with regard to sustainability in agriculture and agriculture?

People often focus on some simple questions, such as organic farming, or the use of certain harmful chemicals, without looking at the broader picture. Even if all the world were to completely stop all harmful chemicals used in agriculture, and only organic farming, may still be disastrous environmental consequences of farming.

A key issue in sustainability, the most important of all the other issues, leaving intact ecosystems, rather than clearing or developing more than a certain portion of wild areas for agriculture or human consumption. The rule or the goal that I wanted to shoot for is to leave 70 percent of the land as unspoiled ecosystems. That does not mean that the land is not used in any way, but just not directly used for agriculture or for other purposes (ie no crops are grown there, the wood is not harvested, people do not live there), and that no regardless of the uses of the land only a slight impact on the ecosystem.

The economic value of wild areas:

One argument for the continued development that is necessary for the development of economic growth, and growth is necessary for economic health. I find this argument to be wrong, two compelling reasons. One is that the paradigm of unlimited economic growth without limits is a flawed one. Resources are always limited, and there is only a certain volume of goods that can be produced in a sustainable manner. Achieving sustainability requires abandoning the old model of economic growth.

My second reason is, however, that the intact wild ecosystems are actually necessary for sustained economic health, especially in the agricultural sector, but in almost all other aspects of society, as well.

Direct economic benefits from wildlife areas:

In terms of direct effects of intact wild ecosystems provide a buffer that prevents the spread of insects, diseases and other pests that can destroy crops. Our current system is unsustainable agriculture relies on expensive systems for monitoring of chemicals to control pests, which are continuously adjusted. Sustainable system will rely on the natural buffer zone, which not only prevent the spread of disease, but also domestic predators that feed on insect pests, which is probably for the pests to be established between the cultures in the first place. The organic farms and gardens that I have worked with that practice crop diversity and use of wildlife buffer area around the surgery note that they usually have almost no problems with pests.

Indirect economic benefits of wild areas:

Indirect effects, however, even stronger. Wild ecosystems stabilize climate and weather, which can greatly reduce or even prevent natural disasters like floods, droughts and moderate temperature and moisture, reducing the severity of extreme weather events such as cold or hot spells. Wild ecosystems can also produce a number of sources, including food, which can be exploited sustainably, including wild fish and meat, and plants for food or medicinal use. Wild areas also provide beauty, increase land values ​​in nearby neighborhoods, and providing recreation and income to the local economy through tourism. Often, intact wild areas can have many different uses. Finally, ecosystems and filter and clean water and air, and thereby reducing health care costs and reduce the need for the burden of environmental regulations.

In summary:

Sustainable agriculture is more than just organic agriculture, including environmental, economic and human factors together. The most important issue in organic agriculture is to preserve intact, wild ecosystems. I set a goal of preserving 70 percent of the country as a wild ecosystem. These countries can provide tremendous economic value, both for agriculture and society as a whole, both through direct and indirect effects.

1 comment:

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