What are the benefits of sustainable farming? Why is it a trend in the present-day world? Is it driving the developments in today’s agriculture industry? We all have come across the word “sustainable” but what exactly does it mean in the context of plant and animal production? Most of the sources that I looked into as I was doing my research pointed to sustainable agriculture being the practice of animal and plant production, in a manner that protects the environment, communities living near the farms, as well as the animals in the vicinity.
Sustainable agriculture makes it possible for farmers to produce and supply healthy foods to the consumers, without them compromising the capability of those who will come after them to do the same. One of the main elements of sustainable agriculture is that it creates a perfect balance between the production of food and the preservation of all environmental ecosystems.
Sustainable agriculture also promotes the economic stability of farms over the long haul and sees to it that farmers get better quality lives in the long run. Agriculture is at the moment the biggest employer in the entire world, with close to 40% of the world’s population working in it.
If presented with a choice, we would all choose to only eat natural foods that have not been sprayed with toxic pesticides and chemical-based fertilizers. Sustainable agriculture differs a great deal from industrial agriculture, in that industrial agriculture mainly focuses on the largescale production of plants and animals, and relies a great deal on chemicals. For the largest part of the past decade, most of the food that we have all consumed has actually been grown in that manner. The last couple of years have seen the rise of more sustainable farms, with more consumers opting to consume foods that have not been tended to using chemicals.
What are the outstanding benefits of sustainable farming?
It contributes to the conservation of the environment
The environment caters to all our basic needs, hence we out to take care of it so that the future generations will not lack their basic needs. Sustainable agriculture helps with the replenishment of the farmlands, along with other natural resources such as water and air.
The adoption of sustainable agriculture practices helps with the reduction of the reliance on various nonrenewable sources of energy, the reduction of the use of chemicals, as it saves the limited resources. With there being major demands on nature to sustain the ever-growing populations, sustainable agriculture is the only way to go.
Preserves energy for the future
Modern-day agriculture is dependent on nonrenewable sources of energy such as petroleum. Sustainable agriculture systems are structured in such a way that they eliminate the need for the use of fossil fuels and other non-renewable sources of energy.
This is mainly because the farmers are usually always looking for ways to substitute the use of nonrenewable sources of energy and labor with renewable ones that are also economically feasible.
It facilitates public health safety
Sustainable farming steers clear of toxic pesticides and fertilizers. It is due to this reason that farmers are able to produce foods that are very safe for human consumption. The farming methods used do not also impact on the health of the workers and the surrounding communities. Farmers in these settings are usually entrusted with seeing to it that they carefully and properly manage the wastes, and limit the exposure of all human beings to various toxins, pathogens, and pollutants.
Promotes social equality
Practicing sustainable agriculture makes it possible for workers to be offered better salaries and accompanying benefits. These workers also work in humane and safe environments in which basic needs are offered to support adequate living conditions. This enables such workers to be more productive, which then leads to more profits for the farmers.
It prevents air pollution
Agricultural activities have been known to compromise the quality of air. Some of the common causes of air pollution in farms include:
- Dust during tilling
- Pollutants released during harvesting
- Agricultural burning
- Pesticides released during the spraying of crops
- Nitrous oxide emissions resulting from the use of nitrogen fertilizers
An increase in biodiversity
Sustainable farming encourages and supports the production of a wide variety of both plants and animals, which results in biodiversity. The production of crops largely involves the rotation of plant varieties, which in the long run helps with the enrichment of the soil, the prevention of diseases as well as pest outbreaks.
It prevents soil erosion
The pressure to produce more and more food has resulted in the farms facing serious soil erosion threats. Numerous practices have a result of this been developed to see to it that all soil is kept in place, including:
- Eliminating or minimizing tillage
- The management of irrigation methods, in a bid to minimize runoff
- The adoption of mulching in as many areas as is possible.
Farmers in the sustainable agriculture sector have also been taking their time to select the species and varieties that are best suited to specific sites and farm conditions, in a bid to ensure that the state of the farms is not compromised. The crops selected enhance both the biological and economic stability of the farms.
The approaches used in sustainable agriculture usually lessen the costs involved in farming. Smarter farming as well as the movement of food from farm to fork in an efficient manner has helped with the minimization of costs.
Not forgetting that there has also been the development of various IoT technologies that significantly improve the production of crops and animals while keeping the costs as low as possible.
Sustainable livestock management
Sustainable animal farming involves the selection of a specified range of animal species, which are then brought up using specific methods. You will find that animals in sustainable farms are fed specific animal feeds, bred using specific methods, and are taken care of in a specific manner. This generally leads to the animals being more healthy and giving better returns to the farmers who own them.
Sustainable agriculture, as has been proven, is doing the world a lot of good. We need more farmers adopting it so that the public can reap the benefits in the form of safer food and food products, and lower prices since the production costs are significantly minimized. That said, will you still be in a position to earn massive profits if the production costs are reduced? Is there any other way you can make an income in this industry? Here is what the experts in this field have to say.
That will be all for my article about what the benefits of sustainable farming are. I hope that you enjoyed it and that you are better-informed on this subject. If you are interested in getting more knowledge about this industry, then you should be sure to check the recommended read above. See you on the other side!
I wish you well,
Eric, Investor and Team Member at Gold Retired!