Sample Essay on Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainable agriculture refers to the act of farming through use of ecology principles and the study of interactions between organisms and the environment.
In essence, there are numerous definitions for sustainable agriculture but in the end it is all about sustaining farmers, communities and resources by promoting farming methods and practices that are environmentally sound, good and profitable for the community.
Sustainable agriculture compliments and fits into modern agriculture. In addition to this, it rewards values of the producers as well as their products. Sustainable agriculture also learns and draws some of its attributes from organic farming and works on large and small scale farms by renewing best practices of the past and adopting new technologies.
In a nut shell, sustainable agriculture can be defined as:
- Economically viable because if it isn’t profitable then it cannot be sustainable.
- Socially supportive as it improves the quality of life enjoyed by the farm families, farmers and the communities
- Ecologically sound as it helps sustain the best resources base and also sustains everyone.
Sustainability operates on the principle of meeting current needs of everyone without compromising on the ability of generations that come later to sustain their needs as well. Therefore, it is important for stewardship of human and natural resources to be taken into consideration.
Human resources stewardship includes social responsibilities like the living and working conditions of the laborers, consumer health, addressing the needs of rural communities and also safeguarding the future and the present.
Stewardship of natural resources and land on the other hand involves enhancement and maintenance of vital resource base in the long term. The term sustainable agriculture defines a system that is integrated for animal and plant production practices that will last for the long term for instance:
- Enhancement of natural resources and environment quality upon which agriculture primarily depends.
- Sustenance of farm operations by ensuring economic viability.
- Efficient use of resources that are non-renewable and on farm resources to integrate resources and where necessary controls biological cycles.
- Enhancement of the quality of life enjoyed by the society and farmers.
For agriculture to be sustainable, some of the aspects that need to be taken care of include water, soil and land. There are management techniques that ensure each of these aspects is well protected.
For instance soil management includes keyline design, growing wind breaks that can hold the soil, incorporation of organic matter into fields, stopping usage of chemical fertilizers as they contain salt and protection the soil from been carried away by water runoff. While sustainable agriculture is important, it is yet to be carried out effectively as such, the society should be called upon to exercise new and rewarding farming practices.
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