AgricultureSustainable Agriculture

What is the basic concept of sustainable agriculture?

Sustainable Agriculture

A variety of philosophies, policies and practices pertaining to farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in different capacities have been contributed with collective goal and collaborative vision for a sustainable agricultural system.

Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainability is based on the principle of meeting the present society’s food and textile needs without compromising the future generations. Perspective diversity exists in definition of sustainable agriculture to includesustainable ways of farmingbased on the study of relationship between organisms and environmental understanding of ecosystem services. The perspectiveagricultural system is important to understand sustainability envisioned in broadest sense to include individual farm, local ecosystem andcommunities affected locally and globally by farming practices. Sustainable agriculturalsystems benefit the environment by reducing soil degradation and erosion, maintaining soil quality and saving water.

Systemic approach provides tools to explore the interconnections between farming and environmental aspects. An emphasis on the farming system allows thorough review of the effect of farming practices on human communities and environmental consequences. Stewardship of human resources considers present and future social responsibilities of the needs of rural communities, living and working conditions of labourers, consumer health and safety while forland and natural resources maintaining or enhancing the vital resources is necessary.The overall crops produced throughsustainable agriculture by stewardship of natural and human resources are more healthy and nutritious.

Importance of Sustainable Agriculture

Practitioners integrate and apply sustainable agriculture for three main objectives. These are healthy environment, economic profitability and social equity. Every grower, food processor, distributor, retailers, waste managers and consumers involved in the agricultural system plays an essential role in ensuring sustainable environment. The common practices in sustainable agriculture and food systems include growers; using methods to minimizewater wastage, promoting soil health and reducingpollution levelsin the farm; retailers and consumers concerned with sustainable value based foods grown to promotefarmers wellbeing; and researchers; crossing disciplinary lines ,combining chemistry, economics, biology, genetic engineering, community development and many other fields. The broad theme of strategies are based on the range of potential ideas in three separate but related areas of concern infarming and natural resources;plant and animal production practices;political, social and economic context representing and interpreting the vision of sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable agriculture consists of collection of practices and processes of negotiating competing interests of individual farmer and community members to solve complex problems related to food and fibre crops. The goal of sustainable agriculture is to meet current needs without sacrificing future prospects by protecting water quality and supply; sustainable land use while maintaining biodiversity and wildlife habitat; resorting to renewable ways of energy production and consumption; improving plant, animal production and labour practices to ensure social and economic equity. The systemic approach impliesinterdisciplinary inputs and efforts from researchers, farmers, consumers, policymakers and other stakeholders from various disciplines. The process of transitioning to sustainable agriculture for farmers requiresa series of small andrealisticsteps based on personal goals and family economics.

Online Course at JLI

James Lind Institute (JLI) will soon be launching Agriculture related courses to understand on modern agricultural practices.

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