Environmental protection and sustainability in agriculture
The use of environmental friendly farming techniques for the production of food, fiber and other plant or animal products is called sustainable agriculture. It is based on soil replenishment while minimizing the use of natural gas and mineral ores which are the non renewable resources of a country. It requires sustaining farmer’s community and resources by promoting environment friendly and economically beneficial farming practices. The cooperation of human beings and natural resources is necessary to achieve the goal of sustainable agriculture. In people of a society the sense of responsibility should be developed towards their present and future concerns. The most important thing is to understand the impacts and results of farming techniques as well as practices on environment and society. The farmers must provided the knowhow about the toxicological effects of chemicals they are using, on animals, plants, humans and environment. They must adopt the techniques that are environment friendly.
Three pillars of sustainability
Three pillars of sustainability include
There is a need of a sustainable economic model that ensures the fair allocation and distribution of resources. This pillar ensures a healthy balance between economic growth and ecosystem.
This pillar promotes the processes or projects including reduction in fossil fuel consumption and emissions, sustainability in fishing and agriculture, management of municipal waste, farming by using organic amendments, recycling, inhibiting deforestation and improving tree plantation.
This pillar promotes the projects that support the social evenhandness like peace, plummeting poverty, ensuring fear dealings in the society, and other grassroots movements. To do something about social injustice, human inequality and poverty is our ethical responsibility.
Benefits of sustainability
In sustainable agriculture farmers use the agrochemicals (that are harmful for soil and degrade soil health) in very low amount. In this way they protect biodiversity and develop a healthy ecosystem. The techniques used in sustainable agriculture including crop rotation, conservation tillage and pasture-based animal husbandry helps to replenish land and other resources including water, air in order to make them available for the next generations. In this way we conserve our non renewable resources and there will be no toxicological impacts on the products obtained through sustainable agriculture. Due to these reasons sustainable agriculture is preferred choice for farmers worldwide.
Protection of human health
The products of sustainable agriculture including fruits and vegetables are safer for consumers, as there is no use of any chemical fertilizer or pesticide. Similarly sustainable livestock farmer do not use any non-therapeutic antibiotics or arsenic-based growth promoters that are harmful for human health.
Sustainable farmers use safe and healthy livestock husbandry practices for their animals and handle them with care. They raise their animals on pastures and facilitate them to move freely, consume natural diet and avoiding illness and stress resulting from captivity. In this way they grow in natural environment.
As in sustainable agriculture farmers produces different kinds of animals and plants that results in the increased population of biodiversity and a healthy environment for the organisms.
Economically beneficial for farmers
Sustainable agriculture is economically beneficial for farmers as farmers never use chemical fertilizer for their cops it saves their money. They never depend upon government for subsidies.
Written by: Abid Kamran, Amir Aziz, Qura-Tul-Ain
University College of Agriculture University of Sargodha, Sargodha.