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conventional agriculture vs sustainable agriculture

Posted by: | Posted on: November 27, 2020

Such a high demand for resources represents a significant challenge for most smallholder farmers, including farmers from developed countries with subsidized agriculture. This is not good news for most farmers because the climate change models predict an increase in spring rains in the area [13]. These soils store water for longer time periods, which naturally boosts crop resistance to droughts. Soils rich in organic matter absorb water with greater efficiency, therefore reducing runoff and negative effects of erosion. This builds up soils rich in organic matter and improves nutrient cycles. Compared to conventional agriculture, sustainable farming practices offer a combination of methods that regenerate soils, save water and energy, and provide greater diversity of nutrients for our consumption [4]. This means that soils are naturally enriched, and farmers do not have to outsource high amounts of fertilizers. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Let us know if you liked this article. Conventional farms are deprived of diversity. After losing harvest to rice blast disease, these farmers decided to mix their disease susceptible rice varieties with resistant ones. One third of the planet’s soils are degraded due to inconsiderate methods used in modern agriculture. Sustainable farming is a feasible alternative. Scientists are clear that this will require at least 50 percent higher agricultural productivity in the next 30 years without converting more land [1]. It has also led to the development of genetically modified varieties that are “programed” to give higher yields. Farmers can select what works best for them and for the needs of the community. Here are a few other characteristics of conventional/industrial agriculture: Obviously, a more sustainable model of agriculture is imperative if we are to continue thriving as a species on this planet. One of the biggest differences that is seen time and time again across all research between the two farming practices is the effect on the land. They can easier withstand droughts and temperature fluctuations. Instead, it has become a business that is set to power global economies. The problem is not the fact of agriculture, but the method. Perhaps, this wouldn’t be such a problem if it were used for our consumption, but it is not. With issues like this past summer’s drought in the Midwest, other severe weather events effecting agriculture and the rise of herbicide resistant superweeds, the energy differential and the resilience of organic vs. conventional farming may shift in the future. A report from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification further highlights the potential of sustainable agriculture in improving livelihoods in developing countries. These reasons are based on securing our future needs of: Globally, 85 percent of farmers are small farmers, who work on less than 2 hectares of land and have limited access to resources–high percentage of these farmers live in developing countries [6]. If farmers fail to provide nutrients, timely pest treatments or irrigation, even the most premium crop varieties fail to produce better yields than traditional crops. They are interconnected and support each other’s prosperity without the need of excessively aiding their development from externally sourced chemicals. Sustainable farms “invest” part of their production into reinvigorating agricultural land. Farms grew in size, mechanization replaced manual labor, allowing fewer people to get more work done in a day. Intensive farming is not an option for them because these systems require a lot of external input and are rather sensitive to fluctuations. The ways in which this farming system works are diverse, which also makes them adaptable to specific conditions in different locations. Agriculture has been flourishing. They can optimize farm management–given that crop growing requirements, planting, maintenance (including pest control) and harvesting will be the same across the farmed land. This reduces the need to import feed, and at the same time supports manure production right on the farm. In Afghanistan, egg and poultry meat production increased after the Government in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) established a training program for women to learn sustainable techniques of increasing their backyard poultry yields. Different crops slightly vary in their nutrient intake, so the nutrients are utilized smarter, which prevents their total depletion from soils. This encourages better quality of products, but also the improvement of living conditions in rural areas. Sustainable agriculture is based on principles that aim on improving livelihoods of rural populations by empowering small farmers to grow locally-sourced food that is diverse, nutritious and safe, while maintaining decent living conditions for their families. The intercropping system has delivered better yields, producing enough feed to sustain dairy production from the existing agricultural land [9]. Genetic and species diversity increases adaptability of farms to climate change.

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