Sustainable agriculture is a socially and environmentally oriented type of farming, which promotes ecological awareness and tries to meet the supply needs of the society. The future of sustainable farming seems bright, as more and more farmers are converting from their traditional practices and more and more clients tend to buy sustainable products.
The problems with the current agricultural practices
Current agricultural practices are mainly profit-oriented and rarely tend to apply basic sustainable farming techniques. This has a harsh effect on the environment and allows capitalism to take over.
Here is a list with some of the problems with traditional agricultural practices:
Greenhouse and machinery emissions
Thanks to various non-sustainable practices and machinery fossil fuels, the emissions of methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide are vastly polluting the air. Those emissions are contributing to climate change and directly affecting the general public health.
Pesticide treatments kill not only pests but also some beneficial insects. Toxic chemicals used in horticulture contaminate the plants that clients consume and contaminate the air that the farmers breathe.
Traditional methods harm the environment on a general level, destroying animals’ habitats, causing deforestation and lead to ecosystem, biodiversity and plant cultivation issues.
Air, water and soil pollution
The natural resources are being overly polluted and contaminated by the machinery usage, pesticide treatments and basic farming methods of animal and horticultural farming.
Inhumane animal treatment
Most of the meat and dairy products on the market come from specialized farms where the animals are treated inhumanely. Without a doubt, the livestock in those farms is bred and fed for the sole purpose of retrieving the final produce that would bring a certain profit.
Fortunately, sustainable agriculture applies totally different practices. The benefits of sustainable farming methods are undeniable. It promotes an eco-friendly approach to animal care and plant cultivation, saving and protecting resources and applying natural farming techniques, harmless in every environmental aspect.
With the food demand increase, along with the world’s population, we can be hopeful for a better future, thanks to technological innovations and agroecology.
What technological improvements are on the way? Where would tech innovations be useful to improve agricultural practices?
Even though sustainable methods of farming are revolutionizing traditional agriculture, sustainable farming surely could make additional improvements. This is where technology steps up to save the day. Many enthusiast experts in the field have taken the opportunity to invest or work on technological innovations. They aim to make a farmer’s life easier and would assure long term eco-working solutions for sustainable farming.
These new biotechnologies are being developed and patented by a number of powerful corporations with certain economic and political power. The tech improvements would be blurring the lines between the digital, physical and biological aspects and are often referred to as the “fourth industrial revolution.” Such innovations would be able to optimize water and pesticides usage. By relying on the internet, AI and blockchain, new technologies would be able to produce customized synthetic nutrition according to a specific plant’s needs.
The resolutions would be able to take full care of agricultural tasks like seedlings, weeding, soil treatment, pollination, fertility, pest control and harvesting, grow lighting, replacing farmer’s’ work with proper machinery. They are going to provide a fully-automated system that could permanently replace the human factor from sustainable farming.
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What is Agroecology? How is it beneficial to the practices of sustainable farming?
Agroecology promotes innovations in the fields of recycling, re-usage and environment protection by mimicking natural cycles. It applies ecological principles to the operations and management of agroecosystems, improving the sustainable farming techniques.
Agroecology and sustainable food systems go hand in hand, since agroecology aims to improve the way food is being grown and processed. Such systems are usually quite affordable, simple and effective. They cause an increase in food yields and income, improve health, resource and nutrition management as well as promote biodiversity and minimize climate impacts.
About the Author: Luis Rivera has 20+ years of experience in global market expansion, business development, mergers and acquisitions, business re-engineering, finance and investor relations of software companies. He is passionate about technology, spectral science, indoor farming, food production, automation, and more. Since 2015, he is the president of Advanced LED Lights, a leading LED grow lights manufacturer based in Hiwasse, Arkansas. When not at work, Luis enjoys swimming, yoga, as well as growing grapes and flowers in Sonoma, California.