Every life on this planet depends on others for survival. For instance, the worm depends on the soil, and the soil quality relies on worms. Similarly, we rely on the earth, and the earth currently depends on our actions that have the potential to ensure its well-being.
In addition, we must not forget that we all are tenants on this planet, which belongs to future generations as well. Hence, it is our responsibility to be mindful of our actions that affect our planet and to do our part to protect it for future generations. This is possible through adopting sustainable farming practices, which have both a long term and a short impact on the human race.
Why is it Important?
It solves the conflict over inorganic and organic farming practices. For a long time, there has been debate over the effectiveness of organic or inorganic farming practices. Inorganic farming uses artificial products such as pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals to promote crop growth; however, it can degrade the soil and harm the environment if not used wisely and scientifically.
On the other hand, organic farming uses cattle manure or farmyard manure (FYM) and other organic products, such as ve rmicompostin g to give nutrients to crops. Although organic farming is environment-friendly and sustainable in certain respects, farming communities worldwide have been slow to adopt it because of high input costs and low yields in the early years.
This is where sustainable farming helps to resolve the long-term conflict. Sustainable agriculture focuses on providing food in the long term. It emphasises a balanced crop nutrition approach that uses both organic and inorganic fertilisers and certain microorganisms to improve nutrient availability and effectiveness.
Ensuring stable food supply
According to the United Nations, the world population is expected to grow by 9.7 billion by 2050. And as per the World Bank, food demand will increase by 70 per cent by 2050. Here, sustainable farming plays an essential role in ensuring food for all.
Sustainable agriculture helps to improve soil health as it uses green manure, crop residue and fewer chemicals which ultimately increase crop production. Thus, sustainable farming helps keep our mother nature suitable for future generations while meeting the requirement for sufficient food in the present.
Works for nature, not against
Unlike modern highly chemical-dependent farming practices, which may degrade the environment and natural resources, sustainable agriculture harmonises with nature. It focuses on biological productivity by relying on the regenerative aspects of the natural environment.
Sustainable farming approaches strive to preserve more organic matter, reduce erosion, and retain more carbon in the soil. It helps replenish the soil and other natural resources like water and air. It improves soil health, which leads to increased plant nutrient usage efficiency and progress toward food security, ultimately benefiting the mother earth and the growers in the long run.
Sustainable agriculture promotes diverse farming systems that include many crops rather than just a few selected monoculture crops. For example, tall plants that prosper in the sun coexist with shorter plants that love the shade. This helps to produce more food per acre of land.
Also, growing multiple types makes the crop more resilient because of more genetic diversity, which means the crop is less likely to succumb to diseases or pests.
Moreover, a sustainable farm is cooperative because it involves both plant and animal production and provides a healthy habitat for wildlife and people. It plays a vital role in improving food security, maintaining soil health, and ensuring livelihood.
Supports, empowers growers friends
One critical aspect of sustainable farming is that it is cost-effective for farmers, farm workers, and other people involved in the farming system. Adopting sustainable farming practices ensures everyone makes a liveable wage and works in a safe environment.
Furthermore, carbon farming practices allow farmers to earn carbon credits by carbon-storing or reducing greenhouse gas emissions on their land, providing an extra revenue stream to assist them in becoming Atamnirbhar.
Sustainable farming practices ensure we make responsible choices that promise everyone a safe and liveable future. It helps better people’s lives, protects our ecosystem, and preserves natural resources for future generations. Above all, sustainable farming is the only ray of hope to save Mother Earth and one of her children — the human race.
( The author is Lead Agronomist, Agoro Carbon Alliance, India)