Sustainable agriculture: definition, topic already developed and meaning of the agricultural model based on environmental sustainability.
On this page we will talk aboutsustainable agricultureand how the consumer can protect himself in the agro-food sector. In the last paragraph dedicated tosustainable agricultureyou will find atheme developedto inspire children to spark debates in the classroom.
Sustainable agriculture, definition
Contrary to what happens with thebiological agricultureand theintegrated agriculture, for sustainable agriculture there is no recognized definition at the legislative level.
To explain themeaningof the termsustainable agriculturewe refer todefinitionby Greenpeace.
“Sustainable agriculture is environmentally friendly and economically convenient. Respect the communities and cultures to which it belongs. And it is characterized by a system approach based on equity.“
While theintegrated agriculture and theconventional agriculture aim to promotemonocultures, L'sustainable agricultureorecological agricultureaims at diversity, so as to conserve biodiversity starting from the oldest varieties that we can still bring to the table.
L'sustainable agriculture aims to produce food without endangering biodiversity with GMOs and without damaging it with the use of chemical pesticides.
If integrated agriculture aims to find a compromise betweenhigh productivityisrespect for the environment, the needle of the balance ofsustainable agriculturepoints clearly towards the protection of the environment. For this reason, talk aboutsustainable agricultureis equivalent to talking aboutecological agriculture.
Principles of sustainable agriculture
As stated, there is no specification or onelegislationthat can mark the guidelines of ecological agriculture. There is not even a brand that can protect products derived from sustainable agriculture. Consumers who want to buy products derived from ecological agriculture can point to similar agronomic techniques such as those seen for organic farming and integrated agriculture.
Generally speaking, we can say that the principles on which sustainable agriculture is concerned are:
- Fight and control against parasites without the use of chemical biocides
- Natural weeding without the use of herbicides
- Resistant food systems, promoting the most suitable varieties for those growing situations, without the use of GMOs
- Rational use of resources
- Natural fertilizations with compost and manure
- Careful soil management
- The use of cultivars in order to safeguard the biodiversity heritage still available to us
- Careful management of water resources
When it comes tosustainable agriculturewe cannot help but mention some forms that adopt agricultural techniques compatible with the environment such as: permaculture, biodynamic agriculture and social or solidarity agriculture.
Sustainable agriculture, theme
The life of the world population depends on three main resources: food, water and energy. The vulnerabilities of these fundamental resources and the global demand for power and water resources, is set to increase by 40 percent in the next 20 years alone.
This is why major changes are needed, a crucial role is played byagriculture. Why?
Because in the global context, theagriculture it is the meeting point between problems and solutions. L'agriculture creates food resources but consumes large water resources, needs soil and can give life to so-called bio-energies.
By 2050, global demand for food, feed and fiber is set to rise by 70 percent. Considering the phenomenon of overbuilding, especially in Italy, the land intended for purposes agricultural. Italian ecosystems and, more generally, global ones, can base their existence solely onagriculture.
Investing in the research and development of sustainable agriculture means:
- ensure a consistent water saving
- guarantee a management of the territory sustainable so as to limit geothermal risks
- decrease the amount of harmful emissions into the air and the amount of reactive nitrogen given by the chemical fertilizers currently used by the agro-food industry
- ensure the adequate production of food and feed
- make more responsible use of resources
- contribute to electricity production by setting up facilities bioenergy more and more efficient
- contribute to the protection of ecosystems and biodiversity
L'European Environment Agency (EEA) carried out several analyzes relating to the sector agricultural. By 2020, a more sustainable agricultural strategy that is able to maximize theefficiency of resources and to revive the natural capital present on our territory.
Sustainable agriculture and consumers
Today, theagro-food industry focuses on a scenario full of fragility and doubts.
On the contrary, thesustainable agriculture it should give more guarantees to the consumer. In Italy, how many consumers can claim to have full confidence inagro-food industry? There is no shortage of scandals, from the old blue mozzarella to traces of horse meat of dubious origin, found in food products that did not indicate its presence in label.
In view of the growing global demand for food, water and energy resources, the healthiest strategy that each individual can implement is based on self-production. There is nothing more sustainable and healthy to cultivate a home garden and focus on the simplicity of products grown as children farmers locals. These are the right moves to do while waiting for a global change and an Agricultural Policy more consistent with the concrete needs of humanity and less akin to the economic interests ofagri-food industry. Those who want to explore and learn more can read the article dedicated to Urban Agroecology
You may also be interested in the world of Big Data from an agricultural point of view, read what Agridata means