What is Sustainable Agriculture?
Sustainable Agriculture can be defined as the method of producing food, fiber, other plants or animal products using environment friendly farming techniques.
Sustainable agriculture is often compared to organic farming. However, both are different concepts.
The fundamental difference between Organic and Sustainable Agriculture are as follows:
Organic farms need organic certification that is approved by the USDA. Farms adopting sustainable practices do not require any certification. It would be apt to say that Sustainable farming is a way of life.
2. Animal Welfare:
Organic animal farmers often confine animals and gain organic certification and kerb their natural habitat. In a sustainable system, animals are permitted to carry out their natural behaviours, like rooting, pecking or grazing. Thus, in sustainable methods are more humane.
Although antibiotics should not be fed to organic-certified livestock, there is no legal restriction on the use of antibiotic in sustainable farming. Many farmers using sustainable practices do not use any antibiotics at all, but some may do to treat their animals. The milk and meat of these animals that are given antibiotics are not used for human consumption until the antibiotics leave the animals’ systems.
4. Artificial Hormones:
No artificial hormones are used in either organic farming or sustainable agriculture.
5. Corporate Involvement:
It is not necessary that all the organic food is grown on a small farm. Large corporations can produce it too. While, sustainable food production is carried out only by small farmers and families on the land where they farm.
6. The size of the farm:
Organic farming is not limited to a small farm, while sustainable farming is.
7. Food Miles:
Organic certification does not take into account the use of fossil fuels that can contaminate your food once it is on the way. While, sustainable food, is distributed and sold near the farm. Buy organic fertilizers online in India
Benefits of sustainable agriculture are as follows:
- Crops grown through sustainable agriculture are healthy.
- The minimal use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers make it fit for consumption.
- The products are nutritious because of the minimal synthetic material.
- Sustainable agriculture uses 30% less energy per unit of crop yield in comparison to industrialised farming.
- Minimal reliance on fossil fuels.
- Soil quality is maintained as soil degradation, and erosion is used which in turn saves water.
- The intelligent way of agriculture also increases the biodiversity of the area by providing a variety of organisms with healthy and natural environments to live in.
- For successful sustainable agriculture, water management is an important key that comes from natural resource family. Rain and irrigation water management can bring a positive result.
- Conservation of crop diversity is important where high yielding fertilisers for hybrid crops have led to the loss of land varieties.
- The use of organic matters or beneficial soil organisms will help produce nutrition cycle and a better result which otherwise has been downgraded by conservation tillage.
- Last but not the least, in place of nourishment supplying agents which are widely used in modern day agriculture as fertilisers, renewable resources can be utilized for maintaining soil quality and better plant health.
Thus, Sustainable Agriculture is the preferred way of farming today!