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What Is Sustainable Agriculture?

Global Climate Change (82)

“FAO Strategy on Climate Change. Rome, July 2017. As the impacts of climate change increase and become more intense, a global transformation to sustainable agriculture must begin immediately.”

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According to FAO´s recently updated (Rome, July 2017) strategy, a global transformation to sustainable agriculture must begin immediately. What does this mean, in concrete? What is sustainable agriculture? Is it the same as fair trade? No. Fair trade means that when you purchase a product with the label fair trade, it ensures that the production process, including worker´s salaries, has been fair. The label fair trade was created to help farmers and workers within the agricultural sector to get paid fairly for the work they do, instead of exploiting people e.g. through underpayment. Organic farming, on the other hand, or permaculture, are ways of sustainable development and growth of agricultural/farming products.

Sustainable agriculture/farming, and sustainable consumption in general, means that we as consumers choose sustainable products, but of course also that producers use sustainable methods before we as consumers purchase these products.

Some factors of sustainable agriculture/farming:

  • Either zero (0%) use of pesticides, or using as little pesticides as possible
  • Using agricultural methods/practices that harm the environment and soils as little as possible, i.e. proper soil management
  • Ensuring that production processes are optimized in a way that saves resources, such as fresh water: i.e. no over-consumption of fresh water resources, or other scarcities.
  • Improving production and transportation overall: saving resources and time
  • Increasing local consumption, i.e. minimizing the needs for (long) transports
  • Supporting close production and consumption
  • Basically, what this means, is that it would be optimal if everyone could grow their own food, instead of consuming all kinds of artificial and mass products that are being brought to the markets today. Agriculture and farming today, sadly, have largely become industries of efficiency of mass production and efficiency, rather than valuing e.g. soils. When soils are being exploited much enough, it leads to suffering and loss of necessary soil nutrients. So basically, the crop may be very poor in nutrients, and people have to eat more and more without getting all the necessary nutrients from the food consumed.
  • Minimizing food waste throughout the whole process.

 

Watch Industrial vs. Sustainable Agriculture:

 

Connect with me on Twitter @annemariayritys – for climate-related posts only @GCCThinkActTank & subscribe to Leading With Passion to receive my newsletter.

 

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