Agriculture is an ancient activity, which emerged in the Neolithic period as a way to guarantee food in a fixed place, causing humanity to abandon nomadic habits. This fixed production made it possible for food to become more accessible, ensuring the survival of communities that previously suffered from hunger.
Over time, human beings learned techniques and improved agricultural production. Technological and scientific advances have increased the amount of food produced and agriculture has become a powerhouse. Despite the benefit of more abundant production, the means that led to it were harmful to the environment: the soil became contaminated, nutrients were depleted and fields became infertile. With this, the need arises to think about sustainable agriculture.
Need for a sustainable future
Thousands of years after the emergence of agriculture, humanity became aware of the importance of conserved biodiversity. After all, highly exploited natural resources one day become unproductive. With this thought, society starts to look for ways to explore agriculture in a more sustainable way.
Currently, there are many soil management and production techniques that make it possible to conserve biodiversity in agricultural land. In addition to environmental concerns, these initiatives, in general, also have a social bias. Alternatives to sustainable agriculture are good for nature and society. Let's check out some of them:
Alternatives to sustainable agriculture
- Urban Farming
This technique means urban agriculture and it is about food production in metropolitan areas. Does the population of a large center cultivate, process and distribute food from a garden? which can be individual or collective. In Brazil, many condominiums and community centers are already part of this movement.
- family farming
The activity is a powerhouse when it comes to sustainable agriculture. In Brazil, family farming represents 77% of all agricultural establishments and is developed on small properties by family groups. In general, cultivation is carried out without the use of pesticides and respecting land exploitation limits.
- crop rotation
This technique aims to avoid soil exhaustion and can it be used on small and large scales ? enabling even large estates to become more sustainable. This method, as the name suggests, uses the planting of alternate species that require different nutrients from the soil. Thus, the land does not undergo extensive exploitation and still produces different types of product.
This system combines the cultivation of agricultural products and trees on the same land. Plant species work together to ensure that food is grown and trees ensure a reduction in soil and water degradation.
- agricultural cooperatives
They are associations of people, usually from the same community, in which several farmers from the same region come together to produce and sell in greater quantities, achieving better sales conditions. Generally, these organizations involve family farming productions and enhance the action of small producers and, consequently, soil conservation.
The sustainable future is being planted
As we can see from the list of sustainable alternatives, agriculture has become an increasingly ecological activity. This shift in priorities in agricultural activities is essential to ensure that the environment is able to continue producing food in the future, without having its resources depleted. Currently there are regulations that require that the exploitation of agriculture be controlled, but it is necessary to spread this plan even more and make the inspection effective.
To learn in detail how one of these alternatives guarantees positive results for nature and society, read our blogpost about cooperatives.