Sustainable Agriculture

It’s been a while since I’ve made a post – personal life has been in quite a flux recently. Finally however I have made it to the keyboard to start typing away on a new subject area – sustainable agriculture – certainly not a foreign concept to the blog but one I haven’t directly dealt with for a while. Sustainability is quite a buzz word and agriculture has opened its arms out to the concept just as much, if not more than any other industry. However, pioneers of the concept have still not sold it effectively enough to both practitioners of agriculture or those without a strong interest in food related issues. Personally, I follow the ‘sustainable agriculture’ group on LinkedIn and many fascinating discussions take place. However, few encapsulate in one feed what sustainable agriculture really is. This changed this morning when I received an email notifying me of a discussion directly related to the topic. The discussion is related to an article published in the guardian entitled ’10 things you need to know about sustainable agriculture.’ Not many people have commented thus far but I will be interested to see what the response is.

The ‘things’ include, among others:

  • We shouldn’t ‘just accept’ Climate Change.
  • The search for alternative crops.
  • The need for breakthrough research.
  • Agroforestry.
  • Small scale producers vital for food security.
  • Urban farming.
  • Vegetarianism.
  • Everyone is responsible and has a role to play.

Some of these may seem a little bizarre and certainly I think it will be a long time before we see the ‘western world’ converting to a high carbohydrate, low meat based protein diet. However, largely they reflect the concepts of Sustainable farming well. Urban farming is something I have written about in the past and certainly has a huge role to play in educating people about food production and getting people thinking about the future of food production. The message regarding ‘action’ however has unfortunately not seeped through to the public view of sustainable agriculture. SA is a very dynamic idea and the movement, if I dare call it that, is one full of ‘activists’. These activists need to be better at selling the concept to various different markets rather than preaching to the converted, which unfortunately, social media, the great ‘new’ marketing platform, seems to lend itself towards.Education, action and marketing knowledge all need to come together for the meaning of sustainability in agriculture to come to pass. Sustainable agriculture isn’t necessarily ‘organic’ or ‘conventional’ but it is an attitude for farming to look to the future and to sustain future generations.

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