It uses state-of-the-art, science-based practices that maximize productivity and profit while minimizing environmental damage. In agriculture, sustainability is a complex idea with many facets, including the economic a sustainable farm should be a profitable business that contributes to a robust economy , the social it should deal fairly with its workers and have a mutually beneficial relationship with the surrounding community , and the environmental. Environmental sustainability in agriculture means good stewardship of the natural systems and resources that farms rely on. Among other things, this involves:.
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By working with nature rather than against it, farms managed using agroecological principles can avoid damaging impacts without sacrificing productivity or profitability. While most Americans may not have heard of hairy vetch, prairie strips, or other core features of sustainable farms, anyone who has been to a supermarket lately knows about organic food. The organic farming movement, which dates back to the early 20th century, incorporates a system of sustainability practices that have been codified into specific certification standards by the US Department of Agriculture. Still, the certified organic fruits and vegetables at your supermarket are highly likely to have been produced more sustainably than their conventionally grown neighbors.
Over decades of science and practice, several key sustainable farming practices have emerged—for example:.
Rotating crops and embracing diversity. Planting a variety of crops can have many benefits, including healthier soil and improved pest control. Crop diversity practices include intercropping growing a mix of crops in the same area and complex multi-year crop rotations. Planting cover crops.
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Cover crops, like clover or hairy vetch, are planted during off-season times when soils might otherwise be left bare. These crops protect and build soil health by preventing erosion, replenishing soil nutrients, and keeping weeds in check, reducing the need for herbicides.
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Reducing or eliminating tillage. Traditional plowing tillage prepares fields for planting and prevents weed problems, but can cause a lot of soil loss.
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No-till or reduced till methods, which involve inserting seeds directly into undisturbed soil, can reduce erosion and improve soil health. This water is rich in fertilising elements irrigates cultivated farmland close to production facilities, which can fully recycle this resource.
Fertigation is practised in Brazil, for instance, where 40, hectares of sugar cane were irrigated this year using this technique.
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Sustainable development Sustainable Agriculture. Our raw materials are scarce and precious, so we have made a deliberate choice to promote efficient and sustainable farming practices. En chiffres. Our last CSR news.
The research shows that developing countries have the most to gain from SDG-aligned business opportunities, capturing more than two-thirds of the estimated economic value due to their large shares of arable land, high future consumption growth and large potential efficiency gains. Across regions, the biggest business opportunity in developing Asia is in cutting food waste across the value chain; while in developed Asian countries like South Korea and Japan, reducing consumer food waste offers the biggest gains.
All told, sustainable food and agriculture could deliver 80 million new jobs around the world.
While it is difficult to predict substitution in employment, policymakers can be encouraged that a shift to sustainability would come with sizable job opportunities.
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