Agriculture for Sustainable Development
In the modern age, the increasing population in every sphere is a critical challenge in the sustainable development of our environment. The agricultural system is also affected by pollution. Modern farming techniques (such as the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, etc. to maximize crop yield) disturb the nutrient balance of the soil and reduce the soil fertility. Organic farming is an environment-friendly, animal and plant-based organic resource that enriches nutrients which are required for crop plants.
Organic agriculture is an efficient and promising agricultural approach for environmental sustainability as it provides yield stability, improves soil health, no environmental concerns, organic food and reduction in the use of synthesized fertilizers.
The Connection Between Sustainable Development and Organic Farming
Organic agriculture does not harm our ecosystem. With the arrival of green and the golden revolution, India became self-reliant and a significant producer of various crops. Output-oriented technologies like HYV seeds, new fertilizers, pesticides, etc were also introduced.
Sustainable development is defined as an economic development conducted without depletion of natural resources. Fundamentally, organic farming is closely related to sustainable development. Organic agriculture is helping us to restore the ecological balance.
Sustainable Development for Agriculture
The production systems and the policies along with the institutions that determine the regulations are inadequate. Healthy ecosystems and sustainable management of land, water, and natural resources while ensuring world food security must be developed with sustainable agriculture. It should ensure profitability, healthy environment and social and economic growth and also meet the needs of present and future generations for its products and services. A global transition to sustainable food and agriculture will require significant improvements in the efficiency of resource use, in environmental protection and systems resilience.
Smart Farming Technologies for Sustainable Agricultural Development
There have been several revolutions in agriculture, starting from the domestication of animals and plants a few thousand years ago to the systematic use of crop rotations and other enhancements in farming practices or the “green revolution” with systematic breeding and the widespread use of human-made fertilizers and pesticides a few decades ago.
Farming practices have now been eased with robotic vehicles like mechanical weeding, application of fertilizer, or harvesting of fruits. Aerial vehicles have been developed with auto flight control along with the ultra-lightweight and powerful snapshot cameras that can be used to calculate biomass development and check the fertilization status of crops, opening the field for farm management advice. Cattle herd management based on remote-sensing signals and sensors or actuators attached to the livestock can be done through virtual fence technologies.
Smart farming refers to farm management using modern IT technologies to increase the quantity and quality of products while reducing the human labour required for farming. The driving force of smart farming is IoT, which connects intelligent machines and sensors integrated on farms to make farming processes data-driven and data-enabled. IoT (Internet Of Things) refers to the data that can be drawn from things and transmitting it over the internet. IoT devices can fasten the farming process by installing them on a farm, where collecting and processing of data can be done in a repetitive cycle. It enables farmers to react quickly to issues and changes in weather conditions.
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Solved Example on Sustainable Development and Organic Farming
Q1. How Sustainable Development is Achieved Through Organic Farming?
Answer: Organic farming does not use the harmful practices of conventional agriculture like the use of synthetic fertilizers. In essence, organic agriculture is an agricultural technique which sustains, maintains and enhances the quality of the ecosystem. Therefore, it is intimately related to sustainable development.
Q2. Mention the Downsides of Organic Farming.
Answer: The disadvantages of organic farming are as follows:
When compared to traditional techniques, organic farming has an output on the lower side. As a result, the yield per hectare of this technique is lower in comparison to traditional ones.
The application of organic techniques requires adequate infrastructure and awareness among farmers. But our country is trailing far behind the levels needed in all aspects.
The financial matter of organic farming is low relative to conventional agriculture. It makes it unsustainable for small and marginal farmers.