With the growing populations, our planet is running out of resources! If by 2050 the global population reaches 10 billion, the equivalent of almost three planets will be required to provide the natural resources needed to sustain current lifestyles
How Agriculture Can Contribute to Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Part 2
SDGs are a set of 17 interconnected goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015. The SDGs are important because they provide a framework for countries, organizations, and individuals to work together to achieve a sustainable future for all. They also serve as a blueprint for global cooperation and collaboration towards a more equitable and just world. Agriculture plays an important role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Through sustainable agricultural practices, food production can be increased to meet the growing demand for food while protecting the environment (SDG 2 and SDG 12)
Responsible production in agriculture is needed in ensuring food security for present and future generations: This means using practices that prioritize the long-term health and productivity of the land while also considering the needs of farmers and communities.
One of the key benefits of sustainable agriculture is that it promotes soil health and fertility. By using practices like crop rotation, cover cropping, and reduced tillage, farmers can maintain soil structure, increase organic matter, and reduce erosion. It also promotes the growth of beneficial microorganisms that help to break down organic matter and release nutrients back into the soil. This improves soil fertility and leads to more productive land, which in turn leads to increased crop yields.
Sustainable agriculture also helps to conserve water resources. As reported by OECD agriculture has consumed so much water, almost 70% of total water use worldwide. By using efficient irrigation techniques like drip irrigation and mulching, farmers can minimize water waste and reduce their reliance on groundwater resources. This is especially important in areas that are prone to drought or have limited water resources. In addition, sustainable farming practices often promote the use of local and indigenous crops, which are often more nutritious and better adapted to local growing conditions.
In addition, reducing food loss along the production and supply chain has also been an important concern in developing sustainable agriculture. With limited agricultural resources, food loss poses a threat to food security.
Based on the report from FAO it is estimated in developing countries that 30% to 40% of total food production can be lost before reaching the market. There are many factors that contribute to food losses ranging from inefficient harvesting and processing methods, poor storage and transportation facilities, to inadequate marketing and distribution systems. Joint action is needed to address those problems. Farmers can adopt more efficient harvesting and processing methods to reduce food losses. While the government and industries can invest in more adequate storage facilities and better marketing and distribution systems.
Overall, sustainable agriculture is essential in ensuring food security by promoting long-term environmental, economic, and social sustainability. By investing in sustainable agriculture practices, we can build a more resilient and equitable food system that can meet the needs of present and future generations.