Reform of the global agriculture system has become an important issue for debate and negotiations at various global conferences out of concern by world leaders on the current food security crisis in particular the overuse or misuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides which have caused heavy degradation to farmlands and waterways throughout the developed and developing countries. Sustainable agriculture has been identified as a key force for development to help protect vulnerable populations from the effects of the food crisis and to work for long-term solutions to meet the Millennium Development Goals to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Sustainable agriculture uses a special kind of farming technique in which the resources of the environment can be fully utilized and at the same time ensuring that no form of harm was done to it. Products from sustainable agriculture are free from any types of inorganic chemicals such as pesticides or insecticides. This kind of farming technique is environment friendly and ensures safe and healthy products for consumer consumption.
Besides meeting human food and fiber requirements, it helps enhance environmental quality and natural resources where the land will be given enough post-farming time to replenish the water, soil and air that were used up. Different types of plants will be planted in rotation to enrich the soil and prevent diseases and pests outbreaks to ensure the most efficient use of non-renewable resources and on-farm resources and to integrate at the same time the environment's natural biological cycles. By using the minimal amount of chemical pesticides or preferably no chemicals at all, the quality of production for safe consumption can be met. In animal or poultry farms, different kinds of animals will be raised. These animals will be left to graze naturally and are provided with suitable natural diet. The waste from the production will remain within the farm's ecosystem and will not buildup or cause pollution.
In economic and social aspects, this kind of farming help ensure that farmers are paid a fair wage and are not dependent on subsidies from the government and thus help to strengthen rural communities. Their working environment should also be safe and provided with proper living conditions and food.
In addition, sustainable agriculture will ensure the minimum costs of transportation and use of fossil fuel by having the farms closer to the markets. Sustainability brings farmers closer to consumers by growing fruits and vegetables and raising poultry or livestock or fish nearer to the markets. This contributes to food security where the closer the farms are to homes and markets, the greater the access to more healthy and affordable food. Increasing population has increased the demand of food and the need to transport them to towns and cities. By becoming closer to most markets, this will help cut down on the amount of trucks needed to transport the food and thereby reducing traffic congestion and air pollution.
By working with natural processes, the system also helps to conserve all resources, minimize waste as well as energy consumption and reduce the impact of farming on the environment. Sustainable agriculture helps preserve and protect the planet for future generations; helps balance the earth's eco-system, and enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.