Making Farmland And Farming Affordable And Sustainable
When someone mentions a farm, the picture that comes to mind is of an endless stretch of land with ripe barley swaying in the wind or a white picket fence around a vast stretch of land that has barns, pastures and tilled land.
But, anybody who has been anywhere close to a farmland these days will know that it is just not the case. Farming is not about a picture-perfect piece of arable land that houses crop growers and ranchers.
One of the greatest challenges that the human race faces today involves food shortage and inefficient distribution of food and other life-sustaining resources among people. To a vast extent, the inability of the agricultural sector in taking up the challenge of stepping up food produce and its subsequent distribution among the people is to be held responsible. As per the latest numbers, only about 4 percent of the total land resource that exists on earth can be treated as arable or cultivable. One can only imagine the plight. Out of a total of 14 million hectares of all land resource, only 5 million hectares serve as agricultural land whose produce feeds a population of 8 billion. Needless to say, there is a dire need of stepping up our efforts in terms of making agricultural practices across the world sustainable to support future demands and at the same time, prove it to be a lucrative means of earning one’s living.
- Mixed farming: This is particularly effective in areas where agricultural activity is not a year-round affair. In most of the developing and emerging economies, a huge portion of the population relies on agriculture to earn a living. Mixed farming brings within its ambit the idea of having a year-round source of income. In mixed farming, the farmer is involved with the practice of raising food crop and also livestock rearing like dairy farming, poultry, etc. such a system of farming can have a lot of positive effects on the entire system as it reduces seasonal unemployment to a huge extent.
- Mechanized farming: Mechanized agriculture will have a significant part to play with the demand for food produce rising every year. It is highly recommended for the farmers who have large land holdings. The use of mechanized tools and implements in farming has long been chided as a means to replace the human labor. But the truth is it enhances the efficiency and quality of the farming activity. Moreover, mechanized farming is at a level where it can considerably reduce resources that are often spent wastefully.
- Balance between traditional goodness and technological add-ons: Agriculture is one such aspect of human civilization that needs the age old wisdom gained from experience molded with the modern scientific farming practices. Use of pesticides and fertilizers should be moderated, if not eliminated so that it doesn’t lead to degradation of the cultivable land.
These things can spell a vast difference for farmers who have to go through enough trade-offs on the productivity, ecological and farmland well-being fronts. The need of the hour is to create an environment that is facilitative for both fronts and works on a subjective basis because farming practices can vary to a great degree from place to place and case to case.