Why sustainable farming has become the need of the hour recently?

by Yogita Mehtani on Apr 01, 2022

Why sustainable farming has become the need of the hour recently?

It does not matter whether you belong to the upper class or middle or lower; two things are common to all of us, i.e., the need for food and our death. The rest can be compromised but not nutrition. And the food should be somewhat beneficial to our growth and body needs. But because of the overuse of pesticides and fertilizer, we destroyed our environment more than we can perceive. There is a growing consensus that we need some way to protect our soils. 

The need is not hypothetical at all. The several tastings have shown that with this amount and the nature of farming, we are close to another debacle of food shortage. Just like we ignored the global warming fiasco even though scientists warned us long ago, we cannot make the same mistake again and again. 


History of Revolution 

Our history, be it in India or the foreign countries' green revolution happened in the 1960s or 1970s'. There can be no denying at that time; it was the necessary step to cure the problem of mass starvation. It was time after the second world war, and the food shortage problem bothered every part of the world. 

So, using different techniques and the invention of chemical fertilizers, the agro scientists skyrocketed the yield from traditional farming. It indeed solved the problem and gave birth to the unforeseen circumstances of soil damage. 

Then, industrialization picked up farming for-profit, and unstrained use of our resources have given the problem that we never sought. Now, scientists are working on how we can maximize the yield in some areas of the world and still not use chemical fertilizers. It is different from what the industry does and will not damage our already ruined soil more. 

It will sustain our future, and the best part of it is that the young generation is seeking opportunities in this traditional farming process. New start-ups are being founded, and most importantly, the governments are encouraging sustainable farming as they themselves understand the need for wholesome growth.

Read more about :Home grown fruits and vegetables - How are they healthy for us?

The processes of organic or sustainable farming: 

Several aspects and methods of sustainable agriculture need to be discussed. We need to understand how it will impact our future better.

  • The use of renewable sources: when we talk about sustainable farming, it's not about only intelligent use of soil but also using everything at our hand, with consequences of using this working like an alarm bell ringing in our mind. Now not every person is aware of, after the industries, one of the biggest energy users in agriculture. Can we then minimize it? Yes, using solar pumps and using natural water resources. The use of solar energy is being put first in the Indian subcontinent, and organic farmers are embracing it with open hands. 
  • Water management:  The use of chemical fertilizers destroys the soil and pollutes the very source of water farmers use. Thus, when the farmers use natural fertilizers with less harmful effects on the environment, it also minimizes the chances of water pollution. They are also adopting drip irrigation techniques and leaving traditional sprinklers not to spoil the depleting layers of groundwater. 
  • Using crop rotation techniques: Crop Rotation techniques is not something new. It has been in practice in traditional farming for many years. It is the way of balancing the nutrients level in the soil. Not every crop needs the same amount of nutrients. Thus, better understanding, farmers grow crops that replenish the nutrients level used in the previous crop cycle. 
  • Polyculture farming: In this process, we try to grow several crops in the same area, which compliments each other to balance the available resources. It also protects biodiversity and makes the system more buoyant to the changing weather patterns.
  • Permaculture: It is a system where we smartly grow crops in a designed and well-researched manner to increase production efficiency and bring down the wastage of resources. Our focus is to use perennial crops like nut trees and fruit trees and grow them in mimicked natural ecosystems. 
  • Food forest: As we see in woods various plants of different natures and sizes, we replicate them in a food forest system. It is a canopy of small and giant trees, including shrub to mushroom, root vegetables to climbing plants, all in a mutually advantageous pattern. It is a productive system where systems cater to the plant's needs.
  • Agroforestry: As the term suggests, it amalgamates agricultural practices and traditional forestry. It has become a boon for the dry areas where frequent drought happens.
  • Pest management: Mother earth has a natural way of protecting its children. When there was no use of chemical insecticides, Insects and birds worked as natural pest eliminators. Framers can keep a little shelter for these helpers. Beetles and ladybugs always help to remove pest flies and mites. 


Farmers can buy these in bulk from stores and use them around crops. This way, it can balance the natural ecosystem and minimize insecticides, which eventually harm our food. 

  • Livestock management: Intelligent use of livestock is very important as when goats, cows, and sheep eat the same plant from the same area, it provokes soil erosion, and the nutrients they get are minimal. As we depend upon natural fertilizers and the natural way of using livestock, their food is essential. Farmers can also grow cover crops, which will also feed the growing need for food for the livestock.
  • Hydroponics and Aquaponics: Both of these techniques are relatively new, and in both, no soil is used. In hydroponics, the plant is kept in the water, and routinely, nutrients are added. It’s a mineral solution with gravel to hold plants to its base. 

In aquaponics, along with plants, fishes are kept just like a pond. And the bodily secretions of fishes are used to cater to the needs of the plants in a mutually dependent manner. Plants use the waste coming from the fishes, and in the process, the water gets naturally purified, and it gets recirculated. 

  • Urban agriculture: From different data, we already know most of the population is shifting to the city, even villages. In the past, a farmer’s son was always keen on taking the job of agriculture, but now because of globalization, they have seen the opportunities a city can offer. So, it can lead to another food shortage problem in the near future. 

So, counter that urban gardening or agriculture can be a solution with tremendous potential. Backyard gardens, terrace farming, or simple kitchen gardens are the best example of growing urban agriculture trends. Using indoor plants to decorate our homes and different start-ups delivering plants online, the future of urban agriculture is bright and shiny. 


There is a saying, “we are what we eat”. The statement signifies the need for the quality of food we eat. Sustainable farming is still nascent, but people are beginning to understand its benefits. Recently Sikkim has become the first organic state, which means no chemical fertilizer is used. 

Though there is little difference between organic and sustainable farming, the awareness is picking up fast. The only problem is the yield to cater to the world’s growing hunger; with environmentalists and scientists working together, the horizon is not very far.

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