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What is the Current Greatest Threat to Agricultural Sustainability?
The soil is the resource which is connecting numerous lives; it is the source of survival. It is the healer as well as mode of disease transfer into generations. Without proper care of it there will be no community because without proper care of it there will be no life.
Major Threats to Agriculture
After the end of World War 2, agriculture has dramatically standing on the edge of its survival Food production is soared due to new technologies, automation, amplified chemical use, specialization and government policies that favored maximizing production.
Drought (unavailability of water)
“Drought has become the greatest threat in sustaining China agriculture” (Lin Erda)
Our water supplies are drowning at an unsustainable rate. It seems that there is a competition between city dwellers and farmers for the same water supply but clearly farmers are the one who are going lose.
Problems farmers are facing:
Depleting aquifers, rivers that are not ending up to the sea.
Maze of water law and environmental regulation.
Solution: estimate the potential damage to local agriculture and take effective measure s to control it.
Example: invest high capital on irrigation systems with steady maintenance.
Climate change is a nightmare to farmers who are living in states where temperature is on peak and rainfall is variable. It is one of the prime threats to sustain agriculture. Extreme weather fluctuations might alter pathogen transmission dynamics and in return insects and pests will impair crop production.
Problems farmer are facing
Heat waves, storms, draughts, heavy precipitations and floods are expected to cause subsequent damages such as,
Leakage of soil minerals
Contamination of soil and crops by either animal or human pathogens
Extreme weather fluctuation has the potential to cause infectious diseases such as anthrax, blackleg and so on.
Solution: expand all the resources to protect culture such as build high tunnels, rain shields, screen houses and even full-blown green houses.
Rising energy costs
After laying down the base of farm such as purchasing of land, arrangement of adequate water supply the next largest cost of most forming operations is energy.
Problems farmer are facing
Fuel is required on daily basis to drive tractors and transport fertilizers.
Energy is required to generate greenhouse effect.
Energy is requires to preserve the food from harsh climate.
Greater will be the energy cost, lower will be the food production
Solution: consume the waste heat and replace the ordinary lights with a LED light at only the wavelengths needed for plant growth.
Phosphorous is the second most important element needed for plant growth. It has been extracted from the rocks of phosphorous and is mixed with acid to make a commercial fertilizer.
Problems farmers are facing
Mines are running out, it seems North Africa will be the only major source.
Solution: phosphorous is the element which is water soluble. It seeps into ground water and reaches to rivers. We can recycle phosphorous from rivers and particularly it can be extracted from municipal waste but the process is expensive. We need to drive down this cost.
We need to transform our rural areas, restore the land to its rightful owner, and significantly grow our agricultural output or else the next century will experience sheer human misery that will be on the top of numerical value.
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