Why sustainable farming should be encouraged over industrial farming

Why sustainable farming should be encouraged over industrial farming

Agriculture industry has been going through dramatic changes through the centuries. Most importantly, fiber and food production has increased as a result of technology development, formulation of government policies that favor agriculture, and use of chemicals (NASA, 2018). Consequently, farmers are able to produce more food within a short time and a lower cost. There are numerous benefits associated with industrial farming yet the risks are equally significant. Various movements in the United States have emerged urging people to practice sustainable agriculture. Notably, sustainable agriculture encourages a healthy environment, social equality, and economic profitability. Sustainable farming should be encouraged over industrial farming since industrial farming promotes top soil erosion, air pollution, leads to emission of greenhouse gases, and pose a threat to human health.

Breakdown of Problem

According to United States Department of Agriculture (2007), sustainable agriculture refers to a form of animal and plant production practice that brings forth long-term benefits.  These benefits include satisfying human needs for fiber and food, enhancing the quality of the environment, making good and effective use of nonrenewable resources, sustains American economy, and ensures the quality of life of the farmers is enhanced. Sustainable farming should be encouraged because it addresses social, economic, and philosophical issues.  Department of Agriculture (p1) goes ahead to state that the long-term viability of food industrial food production is questionable. News media has in many occasions presented the audience the paradox of starvation at a time where industrial agriculture is presenting the image of plenty. Notably, some of the pictures presented by the media depict starving children in locations hit by calamities such as drought. Industrial agriculture plays a role in facilitating these calamities due emission of greenhouse gases and use of chemicals. Argument that supports industrial agriculture states that the method has led to tremendous gains in productivity. Furthermore, World Bank report stated that food production had gone up globally during the last fifty years (Department of Agriculture p1). However, this kind of agriculture may lead to negative effects in the future which make sustainable agriculture a better option.

Industrial agriculture leads to the emission of carbon dioxide through various mechanisms. Fossil fuel machineries are used in large number during production as well as other agricultural inputs such as pesticides (Bezner-Kerr et al. p2). On the other hand, in order to control soil functions, industrial agriculture encourages use of chemicals to regulate soil temperature, water content, and biochemical composition. A study shows that soil contains seventy percent terrestrial organic which has reduced greatly due to industrial farming (Bezner-Kerr et al. p2). Similarly, agriculture has affected the quality of nitrogen present in the atmosphere due to mass production which is accompanied by the use of synthetic N fertilizers. Therefore, alteration of nitrogen cycle has also played a great role in global warming and negative change in the ecosystem. On the contrary, the principle of sustainable agriculture is that the needs of the present must be met without compromising the wellbeing of the future generation. Therefore, unlike industrial agriculture, sustainable farming does not encourage release of gases into the atmosphere that would lead to negative outcomes.