At this moment there is a global food supply shortage, making sustainability the new buzz word. But, what exactly is a sustainable food supply? The ability to provide a continuous supply of crops and livestock without harming the environment while maximizing output are the driving factors for sustainability in agriculture. By understanding some important factors associated with this concept, building a sustainable food supply can be an achievable goal for people choosing to live in balance with their environment.
Considerations for Implementing a Sustainable Food Supply
1. Respect Harvesting Laws and the Land
There are several government agencies responsible for regulating wildlife and public lands. They monitor the environment and ecosystems to determine the need for restrictions. Although hunting game and harvesting plant resources can be beneficial to maintain ecological balance, there is an ebb and flow that must be respected. Following any laws and regulations for subsistence harvesting will ensure a healthy ecosystem on public lands.
2. Maintain a Balanced Ecosystem
A balanced ecosystem is something that can be achieved on private land as well. For those who want to develop sustainable agricultural methods, it is important to research the types of crops and livestock to be grown. Some livestock may need to forage on certain plants, and avoid other plants that are poisonous to them. Making sure everything can live together will allow for a healthy ecosystem.
3. Seek Out Renewable Energy Flow
There is a concept in agroecology that one of the key elements to sustainability is providing the right energy flow. Essentially, you want all organisms to interact in their environment in a way that will renew each other. Similar to having a balanced ecosystem, the idea of agricultural energy flow centers around keeping plants and animals close enough to sustain each other. For instance, Some crops work well together and give each other important nutrients, while others may deplete much needed nutrients.
4. Consider Resource Intensification Techniques
Another sustainable agriculture principle involves resource intensification. Using techniques aimed at naturally improving the soil and preventing predation can boost food supply productivity without harming the environment. Researchers have shown that using natural nutrient supplementation and natural predatory barriers can develop more resilient crops with a higher yield. In contrast, chemically enhanced soil and pesticides can require larger amounts of land to produce the same quantities.
Overall, it is important to understand that a sustainable food supply can be achieved by thinking in terms of developing your own ecosystem. Building up soil with the right nutrients and understanding the needs of your crops can help to achieve food sustainability. Keeping everything balanced will allow for a more fruitful environment that will provide an abundant food supply.