Essay: Sustainable Agriculture
Sustainable agriculture encompasses growing health foodstuffs for human beings as well as animals without destroying the environment. Works are treated humanely and animals are respected thus providing good returns for the farmer who in return supports the rural communities. If all this is done properly then the farmer is assured of getting extra yields.
There are certain characteristics of sustainable agriculture, which should be followed in order to maximize yields. The farmer should always treat the environment he is working in well. It is of paramount importance to note that, if the environment to which one is doing his farming is misused then the returns from the farm ought to dwindle. Since the soil is responsible for holding nutrients and water for the crops to be planted, it should be treated with utmost care. Crop rotation should be practiced since it is responsible for replacing nutrients to the soil. If one is practicing mixed farming, the animals are grazed on the land and in return, they provide manure, which is used as fertilizer. It is important to note that the farmer should give back to the land what he gets. It is also worthy noting that over dependence of manure and fertilizers, as a way of replenishing the soil, without crop rotation is not healthy for the soil in the end. (Altieri 45-112)