Summary: Agriculture

Summary——————–Overview——————–Solutions

As of early 2021, there are around 7.8 billion humans to feed. In 2020, roughly 2.37 billion people didn’t have a secure access to food and 720-811 million of them suffered from hunger. By 2064, we’ll have to feed an additional 2 billion people on Earth. The fight for food security worldwide will only get tougher, unless we change the way we farm. We’ve already seen how consumers can change their diets and reduce waste to minimize their food footprints – here we dig into farming practices instead.

Agriculture is an invasive and high-impact activity that was responsible for around 73% of tropical deforestation from 2000-2010 and the degradation of 4 million km2 of farmland worldwide. It also accounts for around a fifth of our yearly GHG emissions [excluding non-food agriculture] and 70% of our yearly freshwater withdrawals, accompanied by loads of toxic pollution worldwide. Fortunately, we don’t have to keep destroying the natural world this much to feed the world, there are better alternatives.

Sustainable agriculture is one of those alternatives. By prioritizing natural solutions that are proven to work long-term, sustainable agriculture can avoid land use conversion, help remediate soils, and avoid pollution that would otherwise be caused by chemicals. By increasing biodiversity and respecting nutrient cycles, we can shift to more sustainable practices that will increase food security in the future – without compromising the current food demand. Especially if localized sustainable agriculture can take a more dominant role and reduce food wastage during transportation.

Sustainable agriculture will not only help reduce emissions, but also help store carbon from the atmosphere. Healthy soils act as carbon sinks and allow vegetation to lock up carbon for longer – which we’ll definitely need in the future to reduce atmospheric GHG concentrations.