Sustainability is a useful concept for farmers, but more importantly it is a necessity for the future our planet. The world relies on the activities of farmers to supply it with food. Whilst satisfying these needs, the processes of agriculture can adversely impact on the land, soil, water-ways and eco-systems and place an enormous strain on the world’s natural resources.
Today the pressure is on for more and more farmers to work towards sustainable systems of farming which produce healthy, nutritious, affordable food and a dependable, secure food supply -without producing a negative impact on the environment. Sustainable farms should protect the environment, preserve open spaces, forests and wildlife and also encourage and conserve biodiversity, plus provide the farmer and farm workers with a good living.
Sustainable agricultural practices must not impact negatively on the environment therefore this course encourages:
- The investigation of how farming practices impacts on and shapes the future of the environment
- Farming practices that suit the local environment and reduce the impact on it
- Examination of the best use of natural resources; the use of water in production; preservation of soil quality; responsible use of chemicals and fertilizers; reducing the potential for salinity and pollution of waterways.
- The conservation of biodiversity
- Long term improvements in productivity
- Social improvement, through sustainable practices (both monetary and non- monetary)
- Flexibility and risk management (in fluctuating markets and climate variations)