Sustainable farming is also known as sustainable agriculture or regenerative farming. It’s a strategy that attempts to balance food production requirements with those of the environment and society. Profitability, environmental protection, and social accountability are the three pillars upon which sustainable agriculture hinges.
The benefits of sustainable farming range from environment conservation, climate change mitigation, rural development, food security, and consumer trust. Over time, technological advancements have been introduced into sustainable farming practices, and they’re causing robust transformations through the following ways;
- Alternative Protein Technology
To reduce the negative effects of agriculture on the environment, scientists have developed alternative protein technologies. Some examples include plant-based proteins like soybeans, cultured meat, and insect-based proteins. The approach provides novel answers to the problems of protein scarcity and dependency on conventional cattle husbandry. Projects like soy farming It is one of the most promising global soy supply chain technique.
Compared to traditional cattle farming, alternative protein production methods reduce the use of resources like land and water. In that manner, it also plays a significant role in reducing emissions of greenhouse gasses, therefore, lowering carbon footprints and mitigating the effects of climate change.
The ability to create protein without resorting to rearing and slaughtering animals is an excellent way through which alternative proteins help alleviate animal welfare concerns. This is consistent with the ideals of animal rights activists and animal welfare advocates.
Regarding food insecurity concerns, alternative proteins offer a better solution. Even with the ever-growing world population, there is a need for a sustainable protein supply. Alternative proteins can be scaled up to feed a growing number of people.
Beyond providing a more sustainable and moral food supply, alternative protein technologies also convey novel answers to the problems of protein scarcity and dependency on conventional cattle husbandry.
- Precision Agriculture
Precision agriculture is relatively new. Crop, field, and animal variability management is accomplished by near-real-time observation, measurement, and responses.
Since it involves data-driven approaches to optimize agricultural practices, precision agriculture improves the sustainability and economic viability of farming. It also improves crop yields, decreases operating expenses, and maximizes the efficiency of input processes with sophisticated resource management tools.
To increase agricultural yields, precision farming optimizes and decreases resource usage. The vital technologies used in precision agriculture include the following;
- Remote fleet management
- Semi-autonomous directed vehicle
- Driving systems for agricultural machinery
- Satellite crop monitoring sensors
- Agricultural drones equipped to dose fertilizers
- Vertical Farming
“Vertical farming” refers to sustainable farming technology in which crops are grown vertically in layers or shelves, often indoors or in climate-controlled locations like greenhouses or warehouses. This method uses controlled environments and artificial illumination (hydroponic or aeroponic) to help plants thrive.
In the United States, over 2,000 vertical farms are used to grow berries, lettuce, and herbs. Unlike horizontal vertical, this approach can produce 10 times more food in a given space.
One further perk of vertical indoor farms is their ability to produce food regardless of the time of year or the weather. However, experts emphasize the high energy requirements of such indoor vertical farms. Since the water used in vertical farms can be collected and reused, they require 70-95% less water than conventional outdoor farms.
- Ocean Farming
To combat the consequences of warming seas, regenerative ocean farming proposes cultivating shellfish and kelp in submerged gardens. This may become the standard sustainable farming method because of the regenerative economy it promotes.
The ocean water has ample room and favorable conditions to cultivate many varieties of seaweed and shellfish. Kelp is on its way to becoming the next superfood because of its abundant minerals, including fiber, potassium, calcium, and iron. In addition to being used as a food source, kelp is also processed into a plant fertilizer.
Water Management Technology
Since water is essential to human survival, a growing population is expected to increase water consumption. Unfortunately, Earth’s water supply is limited, and climate change has led to catastrophic droughts. Consequently, it is crucial that we practice environmentally responsible water management.
Among the latest sustainable farming technologies is the development of innovative desalination methods. The innovation is worthwhile since about 99% of the world’s water supply is unfit for human use.
Water management technology has extremely sophisticated sensors that monitor and control water use on massive farms. The technology is helpful for water conservation, electricity generation, flood protection, and pollution control.
Water sustainability in agriculture and industry depends on integrating advanced water management technologies. The critical aspects of water management technology include;
- Sensor-based irrigation
- Precision irrigation systems
- Smart water networks
- Water recycling and reuse
- Water storage and reservoir management
- Flood control and drainage systems
- Pollution control and water quality monitoring
Innovation is essential to ensure agriculture has a bright future in the face of rising population and increasing environmental stresses. Increased yields, decreased resource consumption, and lessened environmental consequences are all possible with the help of innovative sustainable farming technology like those mentioned above. Ultimately, let’s collaborate on creating a farming system that feeds the world and last.