We need food to survive, and Agriculture is considered one of the baselines for human survival because it is one of the ways we can sustain our living life. Our country, the Philippines, is gifted with so many natural resources and is considered an agricultural country. With agricultural land of 9.67 million hectares and having been considered to have healthy soil and almost 5 million farmers. We have a large portion of land, and we are rich in natural vegetation that is designated for agricultural business and food supply.
As we want to cultivate progress of farming in the agriculture industry that is economically maintainable, benefits human health, environmental balance, and sustainable food for everyone that can provide for the rising population, the progress will depend on how Farming in Sustainable Agriculture evolves its structure, changing methods, sustainable methods, adapting new farming trends, technology developments and practices.
What is Sustainable Agriculture in Farming and its Benefits?
Food production depends on sustainable agriculture farming in different areas and aspects. Sustainable agriculture refers to a structure that farming can sustain to provide food for present and future generations. So, what are the benefits of sustainable farming in the agriculture sector? Sustainable agriculture in farming aims to give balanced and continuous flexibility of economic stability, environmental conservation, renewal of energy, cost efficiency, and social valuation. Sustainable agriculture in farming adheres to fulfill its objectives and ensures that sustainable practices in the farming system are followed, ensuring there will be healthy soil, proper water management, and sustainable agricultural practices, contributing to preventing climate change and eliminating pollution.
To better understand sustainable agriculture in farming and sustainable agricultural practices here are the methods that encompass its scope and procedures:
- Farming planting rotating crops. Crop rotation is planting or growing different crops of plants on the same land alternately. Crop rotation is a sustainable agriculture that helps to save scarce resources by maintaining soil fertility, it prevents soil erosion, maintains soil nutrients, and hinders any crop disease. It also eliminates pest outbreaks and pest populations, lessening the cost of using chemical fertilizers and chemical pesticides and conserving water and energy as well. In this method, applying animal manure helps infuse nutrients into your crops and will help the soil provide nutrients available for your crops. An example of a crop rotation pattern is rice for the first year then Mung bean for the second year, plant rice again for the third year then pechay for the fourth year. You may also do the pattern beans for the first year, next you may plant corn, and the next is tomatoes.
- Planting cover crops. One of the popular sustainable agriculture practices in farming methods is planting cover crops. Its main purpose is to allow the soil covered with crops that will benefit to boost soil fertility, and health, and produce nitrogen fertilizer, the perfect examples of cover crops in our country are legumes and mung beans.
- Integrating fish or integrating livestock into rice crops is one of the best natural resources for sustainable agricultural farming that maximizes resources more efficiently. Examples are raising fish culture like tilapia in rice paddy crops which benefits you for extra income, protecting plants in your farm, controlling weeds, preventing soil erosion, preventing insects, and keeping the soil healthy. Integrating livestock animals and doing the grazing management method by pasturing animals like goats and cows that are good for your farm will yield extra income, natural animal manure, an abundance of food, and cost efficiency in which you can use the excess crops to feed your integrated livestock. You may also integrate to plant native perennial grasses that can reduce nutrient runoff for the soil, protect plants, can be alternative food for your animals, and stabilize the water area in your farm.
Sustainable Agriculture Farming in Residential Communities
There are a lot of sustainable farming methods to talk about and sustainable agriculture has maintained its purpose and widened its scope through farming in residential communities by providing food solutions. While industrial agriculture is about a large scale of farming and the use of different techniques, sustainable agriculture in residential farming aims to provide an easy and readily cycle of food and alternatively meets the needs of sustainable agriculture requirements such as an alternative location in the farming of food needs, maintaining soil health, biodiversity, and a big help in our food scarcity. With the rising population in our country farming in residential communities has been considered as one of sustainable agriculture because it becomes one of the solutions for even food supply and a dynamic agriculture that creates a production of food that scales the needs of our country.
Nowadays, combining traditional farming, adopting sustainable practices, and incorporating science modernity with natural resources, many residential communities are now becoming one source of sustainable farmers in their community for personal or business ventures. Whereas the key elements of providing for future generations will most benefit from this sustainable farming in residential communities, it will also continuously maintain the continuity of food production and food mobility.
Having said that sustainable agriculture in farming aims to cater to future life needs and survival, let’s talk about the kinds of sustainable agriculture farming in residential places and the residential sustainable agriculture farming we can adapt in our area.
Kinds of Sustainable Agriculture Farming in Residential Communities
1. Farming with container
Farming with container or Modular farming in Residential Communities is a kind of farming for any kind of plants or crops you want. Modular farming is stackable crops that use containers or recyclable bottles. They can be placed on rooftops, vacant lots, and warehouses. Farming with the container is sustainable farming because it helps the environment, minimizes transportation, and can transfer to any location.
2. Farming in Vertical Form
The crops growing in this kind of farming are hydroponic or aeroponic systems, with no need for soil, arranged vertically at the above level, and the oxygen is directly supplied into the pipes. It has been a trend in urban cities in our country because it can be done in any building and small space regardless of the weather. Vertical Farming is beneficial to our country because it helps you to produce food in your place, is workable compared to conventional farming, helps to conserve energy, is environmentally friendly because it prevents the damage of continuous traditional plowing, reduced till methods, and eliminates water pollution.
3. Farming in your Backyard
The growing population in our country is equal to the growing need for food. Farming in our backyard is one of the easiest ways to sustain agriculture and it is broadening the capacity to help to sustain the food supply in our country. Whether you want organic farming or typical planting vegetables and crops, farming in our backyard undeniably benefits us. It benefits us to lessen our expenses, eliminate chemical use for the food we intake, improve air quality in our home, and we can put appropriate animal species of livestock as well. It also allows you to plan and plant the plant or crops you want depending on your needs. Examples of backyard livestock are chickens, goats, ducks, rabbits, and pigs. With veggies, you can plant pechay, string beans, bitter gourd, malunggay, eggplant, and chilies.
4. Balance and Sustainability
We need sustainability to be continuous and viable to survive. Sustainable farming is balancing all the resources available for everyone, whether it is organic farms, residential farming, conventional factory farms, a big agriculture industry, and a modern way of farming. We are asked to take part in helping surrounding communities to extend our efforts in planting or taking care of livestock as part of helping to sustain food production and to balance the hierarchy of needs. Expanding farming through efforts in residential areas is one way of balancing and sustaining a practical way of helping our economy continuously maintain food production for our future stages and a biodiversity resource that benefits our country. We are expanding in population, climate change is underway and public health matters so we need to help in balancing and sustaining our food supply in any way we can, and any method of farming no matter where we are is considered sustainable for our everyday needs, for our future support and our journey here on earth.
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Written by Rowena Lansang