Sustainable agriculture helps the environment, but there are concerns about its efficiency.
Sustainable agriculture takes many forms, but at its core is a rejection of the industrial approach to food production developed during the 20th century.
This system, with its reliance on monoculture, mechanization, chemical pesticides and fertilizers, biotechnology, and government subsidies, has made food abundant and affordable. However, the ecological and social price have been steep: erosion, depleted and contaminated soil and water resources, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, labor abuses, and the decline of the family farm.
The concept of sustainable agriculture embraces a wide range of techniques, including organic, free-range, low-input, holistic, and biodynamic.
The common thread among these methods is an embrace of farming practices that mimic natural ecological processes. Farmers minimize tilling and water use, encourage healthy soil by