Social and Environmental Ramifications of Modern Farming Practices and Changing Trends towards Sustainable Farming Practices
INTRODUCTIONAn ever growing world population, rapid urbanization and industrialization have resulted in intensified agricultural practices. The agricultural products and ecosystem services are both very essential part of human existence and largely affect quality of life. The intensified modern agricultural practices have greatly increased global food supply but have detrimental impacts on the environment highlighting the need for more sustainable agricultural methods. Today agriculture scientists around the globe are recognizing the fact that the old farming systems like organic farming that existed for millenniums present the best agriculture practices for saving the environment. The means and ways by which human species nourish itself need to be changed to save the finite resources of earth and to avoid environmental degradation. Taking environmental perspectives and food security factors in to consideration the most pertinent question that need to be answered is : what can be human choices about food i.e. choices about food production systems, choices about processed foods and the choices about distribution of food .
ORGANIC FOOD PRODUCTIONThe past two centuries have witnessed tremendous changes in the food production ways. The agriculture has changed from subsistence agriculture to commercial production. Commercialized farming has been made possible through modern agriculture practices such as increased use of chemicals. Today modern agriculture feeds 6,000 million people. Global cereal production has doubled in the past 40 years. Green revolution has increased the global per capita food supply and therefore reducing hunger and improving nutrition of people. High-input or intensified farming practices such as deep drainage, large-scale irrigation, heavy pesticide use and multiple cropping are leading to environmental and ecosystem degradation. Doubling in global food demand projected for the next 50 years poses huge challenges for the sustainability both of food production and of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and the services they provide to society.