HOW BIC FARMS CONTRIBUTES TO SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTION.
Sustainable food production has become a trending topic in many circles today but how many people really know what it means and entails?
We know that Agriculture is the source of all our foods in various forms which include crop production and livestock production. While crops produce and livestock products are for human consumption, crops are produced as food for humans and feed for animals, with livestock serving as source of meat, egg and milk. Food production involves growing or raising crops (which ranges from land preparation, application of inputs to harvesting), post-harvest activities such as sorting, cleaning, storing, processing, packaging, transportation and marketing. These stages of food production should be done leaving no negative impact on the planet and the people but our current agricultural practices do pose a great threat to the environment and the people living in it. Our practices focus more on profit than giving consideration to the planet and the people.
In sustainability, there must be balance between the impact of a product on the planet, people and profit without exceeding the regenerative or absorptive capacity of the system. A product considered sustainable should leave no negative impact on the living entity involved in it. It should also be economically viable. One of the sustainable development goals is zero hunger which can be achieved by increasing food production, reducing food waste, favorable government policies, innovations and technology. The afore mentioned interventions should be embraced not leaving out training and development.
Food security is a crucial subject that needs topmost attention in order to achieve the sustainable development goal of zero hunger. According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food security exists when all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe & nutritious food for an active and healthy life. Health, wealth and freedom can’t be discussed outside the foundation of food. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has food as one of the basic needs of man that should be satisfied for an individual to achieve complete development and self-actualization. Achieving food security calls for increase in food production which should be done sustainably.
Impacts of Conventional Food Production on the Environment
Food production has been responsible for a number of environmental menace because the absorptive/ regenerative capacity of the system is being exceeded. Problems such as pollution (air, water), resource depletion (soil) and land degradation. The impacts are not limited to the following;
- Climate change: the natural factor that influences earth’s climate is volcanic eruption, adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere contributing to the greenhouse effect. In recent times, the changes experienced by the atmosphere are as a result of human activities with the global food system being a significant contributor via livestock and crop production and food supply chain. The main greenhouse gases related to food production are carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane. These gases add up to the greenhouse gases present in the atmosphere making the earth hotter, increasing the rate of evaporation and evapotranspiration, floods through the melting of ice and glaciers, leading to drought, wildfires etc.
- Soil degradation: repeated cultivation degrades soil by reducing the soil fertility. Other agricultural actions that break down soil structure include the use of machinery, desertification, over-grazing, flooding lead to reduction in soil quality.
- Water: food production affects water resources by polluting both the surface and groundwater with inputs used such as fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, pesticides which can easily runoff leading to eutrophication and making the water unfit for both animal and man consumption.
Our contributons are powered by our core values and beliefs.
We believe in Innovations.
Innovation cannot be ignored if we must have food security. Some innovations require major technological breakthrough such as high-technology greenhouses which are more ecofriendly, economically efficient and more sustainable. The greenhouse technology is a production system that is environmentally sustainable. It makes year round production of crops in a controlled environment, with even higher yields possible. Growing plants with this technology enables having control over factors that help healthy growth such as light, temperature, humidity and irrigation rates.
We believe in circularity, where nothing is made to waste but a good use is found for what is otherwise considered useless.
This zero-waste initiative sees us using crop chaffs, which are considered waste, as grow media in soilless farming. With this innovation, land space is equally maximized using the vertical farming technique; the quantity of nutrient usage is drastically reduced thereby making food fit for consumption without residual effect; reduced or zero weed activities and efficient water consumption.
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