From AgFunder News, a discussion of the new technologies and practices to preserve agricultural land while it’s being used.
“Some terms defy definition. ‘Sustainable agriculture’ has become one of them,” writes the USDA National Agricultural Library. “In such a quickly changing world, can anything be sustainable? What do we want to sustain?”
Amid increasing consumer demand for transparency and a multitude of labels and initiatives, it can be hard to define what’s truly sustainable in the global agricultural system. By basic definition, sustainable food systems do not take away from the soil or environment. They seek to maintain Earth’s natural resources.
But about one-third of the world’s topsoil is already acutely degraded, and the United Nations estimates a complete degradation within 60 years if current practices continue. According to a 2019 UN report, nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history, with the pace of species extinctions accelerating. Given this current state, are sustainable agriculture activists limiting themselves by merely maintaining?
Enter regenerative agriculture. Dubbed “beyond sustainable,” regenerative agricultural methodologies seek to add to the soil through a self-nourishing ecological system that benefits the environment in the process. A closed-loop system that doesn’t halt humans’ impact on the environment, but reverses it. Is it too good to be true?
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