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Sustainable agriculture is not just a goal to be attained; it is an ongoing, dynamic process. Rather than a destination, it is a journey.

At the present time, the vast majority of the world's agriculture is non-sustainable. If this self-destructive trend is allowed to continue, future generations will suffer enormously. This book is about reversing that trend, by making world agriculture more sustainable.

On a tangible level, sustainable agriculture means raising food crops and livestock using systems that maintain and enhance the health of the soil and the environment. Part of a more general commitment to sustainable development, the goal of sustainable agriculture is to meet the food needs of the present without endangering the Earth's capacity to meet the needs of future generations. But the goals of sustainable agriculture go far beyond food security, encompassing many ecological, economic, and social dimensions. The goal is widespread adoption of highly productive farming and marketing systems that:

* prevent starvation through local food security;
* regenerate soils;
* enhance communities and family farms;
* promote the health of farm workers and consumers;
* protect the environment and biodiversity;

Gradually, governments are realizing the hidden dangers and real costs of chemical-intensive Green Revolution methods of farming. The public has begun to challenge the wisdom of industrialized farming systems that promise short-term gains, but yield long-term destruction, deplete and ruin natural resources, and threaten the health of both the people and their ecosystems. Donors and government officials are turning more often to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and innovative farmers in efforts to develop and encourage adoption of more sustainable farming methods. Successful efforts are highlighted, and persistent barriers are explored.

Part 1 includes 13 chapters on topics such as:

* Expanding the vision of sustainable agriculture
* Farmer-centered development
* Overcoming hunger and food insecurity
* Urban agriculture
* Public policies promoting sustainable agriculture
* Community Supported Agriculture
* Dominance by transnational corporations
* The increasing role of NGOs
* Can organic agriculture feed the world?

Publication Details

  • Published: 1997
  • Publisher: OM Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 0965576701
  • ISBN-13: 9780965576703
  • Dewey Decimal: 338.109
  • ECHO Library: 338.109 MAD