Agriculture to protect biodiversity

World population is increasing at a phenomenal rate with over 77 million births every day. This exponential rise is creating stress on all our natural resources, environment and sustainability. When a time such as this comes, a natural progression in human mind is that to look for solutions in technology and innovation.

Innovation has helped us improve the use of resources, standard of living and even unique ways to increase agriculture production. In fact, my colleagues have written about interesting facts around usage of weather analytics in predicting future of the crops and importance of data in agriculture in previous posts.

But can innovation in agriculture help us preserve biodiversity?

Biodiversity involves everything in the environment. From providing cotton for the clothes we wear, to medicines, from the food we eat to resources we use everything is biodiversity. Agriculture has the potential to be both- the keeper and the destroyer of biodiversity.

In fact, farmers can actually help to maintain good soil health and conserve biodiversity by adopting different methods of farming such as crop rotation and planting cover crops which helps to preserve a healthy symbiotic ecosystem benefiting both farmers and environment. Another practice, that of conversation tilling is also becoming increasingly popular. It reduces the chances of soil erosion by moving soil lightly or hardly at all. This is becoming popular increasingly, where only 17% of US farmers were using this practice in 1980s to over 63% adopting the same in 2000s.

Sustainable agriculture as well ensures that biodiversity is maintained without posing a threat to the environment. In addition, agriculture biodiversity also helps to manage soil erosion, conversion of soil to biota, pollination etc.

With the expansion of agriculture, biodiversity is at a serious loss because of deforestation. Mining, clearing away of forests to create space for us is posing as a big threat. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is a body that aims at preserving biodiversity by creating financial incentives to encourage biodiversity and improved agricultural practices and is working a lot towards ensuring the proper use of environment.

Through the post, I reiterate that we are at the verge of witnessing another agricultural revolution and it is our duty to ensure that we preserve biodiversity through innovative sustainable practices.