Agriculture, just like every other human endeavor, has experienced many changes in the course of man’s evolution. All these changes have been seen as some sustainable development or a form of improvement in the eyes of those who championed them and its advocates in present day.
However, an overall look at all these changes suggests otherwise; Posterity cries out for reforms and changes for true improvement and sustainable development.
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The Universe, its systems, the earth and all in it were created in a state of harmony, equilibrium, stability, balance and perfection, and the Solar System follows its principles of existence without intervention. The earth and everything in it also goes through a cycle and recycle process, as well as generation and regeneration without intervention. As a matter of fact, living creatures keep reproducing and dying to avoid extinction and overpopulation, whilst rocks weather into soils and soils metamorphose back to rocks.
Furthermore, animals breathe in oxygen, a bi-product of plant metabolism, as plants use carbon dioxide, a bi-product of animal metabolism. As part of this same cycle and recycle process, rain falls from the skies and waters the earth to support plant and animal life, yet returns to the skies through evaporation and transpiration. Predators also end up as preys for other organisms and preys as predators, and so on and so forth.
However, man has not been able to fully establish such harmony, equilibrium, stability, balance and perfection in his creation, inventions, innovations and interventions. Not many of man’s creation can truly follow a cycle of processes like nature in its original state. There is always a bi-product or end product, a residue or something that will require another control or intervention which can not be feasibly incorporated in the cycle of creation’s processes. Many of such end products distort the stability and natural equilibrium of the earth and life in it.
For example, fumes from cars and industrial machinery cannot easily be gotten rid of from the atmosphere by a process incorporated in the machine’s operation or some cycle of processes. In most cases, such inventions go through several stages of remodeling to prevent any interuption of nature’s harmony at economically high costs.
In the sector of industry and technology, such expensive remodeling and innovations are seen, although not too often. Man’s innovations and interventions to develop and improve Agriculture has not been any different. While mechanised farming can boost production, some activities like ploughing threatens the survival of useful organisms in the soil that play a subtle role in nature’s equilibrium. Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides developed to deal with nutrient deficiencies and pest infestations in farms pose dreadful threats to the health of soils, living organisms and humans which is an interuption of nature’s balance. Yet, what do we see? So little is being done to restore the equilibrium of nature.
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Agriculture is now more of a business than a livelihood. This is not to say that business is not a livelihood but sadly, we have moved so far from originally farming to directly feed ourselves and others if possible, to farming to create wealth to cater for our welfare which is indirect.
Recent innovations in Agriculture are more towards wealth creation, than to truly promote and enhance lives through Agriculture. There are so many farmers today who do not eat what they grow. And pathetically, some farmers also grow what they eat seperately from what they sell to feed others because of the effects of synthetic chemicals they use in their crop production. Not many farmers care about the health and well being of the consumer anymore. Consumers are also not concerned enough about their health to know more about how crops are being produced and to demand for healthy foods.
Manufacturers of synthetic chemicals for crop production do not show concern about the effects of their innovations on life and the environment. It has now become all about wealth creation and so much damage has been done to nature’s stability as a result.
Posterity is calling for innovations to curb these threats to life and environment. The future generation is challenging all who championed such innovations in agriculture and those who advocate for it, to bring out the innovations that will restore harmony. Can it be done at all? If not then all such innovations are not worth patronising!
All future generations should be concerned and demand change. When lives and the environment are at risk, and harmony cannot be restored in our soils, water bodies and amongst living organisms because of innovations (synthesis chemicals), then we must call for such innovations to be dropped.
When innovations such as GMO seeds that are supposedly promoted to enhance yields, increase pest resistance and enhance food security though without evidence and proven results, are only to result in wealth creation of the inventor and its advocates and threaten the natural regeneration of crops through natural fruit inherent seeds and reproductive plant parts then such innovations must be rejected! Posterity should be bold and say no more of such!
What then is the way forward? Are there alternatives? Ofcourse there are! Organic/Ecological Agriculture is the way forward. It has provided enough innovations for enhanced crop production and pest control, causing very little or no interuption to nature’s harmony and equilibrium.
Giving less attention to costs and gains, we must call on farmers to be diligent enough to resort to organic and ecological farming practices to produce safe food for consumers.
We must call on Governments and all stakeholders in the Agriculture sector to be up and doing in developing policies and research to support organic and ecological agriculture. These stakeholders must also bring forth innovations and promote the adoption of already existing innovations that have proven to enhance crop production through organic and ecological agricultural practices, rather than conventional practices which threaten health and safety.
This is a call to all future generations. Let us arise and demand healthy food and safe environment.
Let us go organic.
Edward Jojo Yankah