Climate-Friendly Food and Agriculture

 

Introduction

Any long-term change in temperature and weather of an area is known as climate change. The causes of climate changes may be natural or fabricated. In the beginning of 19th century rapid industrialization, take place, which besides other activities also affect the climate of an area. For instance, burning of coal, fossil fuels etc. can cause the climate change most probably by interrupting the air and change its composition. These sources i.e. burning of fossil fuels etc. can aid the green house effects, which ultimately change the climate.

The potential of climate change is measure in term of their negative effects on all forms of lives. The disruption of balance ecosystem, change in weather patterns, increase in temperature, extensive flooding, melting of glaciers, and increase in the eruption of volcanic are the key consequences of climate change. All the aforementioned effects can lead to the negatively effects the human and other animal’s lives, enhance the death ratio, increase non-communicable diseases, and create the emergence of health issues. Agriculture sector is also at high risk from climate changes due to temperature changes, flooding, irregular rainfall, and longer or shorter drought seasons. All these situations can lead to affect the foods that are produced in that particular area.

Agriculture is one of the main sources of income in many countries around the globe. (In Pakistan 60% of the land is considered as agriculture land). They aid to the countries assets and improve the quality of life of the residents. Proper and fresh foods availability, verities of food items, and labour working etc. all are the benefits of agriculture sector. But unfortunately, some negative aspects like their contribution in climate change (production of different gases i.e. CO2, CH4, NO2 etc.), acidification of rain, eutrophication, residual of fertilizers, and waste of residual etc. are also associated with this sector. These problems are more emerged currently due to the use of advance agriculture techniques, which on one side enhance the productivity and required less time but on the other hand produce poisonous gases, and disrupt the ecosystem.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) for the Asia region declared that the geographical location of a country a can also associated with the climate change. Besides geographical location other factors like socioeconomic development, rapid industrialization, and lack of proper resources also contribute to the climate change.

Currently, the matter of climate change is of global concern different international and national organization are working for the prevention or to overcome the drastic effects of climate change, but there are more to be done. Therefore, the present article aimed to describe various environmental friendly methods that can help to reduce the climate change, but the demand of agriculture substances is not affected.

Eco-friendly system

The activities or products that cause limited destruction in the environment and have a sustainable factor are referring as eco-friendly substances or actions. The factor of sustainability and presentation of the available resources for future generation is the key property of eco-friendly and hence, it is separated from the term environmental friendly. Eco-friendly system is crucial for balancing of ecological, social, and economic value of any population. It also accounts for waste reduction, renewable energy, and sustainability of the long-term environmental factors.   

Sustainability and food system

Sustainability is a multidimensional concern, to which our food systems also attribute. The nature of clean and safe food is the basic right of any human and it is also our responsibility to save the food for future. The food conservation in the environments and its safe storage for future is the concern of global association and collaboration. Food system is comprised of a chain of steps ranging from cultivation in the fields to processes food on the table. As looking sample and linear chains, the food system is considered a complex and multifactorial process that required time, care, and patients. For any society it is necessary that there will be a steady and sustainability in the food chain, but this may also vary from place to place and also changes with time. Food chains indicate the overall status of an area in term of field potential, the agriculture land, and the socioeconomic status. Sustainable food can provide a healthy and fresh food for the consumers.

Figure 1: Graphical illustration showing the pillars of sustainability

Agricultural impact on environment and climate

Agriculture is the important part of our life which helps to generate new crops and aid to the economic value of any country. Besides the importance and crucial part in our daily life, the agriculture sector also impact negative on our environment, mostly due to the operation and process associated with agriculture. Rigorous agricultural processes can harm the environment through fertilisation, irrigation, machinery and plant protection chemicals. Similarly, the agriculture waste and animal manure on burning can aid to the air pollution. Recently the impact of agriculture on climate change is recognized and got full attention. Different parts and constituents of agriculture can badly impact the climate. For instance, the soil ‘type, irrigation, chemicals, etc. can badly impact our surrounding. 

Importance of sustainable food

The aim of food is to remove the hunger and vanished the poverty. The sustainable foods have both of these properties with additional benefits of its safe nature to the environments. It also not affects the biodiversity of the area and covers the all aspects of the foods. Sustainable foods also help in the restoration of forest as they required less area for cultivation. The increasing in multiple diseases also provide a way to use sustainable foods as they provide more choices. The sustainable foods and agriculture must meet the required criteria for present and future generation, while ensuring the environmental protection. The basics of food security like access, availability, utilization and stability must be present in a food which are claimed to be sustainable.

 

 

Examples of sustainable foods

Different foods are used as sustainable foods. Each food has its own importance that collectively helps to reduce their environmental impact. Food with good nutritional values and improved health like, cereals, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and olive oil etc. have the least environmental effect. Some of the important sustainable foods are listed below.

Mushroom

Mushrooms belong to saprophytes that can help to decompose the remaining of an organism and obtained their energy. These also live in different association with their host and generally no chemical or pesticides etc. are used for their cultivation, and hence aid to the safe nature of the environments.

Corn
corn is extensively used in feed industries and considered as a sustainable food. Its demand is more in developing countries as they produce more feeds supplements. Their industrial applications make them parallel with petroleum and its demand is gradually increasing. Here, its importance is in term of environmental protection. It is identified that organic corns can produce less carbon footprint then non-organic. They also lack the production of pesticides and widely distributed in different soils.

Conclusion

The agriculture sector contributes huge to the socio-economic value of a country. Due to the current situations of climate changes, which effect the agriculture sector a lot, is of issue of interest. Following the green ways of agriculture by promoting the concept of sustainable foods, can reduce the effects on the land. Various types of foods are grown which have all the required properties of a foods, and also have the factor of sustainability. Such foods required less area and give more products. In conclusion, promoting the climate friendly or environmental friendly agriculture not only help to reduce the burden of negative complications but also help to give more products.

About the Author: 

Abrar Hussain is a young research scholar in the filed of probiotic. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. from ICCBS, University of Karachi. He has a mind of creativity and the concept of innovation. He presented his work in several national and international conferences and obtained a dozens of certificates.

Isha Arif


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