Whenever I talk to farmers about the concept of sustainable agriculture, they tend to pose one question to me. That is the question as to what they stand to gain (directly), by embracing sustainable agriculture. That is the question I will attempt to answer in today’s blog post. As it turns out, there are three ways in which farmers stand to benefit directly by embracing sustainable agriculture practices. These, in other words, are the three reasons as to why it is in farmers’ best interests to embrace sustainable agriculture.
Firstly, the farmers stand to earn more, if they embrace sustainable agricultural practices. Let’s say, for instance, that a farmer in Florida goes to www.sunbiz.org, to register a farming company. (Sunbiz.org is the website where people in Florida can register companies online. It is commonly simply referred to as the Sunbiz website). So, in that way, the farmer registers a farming company specializing in sustainable agriculture. Another farmer goes to the same website, but opts to register a company specializing in ‘ordinary’ agriculture: you know, the sort of farming where pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers and other such things are used extensively. What is likely to happen is this: the farmer who opted to adopt sustainable agriculture is likely to earn more in the long run. After all, people are often willing to pay more for organic food products. And that is where the opportunity to earn more money from sustainable agriculture comes in: because the concepts of sustainable agriculture and organic farming are almost synonymous.
Secondly, the farmers stand to preserve the fertility of their soils, after embracing sustainable agricultural practices. They are therefore to end up earning more from their soils, in the long run.
Thirdly, the farmers stand to cut costs significantly, after embracing sustainable agricultural practices. It is worth noting that sustainable agriculture is, in many ways, akin to sustainable manufacturing: it offers multiple pathways for cost-cutting. With regard to sustainable agriculture, the farmer gets a chance to save the money that would otherwise have gone into inputs like chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and so on.