When I read the May 2014 issue of the National Geographic, I was surprised to learn that agriculture emits more greenhouse gases than the entire transport sector that burns oil. Most of the greenhouse gases are methane from cattle and rice farms; and nitrous oxide from fertilized fields.
Does it mean that we have to starve to save the environment? Not at all! It only means we must be more efficient in agricultural production to increase the yield without creating additional stress on the environment. The following are some recommendations provided by experts:
*Better management increases the yield on existing agricultural land without expanding the acreage. One example is to grow multiple crops in different seasons.
*The greenhouse gases emitted is recycled to provide energy for the farm rather than escaping into the atmosphere.
*Minimize the use of fertilizers and insecticides with a targeted approach rather than an overall even spray. This will lessen the need for more fertilizers which are petroleum derivatives. It will also decrease toxic chemical runoff to clear lakes and rivers.
*Save precious fresh water by using subsurface drip irrigation to reduce evaporation.
*More careful farming to preserve the natural regeneration of the topsoil.
*Try organic farming methods including the use of compose.
*Try multi-culture crops instead of mono-culture ones to increase the resistance to bad weather or pests.
Overall, the key is to produce in harmony with Nature, which we depend heavily for good harvests.