According to a study by Stanford University, agricultural land can be expanded without sacrificing environmental protections or endangering biodiversity.
With a rapidly growing population, expected to hit 9 billion within the next fifty years, United Nations agricultural officials have predicted that, without massive expansions of agricultural production, the world may face a major hunger crisis.
This need for increased agricultural production has always existed in tension with desires to protect the environment and protect biodiversity. Traditional large-scale agricultural production can be devastating to local ecosystems, especially to native animal species and beta-diversity, the difference between sets of species in two different regions.
The Stanford study suggests that low-intensity agriculture can allow for agricultural expansion without harming biodiversity. In addition to these general environmental benefits, farmers themselves can benefit from protecting the environment. Preserving native bird and bat species, for example, can help farmers pollinate crops and keep insect species in check. In addition, environmentally sound lands near farms can support water purification and can guarantee better soil nutrients.
According to the author of the paper, “Reducing pressure from population growth and consumption are crucial for achieving sustainability. But we also need to start thinking about making smarter societies – in which we can grow food and preserve ecosystem services and species at the same time.”
To learn more about agricultural financing opportunities contact a Farm Plus Financial representative by calling 866-929-5585 or by visiting www.farmloans.com.
Follow us on: Twitter
Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer