×

    By submitting this form, you are agreeing to Folio3’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

    get in touch
    agriculture management

    Top Issues in Agriculture – Agricultural challenges 2023

    If there’s one thing that connects the people of the world, it’s agriculture, all the world’s population depends on agriculture for their daily food essentials and other basic requirements. Despite the huge need for agriculture in our daily day-to-day lives, only a few countries are focused on agricultural development.  The areas dedicated to farming and the growth of edible plants are mostly rural and underdeveloped. 

    Since the world’s food security is significantly dependent on the health of the agricultural sector, it is very important to keep a check on the challenges being faced by this industry, to mitigate the risks timely and to ensure a consistent supply of food and other agricultural products. The most prominent issues being faced by the agricultural sector today include a decline in the availability of arable land and freshwater, use of outdated cultivation methods, the depletion of natural resources, and the rise in environmental pollution. All these factors pose a high risk to Agricultural sustainability today.

    Current Challenges faced in the Agricultural Sector are:

    Growing World’s Population

    The rate at which the world’s population is growing is quite alarming, it is expected to grow from 7.5 billion people today, to nearly 10 billion by 2050. This means the resources to produce food for people also need to be expanded at the same rate, to meet the basic need of living. Also, not only with the growing population the demand for food will increase, but with the rise in the economic situation of developing countries, more people will be able to afford food items like meat, fish, and dairy which they are unable to afford today because of lower average incomes.

    Climate Changes and Global Warming

    One of the biggest threats to agriculture today is climate change due to global warming. 5% decline in crop yields per decade is recorded due to the adverse effects of climate change on agriculture. Increasing events throughout the world like heat waves, weather volatility, droughts, storms, insect infestations and flooding due to global warming poses severe threats to agriculture today.

    Climate change is expected to contribute substantially to food insecurity in the future, food prices can go high owing to lower agricultural productivity. Climate change can adversely affect the farmer’s capability to grow food at economic costs. Increasingly unpredictable weather and catastrophic events for example floods and droughts can change growing seasons, limit the availability of water, and can also cause an increase in the growth of weeds, pests, and, fungi which can significantly reduce crop productivity.

    Climate change compels farmers to shift to more fertile lands and it’s very likely that the availability of fertile lands will keep on depreciating as certain areas become climatically unsuitable for agriculture. In addition to this, extreme weather events, owing to climate change can cause sudden reductions in agricultural productivity. For example, in 2010, agricultural productivity in Russia and Ukraine was severely affected by the heat waves which led to a significant rise in the process of food items and staples.

    Erosion

    Erosion is defined as the geological process which causes earthen materials to be either worn away or to be transported by natural forces such as wind or water. Soil is a natural resource, which may look infinite or endless but in actual it’s a very sensitive resource that involves thousands of years to form. The topmost layer of the soil which is closest to the surface of the land contains essential minerals for plants to grow. Through the process of erosion, if this layer wears off or gets transported due to wind or water, it can adversely affect crop yield by lowering soil fertility. 

    This is a global problem because the rate of soil erosion is greater than the rate of its formation, which has caused many previously fertile lands to be infertile. To cope up with the increasing effects of soil erosion, it’s high time to take concrete actions for smarter land management.

    Availability of Fresh Ground Water

    In the list of depleting natural resources, fresh groundwater is on the top. 70% of the world’s accessible freshwater is being used by agriculture. However, many traditional practices and unmindful use of this water in agricultural processes cause 60% of it to go to waste. Practices like leaky irrigation systems, inefficient application methods as well as the cultivation of crops that require higher amounts of water to thrive in the environment where they are grown are all causing the world’s water to dry out. 

    Countries that produce large amounts of food including India, China, Australia, Spain, and the United States are under severe threat of water scarcity, which in turn poses the threat to agriculture.

    Outdated Practices of Cultivation

    Although the world has now progressed significantly, still agriculture is sought to be the profession of people majorly living in rural areas, who are still relying on old and traditional methods of cultivation. The use of outdated methods of agriculture is also a threat to agriculture today as it takes up fertile land, consumes natural resources such as water and soil, and still ends up with low yields. The same piece of land can efficiently be utilized to produce more while using the same natural resources by using modern agricultural technologies available. Therefore, the world is now more focused on commercial agriculture because it uses all the modern tools available to achieve the maximum possible yields.

    Is Industrial Agriculture the Solution for US?

    Owing to all the threats listed above, policymakers are now brainstorming if industrial agriculture is the solution to these problems. Although through industrial agriculture, food can be produced at economic costs still industrial and agricultural surpluses are a problem for the US economy. This is because the United States lacks an efficient method of distributing goods to consumers. Hence, after adding up the supply chain costs to the costs of production the per unit cost goes high and consumers end up buying foreign-made products which are available at lower prices.

    If commercial or industrialized agriculture practices are not adopted, limited production capacities restrict the exporting of large amounts of central American agricultural products. Countries need to produce enough food to feed their own people first before attempting to export.

    Summary

    In the end, to summarize, the three major challenges being faced today are to feed the growing population, provide a livelihood for the farmers, and protect the environment. All three of these issues must be tackled together to reach a perfect solution for the problems in the agricultural sector. But making progress on all three of these fronts is difficult, as initiatives in one domain can have consequences in another. Still, the world today awaits researchers to provide efficient solutions for these serious threats to agriculture.

    Related Posts