In the previous Millenium
Development Goal number 1 ( eradicate hunger and extreme poverty), the following are included:
Creation of more jobs
by constructing farm-to-market and other access roads, strong micro credit
and micro enterprise support, marketing facilities and infrastructure, IT
support such as B2B and supply and logistics portals.
Push for conditional cash transfer insulated from politics by
imposing conditions before releasing the money to deserving people.
In the Sustainable Development Goals (Fig.1), sustainable
agriculture is linked with SDG goal number 1 (no poverty), SDG number 2 (zero
hunger), and SDG number 3 (good health and well-being).
According to the
University of California Agricultural Sustainability Institute (2017), sustainable
agriculture practitioners seek to integrate three main objectives into their
work: “social and economic equity, economic profitability, and a healthy
environment”. Every individual included in
the food system— growers, food processors, , distributors, consumers, retailers
and waste manager has a role to achieve a sustainable agricultural system.
According to Schutter and Vanloqueren
(2011), the pioneers of agroecology proposed
five ecological principles in agro-ecological systems: (1) securing
favorable soil conditions for plant growth through enhanced organic matter; (2)
enhancing biological and genetic diversification on cropland; (3) recycling
biomass and balancing nutrient flow and availability; (4) minimizing losses of
solar radiation, water, and nutrients by way of microclimate management, water
harvesting, and soil cover; and (5) enhancing beneficial biological
interactions and minimizing the use of pesticides. At present agroecologists
are looking to integrate food systems, as well as agricultural systems, into
the scope of agroecology.
However, there are some issues on
sustainable agriculture such as high production costs and lower productivity.
To answer the question: “Can sustainable agriculture, feed the present and
future generations”? I have two
hypotheses: If population will
increase exponentially but people will continue with their business as usual
scenario, food security will not be met. However, if population will increase
but there are strategies to improve the environment and expand production
potential which is also called “sustainable intensification”, then sustainable
agriculture becomes an opportunity to achieve food security.
To support the second hypothesis, I will be using the definition
of Harwood in 1990 which states that “sustainable
agriculture is an agriculture that can evolve indefinitely toward greater
human utility, greater efficiency of resource use, and a
balance with the environment that is favorable both to humans and to most other
species.” This evolution in
agriculture is necessary to adapt to climate change. Without strong adaptation
and mitigation measures, climate change will reduce crop yield by 16% worldwide
and by 50% in South Africa and South
East Asia in the next three decades (UN-FAO, World bank).
Food security programs are often viewed as emergency
measures, quick fixes to maintain one type of food source, grains. The
country’s food security and economic growth are very much affected by the
performance of the agricultural sector and
rural areas significantly affects the production of food and other
agricultural commodities. With lower production coupled with low prices, the
income of rural families remains low and there would be less job opportunities
in the rural areas. With limited opportunities and low incomes, rural people
migrate to the cities in search for greater economic opportunities. With low
supply of food to the from the rural areas, food prices in the cities and urban
centers rise, exerting pressure on wages. The agricultural sector (agriculture,
fishery and forestry) remains an important pillar of the Philippine Economy in
terms of providing food and employment to the majority of the labor force. In a
country with more than 103.3 Million (2016) persons to feed, agriculture and
food security should be a priority.
Impacts of Climate Change in
Agriculture and Fisheries
Food security has been defined as “access by all people
at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life stated in SDG number 3.
How vulnerable households, regions and countries are to climate change’s
impacts on agriculture will depend on their access to land, water, and
government support and action. Current
projections from the 4th Assessment report by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in 2007, suggest that global
temperatures will rise between 1.8 °C and 4.0° C (best estimate) by 2100
depending on emissions of greenhouse gases and that global sea levels are
likely to rise from anywhere between 180mm and 590 mm. Figure 2 illustrates the consequence of
increase temperature on agriculture, while Table 1 provides the summary list.