An eco-friendly hydroponic system
With the increasing effects of climate change and environmental harm caused by both small-scale and large-scale agriculture, there has been rising awareness of eco-friendly farming practices that farmers throughout the world should embrace. Through sustainable farming, various solutions can be embraced in agriculture to offset the intense carbon output, adverse effects of pesticides, destruction of natural ecosystems, and other extensive deforestation. Currently, environmentalists and policymakers are emphasizing and promoting sustainable and eco-friendly practices to rectify the damages caused by human activity in the agricultural sector. Various eco-friendly practices that should be embraced to maintain the environment and climate while remaining productive include:
Hydroponics and aquaponics
These are innovative practices that involve growing plants in soilless environments. Nutrients and minerals are carried to plants by the water. Aquaponics combines hydroponics and aquaculture practices to create an environment in which plants can grow in different mediums such as gravel or perlite. Water in these systems contains minerals and nutrients required by plants. However, in hydroponics, plants are fed in a passive medium such as gravel. In modern agriculture, aquaponics and hydroponics systems are integrated to create a more effective farming system. These practices are making it possible to practice agriculture in enclosed places and areas where space is limited, especially in urban and densely populated areas. Some of the crops that can be grown in aquaponics and hydroponics include strawberries, beans, grapes, and vegetables.
This is a food production system that uses natural principles, combining design, smart farming, and intention to enhance production efficiency. It mimics how plants and vegetables grow in natural environments. For instance, the design technique in permaculture involves each plant taking a particular role. For instance, vegetables and grains can be grown together without any tillage.
Renewable energy resources
Tools such as tractors, water pumps, and lighting systems are required in different parts of the farm to facilitate agriculture practice. To operate different farm equipment, electricity and diesel/petrol energy are required. Equipment such as water pumps that rely on non-renewable energy sources such as diesel and petrol produces carbon emissions which contribute to global warming and climate change. Renewable energy resources such as wind power, solar power, and hydropower are eco-friendly alternative sources of energy that can be used to power different equipment on the farm. For instance, solar panels can be used in farms to power and run heating and pumping systems. Renewable sources of energy can be used to run drip irrigation systems and to provide adequate lighting in farm offices and greenhouses. This helps in reducing carbon emissions and enhances smart farming.
To enhance biodiversity and minimize the effects of climate change, farmers should consider practicing agroforestry within their gardens. This helps in protecting water resources, wild plants, and animals within the farm. To benefit from their agroforestry efforts, farmers should consider growing profitable fruit trees such as macadamia, citrus, mango, and avocado.
Crop rotation and polyculture
Crop rotation techniques and crop diversification at a particular field decrease the chances of pests and plant diseases. Utilizing eco-friendly inputs such as animal and compost manure minimizes the need for chemical fertilizers. Planting cover crops and growing crop varieties resistant to various pests and diseases lowers the need for pesticides which helps lower biodegradation and chemical emissions to the atmosphere.
These days, consumers are more conscious of what they take and want sustainability. For instance, avocado and French bean consumers globally want to understand where and how the crop is grown. When doing farming as an agribusiness, it’s important to embrace sustainable and eco-friendly farming practices to achieve maximum productivity and create a conducive farming environment for future generations.