Dear readers, agricultural activity has always been a fundamental area for any nation, since, in addition to generating economic resources, it is significant in the social area because it guarantees food security in a planned manner. A few years ago, an aggressive production model was established based solely on the use of chemical products, but nowadays, due to environmental imbalances, it has become evident that the conventional model must undergo a more environmentally friendly transformation, with the use of local resources that guarantee the economy and the biodivertity of the ecosystem.
In this sense, to ensure that agriculture is an activity that does not have a negative impact on the environment and is productive in the long term, it must be based on ecological principles, i.e., the production model must be adapted to the conditions of the productive ecosystem. The following are some of the principles that should be considered in the agricultural sector in order to have more sustainable agroecosystems:
- In the first place, the use of external resources should be reduced, as mentioned in the previous chapters, the system should be managed according to the conditions they present, for example, the excessive use of synthetic products, since bovine manure can be used for fertilization or also naturalized plants of the area such as leguminous plants that enhance natural processes such as the nitrogen cycle through a symbiosis they perform with the soil microbiota.
- Manage agricultural production units as a system where each component is taken into account to achieve a balance, so that they can complement each other, generating a kind of synergy, where each component (soil, animal, plant, man) contributes something to the other.
- Always keep in mind that the agricultural production units come from natural ecosystems, therefore, the biodiversity of the systems must be guaranteed, with the presence of trees or shrub areas that contribute to the preservation of biodiversity.
- Another fundamental element is the education of producers; governments should implement informal education mechanisms to make known all the ecological alternatives that have emerged at present to enhance natural resources and ecological balance, combining empirical and scientific knowledge.
These are some of the principles that must be followed in order to establish an environmentally responsible agriculture, below are some strategies to maintain the biodiversity of agricultural ecosystems:
- Crop association that allows creating a diversification to maintain and attract different organisms beneficial to the ecosystem, for example, in livestock systems, the implementation of silvopastoral systems, which are multifunctional and generate a large number of benefits to the system.
- Decrease the excessive use of synthetic products, use them only when necessary, but do not apply them routinely; fertilizers can be made with organic matter present on the farms, such as manure from some animals or certain vegetable wastes.
These are just some of the many arguments that exist to direct agriculture towards respect for nature, in recent years some producers have adapted some of these strategies for various reasons, some because of the high cost of synthetic products, others because they have observed the effects of climate change and others because they have been educated and know the negative effects that brings the excessive exploitation of natural resources and know that the economic returns they have on their farms are not sustainable over time because they are degrading the life of the soil.
Dear readers, in conclusion, agricultural systems must seek sustainability, which can be achieved when the biodiversity of the ecosystem is enhanced, making an efficient management of its components. In short, there must be an approach that allows the integration of the components that make up the system, where the use of local resources is increased, and where the recycling of nutrients and plant diversification begins in order to keep functional biodiversity active.
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