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Agricultural blooming

The pressure put on the agricultural world is not a new phenomenon because, historically, every time agricultural production has improved, a population surge followed that has once again restored the pressure. But, in addition to the population pressure of 90 million more people per year, there are now :

  • environmental pressure (heat, drought, rising salt water, floods, desertification),
  • the impossibility of clearing new land without consequent environmental effect,
  • the depletion of current land due to questionable agricultural practices,
  • the depletion of water tables and the drying up of entire territories,
  • the depletion of biodiversity (insects, amphibians, birds, plants).
  • rapidly increasing energy and fertilizer costs,
  • short-sighted policies and speculation strategies that disrupt markets,
  • many other disruptions whose effects are still unknown: various pollutions, GMO dispersal, pesticide resistances, etc...

In short, new solutions must be considered; the easy approaches of "doing more with more" are no longer possible. We must now do much better with less....

On the positive side:

  • with the help of technology and research, better practices and management of all resources, including water, are being developed,
  • we can produce more, more efficiently, and with greater environmental respect,
  • we can produce closer to market, with more nutritious food, and with a view to restoration and environmental improvement,
  • land that was once too cold becomes suitable for agricultural production,
  • protein production by insects or bacteria becomes an alternative to factory farming,
  • the development of agricultural robots that can do the backbreaking work,
  • better processes to ensure the control of unwanted insects and plants, while decreasing the use of pesticides, are implemented;
  • food waste reduction, by-product utilization, and ecological landscaping policies are being implemented,
  • ecologically responsible agricultural philosophies are beginning to be adopted more widely.

This last point, seemingly minor, is probably the keystone of the announced transformation because it is our entire system of consumption, distribution and organization that is targeted. In the hierarchy of our needs, food comes quite early and many of our activities are structured around it.

Eating better and living better also involves training, research and education. From being a neglected sector, the agricultural field is slowly regaining importance and prestige, interesting jobs at stake and which have all the appearance of an e-return to the earth.

Denys Lamontagne - [email protected]

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