Scientists say urgent investment is needed into researching ways to develop more sustainable farming systems, The Pig Site reports.
In an analysis of US Department of Agriculture spending, researchers warn sustainable food production won’t become a reality unless more funding is made available.
They say greenhouse gas emissions, soil degradation, pollution and other environmental issues are clear indicators that food production practices have to change, and that scientists have to be given the support to help change them.
Liz Carlisle of the University of California, Berkeley, who co-authored the study, says it’s vital the shift to sustainable agriculture is made.
“The question is: can we be proactive about it so that our institutions and economy are prepared to make the transition in a more intentional way and can we be sure that all rural communities will have access [to sustainably produced goods].”
In their study of political and economic support for sustainable agriculture, Carlisle and her colleagues analyzed 824 projects accounting for almost $300 million in funding to see how many had components which focused on sustainable farming.
They discovered that issues around sustainable agriculture — such as improving efficiencies and using more sustainable inputs — were included in projects, but not as the primary focus.
This suggests significant improvements in sustainable agriculture could be made with additional investments and support, the researchers say.