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Global Demand of Agricultural Products

Discuss about the Approach To Natural Resource & Environmental Policy.

Over the years there has been long standing debate that whether there is any trade-off between the economic and environmental factors in case of the agriculture or not. Though there has been moderate number of studies regarding the same, however, most of them have failed to provide any concrete evidence regarding the amount of the trade-off between the economy and the environment in case of the agriculture (Kirchner et al. 2015). Over the year terms like sustainability came into existence that escalated the debate within the same regime and enhanced the complexity of the existing problem through providing a complex framework, where the researchers were not only focused to discuss the economic and environmental trade off in case of agriculture, additionally they were focused to discuss the magnitude of the same (Panayotou 2016). Moreover, the debate under the sustainability framework brings in a broad set of fundamental question regarding the growth of the population, production technology, and environmental stability. Under this situation, it has become highly important to discuss the pay off between the environment and economy in case of the agriculture, which will provide ability to discuss the sustainability of the living organism in the earth. In order to do so, this report will focus on the persistent issue faced by the researches in the field of the trade-off between economy and environment in case of the environment and then it will try to find the options for resolving problem. While providing recommendation of the problem the report will provide a summarised overview of the findings.

Global demand of the agricultural goods and services has been rising since the decades once the globalisation has taken place. More than 700 billion population of the world is a market for the agricultural goods and services that makes it essential for the policy makers to consider the same for the better growth of the economy (Klapwijk et al. 2014). With higher growth of the tertiary sector comes the higher employment and higher sustainability of the population. However, it has also been seen that, depending upon only the primary sector is not only the way for sustainable growth; it require development of both secondary as well as the tertiary sectors too. Now, considering the case of the agriculture and other sectors of the economy, they cannot go side by side under a limited resource scenario. In case of growth of one industry other has to fall and being the non-perishable goods or service, secondary and tertiary sector gained pace in the recent days. It has allowed the agricultural output to fall and the environment to diminish with the gradual rise of carbon (Bustamante et al. 2014). Over the time, finding a sustainable agricultural framework become imminent that can not only provide sustainability to the population as well as bring in environmental hazard produced by the tertiary and the secondary sector under control. Eventually, sustainable agricultural system gained pace and researchers are aimed to determine the trade-offs between the economy and environment in the case of agriculture. Defining the trade-off between  environment and economy under agricultural sector is not straight forward as well as it long term environmental objectives has probabilities to conflict with the other social goals as well apart from the agricultural sector (Bergstrom and Randall 2016). The philosophy behind the economic and environmental trade off in the case of agricultural sector has been epitomized by the concerns originated through the fact that food production during 19th century has been gradually facing low face under the rapid growth of the industries around the world. It brought the researchers in front of one strict question that whether agricultural sector over the year under pressure of the rising industries and degradation of the environment will handle the food demand of the humans or not (Stala et al. 2014). In case higher trade-off between the economic and environment, it can be seen that there will be negative impact on the performance of the agricultural sector and vis-à-vis.

Trade-Offs between Economy and Environment

Considering the case of the US it can be seen that over 900 million acres of private land, 380 million acres of cropland and 525 million acres of land for pasture has been used and 80 of the land is flooded with the chemicals leading to fall in the natural fertility of the land. Moreover, as per the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 42% of the nonpoint source of pollution in the country is being generated through the agricultural sector and the same has taken pace since 1930, once there has been rapid growth in the secondary and tertiary sector (Huand et al. 2015). It has not only made 70% of the world’s fresh water contaminated with the pesticides and fertilizer, in addition to this, there has been much amount of fall in the output growth as well (Lemaire et al. 2014). Under the influence of cash crop, producers utilise more amount of fertilisers and it cause grave damage to the overall performance of the environment, whereas, enhance the cash flow to the domestic economy through the better trade position of the state with the aid of the cash crops (Gold 2016). Allied implication of the same can be seen in case of the rising number of diseases of the farmers and overall falling income of the crop producers as well. Thus the problem of the same lies within the fact apart from the sustainable framework of agriculture, there will be trade-off between the economy and the environment in case of the agriculture and it will affect the other social factors as well.

under the undefined scenario of trade-off between economy and environment it is hard to resolve the problem, however, various researchers has argued in favour of bringing in governmental intervention as the process to control the same.  As the Canter (2018) has argued, it can be seen that governmental intervention through bringing in legitimate property rights can force the owners to act as per the laws to keep the land free of chemicals so as to aid the environment stay free of carbon hazards.  On the other hand, through policy of sustainable and inclusive growth government can control the economic development front as well.

Recommendations to control the situation is as follows:

  • It is required to lower environmental pressure and off farm cost through utilising the alternative source of pesticides. Apart from the pesticides, farms can use the bio fertilizer that can provide natural fertility to the land and provide less negative externality
  • Property rights need to implemented in order to allow the owner maintain their land as per the environmental law
  • Decentralized resource management need to bring in that can provide better performance to the land through rational utilisation of the same
  • Environmental goods need to be valued properly so does the performance of the economy remain standard under the fluctuating economic and environmental condition

Conclusion:

From the above discussion it has been found that main issue within the economic and environmental trade off in case of agriculture lies within the availability of the sustainable framework of crop production. Under this situation, it is highly important to bring in such factors in force that can aid the researchers to determine the magnitude of the same and guide the policy makers with proper inputs. As far as, this report is concerned it has expressed its recommendations and these are expected to provide far reaching impact on both the policy front as well as in case of the economic and environmental trade-off for the agriculture as well.

Reference:

Bergstrom, J.C. and Randall, A., 2016. Resource economics: an economic approach to natural resource and environmental policy. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Bustamante, M., Robledo?Abad, C., Harper, R., Mbow, C., Ravindranat, N.H., Sperling, F., Haberl, H., de Siqueira Pinto, A. and Smith, P., 2014. Co?benefits, trade?offs, barriers and policies for greenhouse gas mitigation in the agriculture, forestry and other land use (AFOLU) sector. Global Change Biology, 20(10), pp.3270-3290.

Canter, L.W., 2018. Environmental Impact of Agricultural Production Activities: 0. CRC Press.

Gold, M.V., 2016. Sustainable Agriculture: The Basics (p. 1). CRC Press.

Huang, J., Tichit, M., Poulot, M., Darly, S., Li, S., Petit, C. and Aubry, C., 2015. Comparative review of multifunctionality and ecosystem services in sustainable agriculture. Journal of environmental management, 149, pp.138-147.

Kirchner, M., Schmidt, J., Kindermann, G., Kulmer, V., Mitter, H., Prettenthaler, F., Rüdisser, J., Schauppenlehner, T., Schönhart, M., Strauss, F. and Tappeiner, U., 2015. Ecosystem services and economic development in Austrian agricultural landscapes—The impact of policy and climate change scenarios on trade-offs and synergies. Ecological Economics, 109, pp.161-174.

Klapwijk, C.J., van Wijk, M.T., Rosenstock, T.S., Van Asten, P.J.A., Thornton, P.K. and Giller, K.E., 2014. Analysis of trade-offs in agricultural systems: current status and way forward. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 6, pp.110-115.

Lemaire, G., Franzluebbers, A., de Faccio Carvalho, P.C. and Dedieu, B., 2014. Integrated crop–livestock systems: Strategies to achieve synergy between agricultural production and environmental quality. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 190, pp.4-8.

Panayotou, T., 2016. Economic growth and the environment. The environment in anthropology, pp.140-148.

Setälä, H., Bardgett, R.D., Birkhofer, K., Brady, M., Byrne, L., De Ruiter, P.C., De Vries, F.T., Gardi, C., Hedlund, K., Hemerik, L. and Hotes, S., 2014. Urban and agricultural soils: conflicts and trade-offs in the optimization of ecosystem services. Urban ecosystems, 17(1), pp.239-253.

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