There are studies that show that it’s not just large, modern farms that use heavy machinery and synthetic chemicals that can be extremely unsustainable. There are cases (in Greece, Lebanon, Crete, North Africa) of organic farmers being destroyed due to low income (and crop) and due to unsustainable production practices. These are farmers whose practices have contributed to erosion but have undoubtedly been organic producers, but “organic from negligence” or lack of knowledge.
The main question is – which approach is sustainable in economic and social terms (will it produce enough food for the growing number of people in the society)?
Productivity level of sustainable systems
Today the question is how to design sustainable agricultural systems that have a high level of productivity enough to maintain the current global demographic trend of drastic population growth, especially in developing countries where it is the largest. Additionally, given that there are more and more residents in the cities, there are fewer and fewer workers in the areas where agriculture is practiced.
The crucial question is not at all which food production models we practice, but it is much more essential and complicated to solve. There are global political games for natural resources, imposing personal (national, continental) preferences and positions vis-a-vis the world and caring for humanity as a whole.
For mankind to be more sustainable in terms of its food, it must:
• Produce food in the places where it is most needed (availability, accessibility, stability and usefulness of food)
• Protect basic human rights to dietary sovereignty and biodiversity sustainability
• Preserve and renew soils and ecosystems and stop their further degradation
• Reduce the dependence of non-renewable fuel sources
• Reduce the negative impact on nature and society
• Ensure a nutritious, safe and healthy diet
• Create real employment and earnings opportunities in rural areas
• Ensure preservation of the ecosystem in a local and global sense.