What are the challenges facing agriculture in adopting sustainable practices


With many countries now shifting towards more sustainable modes of agriculture, there are challenges in its adoption. These challenges are usually an outcome of the fact that sustainable farming methods require substantial investments, which may not be easily available in most developing countries.

These included: (1) increased land degradation; (2) competing land uses; (3) focus on single ecosystem service; (4) increase in farm size; (5) movement toward commercialization; (6) genetic engineering; (7) global markets; and (8) changing social structure.Jul 4, 2008


What are the new challenges facing sustainable agriculture food systems?

In conclusion, to implement the new challenges facing sustainability, innovative governance mechanisms and institutions are necessary at national and sub-national levels. This means that sustainable agriculture food systems should no longer be developed solely by the Ministry of Agriculture but through cross-ministerial coordination.

What are some examples of sustainable agriculture practices?

Worldwide, there are already numerous examples of sustainable agriculture practices/approaches that have been taken to scale: e.g. crop rotation, conservation tillage, systems of rice intensification, integrated pest management, agro‐forestry, integrated plant nutrient management, integrated crop.

How can we foster sustainable agriculture production?

The majority of investments in agriculture come from farmers. Therefore working directly with producers and responding to their needs would facilitate the development of financial products that can foster sustainable agriculture production in all sectors.

Can food and agriculture overcome the challenges of business as-usual?

Food and agriculture are at the heart of these agendas, but the aforementioned challenges can only be overcome if communities are prioritised and if a ‘business-as-usual’ approach is abandoned.


What are some challenges with sustainable agriculture?

In terms of what poses a threat to agricultural sustainability, the most prominent are the issues over arable land and useable water. Outdated cultivation methods and depletion of natural resources, and the general rise in environmental problems also contribute to the weakening of agricultural sustainability.

What is the challenge faced by agriculture today?

There are increasing pressures from climate change, soil erosion and biodiversity loss and from consumers’ changing tastes in food and concerns about how it is produced. And the natural world that farming works with – plants, pests and diseases – continue to pose their own challenges.

What are the issues and challenges faced by the agricultural sector in our country?

However, agricultural sector has been beset with persistent challenges resulting in low farm incomes, low rural employment, lack of food security, and meager agricultural competitiveness.

What are the three main challenges for agriculture in the 21st century?

century will face three major challenges: how to feed a growing world population, how to contribute to reducing the still–high prevalence of rural poverty in the world, and how to respond to increased concerns about managing the natural resource base.

What are the challenges facing the global food system?

Let’s start with the most obvious one. The global food system is expected to provide safe and nutritious food to a population that will likely grow from 7.5 billion people today, to nearly 10 billion by 2050. Not only will there be more mouths to feed, but as incomes grow in emerging …

How does agriculture affect the environment?

In addition, irrigation of agricultural crops comprises 70% of global water use, and agriculture directly contributes to around 11% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (mostly through cattle). Expanding agricultural land can also lead to deforestation, additional GHG emissions, and a loss of biodiversity.

How many farms are there in the world?

There are an estimated 570 million farms worldwide today, and millions of other people work in food-related jobs. The global food system also has a large environmental footprint. In fact, agriculture occupies nearly 40% of the earth’s surface, far more than any other human activity.

When was the OECD Global Forum on Agriculture held?

To begin the process of answering these difficult questions, the OECD organised a Global Forum on Agriculture in May 2019 to exchange ideas about the most important challenges facing the global food system today (the triple challenge), and the obstacles that stand in the way of overcoming them.

Is farm productivity positive or negative?

Sometimes, the consequences are positive. For instance, raising farm productivity can generate income growth in agriculture, make more food available for consumers at lower prices, and – in some cases – reduce pressure on the environment. But sometimes the consequences are negative and require balancing trade-offs.

Is food production only one aspect of the food system?

However, food production is only one aspect of the food system. The agro-food sector also provides a livelihood for millions of people . Globally, most of the people living in extreme poverty are in rural areas where food production is often the most important economic activity. There are an estimated 570 million farms worldwide today, …

What is the main source of livelihood in rural India?

Agriculture is the main source of livelihood in rural India, which is home to 75% of the nation’s poor. Though it provides livelihoods to more than half of India’s workforce, the sector contributes to less than one-fifth of the country’s GDP.

What is ITC in agriculture?

ITC has empowered farmers and forged strong relationships with rural communities to enable sustainable sourcing solutions for over several decades. Recognising that poverty in rural India is primarily a result of the poor capacity of farmers in terms of lack of access to knowledge, information, price discovery, quality agricultural inputs and markets, the Company has devised unique business models for agri sourcing that not only support sustainable agriculture but also contribute to substantial livelihood creation for inclusive development. In addition, ITC’s Social Investments Programmes, including integrated watershed development, support the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices.

Is there a lack of cohesiveness in licenses required for agri input sales?

There is also a lack of cohesiveness in licenses required for agri input sales. For instance, each input like seeds, nutrients, and crop protection chemicals is governed by a separate Act, making it cumbersome especially for companies working across geographies.


During the 20th century, US agriculture underwent vast transformations. The number of farmers has decreased, more farmers are relying on off-farm income, agriculture’s proportion of the US GDP has declined, and a minority of non-metro counties in the US are farming dependent.

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How does agriculture affect biodiversity?

Protect habitats, conserve biodiversity. Agriculture is a major contributo r to land use change, which often implies the destruction of natural habitats – the single most important driver of biodiversity loss.

How many people will be in agriculture by 2050?

Agriculture has to produce more raw materials to satisfy the increasing and diversifying demands of a growing world population, which is expected to grow by more than a third (around 2.3 billion people) between 2009 and 2050; these figures are often repeated, and for good reason – the challenge they present to global food production is enormous.

How can farmers protect their crops from pests?

By protecting crops from pests and disease, farmers can optimise yields on the existing agricultural land base, make efficient use of resources (inc. fuel, time, and capital) and prevent the loss of natural habitat that occurs when agricultural land expands to compensate for crop losses.

Why is it important to protect and restore farmland?

There is also a pressing need to protect and restore the quality of existing farmland. Highly productive and resource efficient agriculture mitigates the problems associated with all of these challenges, because it enables us to have more of everything – more crops, and more biodiversity and natural habitats.

How much can crop losses be without crop protection?

Without crop protection, losses for certain crops can exceed 80% of potential yield, and low input farming – as typified by organic agriculture – is estimated as averaging up to 34% lower yields than productive agriculture within the EU.

How do pesticides protect crops?

Pesticides are formulated to protect crops by discouraging, confusing, altering the behaviour, or killing target pests, diseases and pathogens. When we consider biodiversity protection, this raises questions about the impact on non-target species that may be unintentionally exposed to pesticides.

Is pesticide regulation strict?

Pesticides are one of the most regulated product classes on the European market, and the real drivers of the large scale loss of biodiversity (including land use change) are not subject to regulation as rigorous as that applied to pesticides.


Current Challenges Facing The Global Food System

Setting The Table to Address The Triple Challenge

  • These three challenges – feeding a growing population, providing a livelihood for farmers, and protecting the environment – must be tackled together if we are to make sustainable progress in any of them. But making progress on this “triple challenge” is difficult, as initiatives in one domain can have unintended consequences in another. Sometimes, …

See more on oecd.org

Future Policies May Require New Recipes

  • Just like a good meal is a balanced meal, good policies will need to strike a balance between the different objectives of the triple challenge facing the global food system today. And just like a good meal depends not only on the chef, but also on the quality of the ingredients – so too will good policies depend not only on the policy maker, but also on the input from many stakeholder…

See more on oecd.org

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