While practices developed in the 1960s to reduce famine were effective in producing the mass quantities of food needed to alleviate hunger, the use of agrochemicals and modern management techniques in large-scale farms has resulted in infertile farm land and pollution, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported.
Combined with dwindling land and water resources and rising prices of fuel and fertilizer, the after-effects of industrial farming have created significant challenge for farmers worldwide, according to the U.N.
As a result, the organization is recommending that farmers practice conservation agriculture in an effort to become more self-sufficient.
“The present paradigm of intensive crop production cannot meet the challenges of the new millennium. In order to grow, agriculture must learn to save,” according to the organization’s Save and Grow webpage.
CropLife International reports that conservation agriculture consists of selective usage of tilling and pest-control products and implementing processes that promote natural regeneration, like nitrogen fixation and nutrient recycling. Such practices have been shown to reduce energy and labor costs as well as promote soil fertility and biodiversity.