Reaping the Benefits(RoyalSociety) – Essay Example

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One of the major tendencies of crop production is globalization as local patterns of agriculture products development and consumption influence significantly global market. Most of the countries today are greatly dependent on global markets, which are not very stable as are partially controlled by national governments. Dietary changes also affect agriculture worldwide as most of the people have shifted to consumption of larger amount of meat, fats, and refined cereals and lower amount of fruit, cereals, and vegetables. These tendencies are probably connected to urbanization and bigger amount of energy needed.

The pace of consumption increase is especially evident in Asian countries, and the trajectory is not going to stop. Despite the sustainable crop increase the quantity of agricultural lands did not change significantly. However, there is certain limitation of crop production due to scarcity of lands in Asian countries, which make them seek alternative available lands. Therefore, the planet faces a dilemma in the question of yields production: to enlarge the areas or agricultural soils or to intensify the production of food on the already existing. The first variant is dangerous by the possibility of important ecosystems shortage. In order to examine the topic more accurately the authors of the report dwell on the concept of sustainability.

According to Pretty (2008) sustainability encompasses four major aspects: persistence, benevolence, resilience, and autarchy. All these factors are interdependent and are crucially needed for sustainability maintenance. The system may be considered unsustainable if it cannot deliver the products over a long period of time, cannot benefit from perturbations, cannot retransform outputs into inputs, and is capable of producing the required goods not causing any damage to the environment. Agricultural industry guarantees employment to the major part of world population.

As for rural areas of the world, agriculture is inevitable because all the village dwellers are involved into crop production in this or that way. Agriculture is also one of the main factors of poverty elimination in the world. Thus global agriculture business is inseparable from social policy that is why all the possible innovations should be implemented into life after adequate weighing of all pros and cons. Additional report concerning possible new approaches in agriculture was regarded.

The most reliable recent research has been the World Bank’s 2008 World Development Report and the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, also published in 2008 (IAASTD 2008; World Bank 2008).

References

Fuchs M & Gonsalves D (2007). Safety of virus-resistant transgenic plants two decades after their introduction: lessons from realistic fi eld risk assessment studies. Annual Review of Phytopathology 45, 173–202.

Hammer G, Cooper M, Tardieu F, Welch S, Walsh B, van Eeuwijk F, Chapman S & Podlich D (2006). Models for navigating biological complexity in breeding improved cropplants. Trends in Plant Science 11, 587–593.

Pretty JN (2008). Agricultural sustainability: concepts, principles and evidence.Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 363, 1491, 447–465.

Sridhara S (2006). Vertebrate Pests in Agriculture—The Indian Scenario. Scientific: Jodhpur, India.

IAASTD (2008a). International assessment of agricultural knowledge, science and technology for development: executive summary of the synthesis report. Available online

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