Sustainable agriculture compared to conventional agriculture

Now that we know the definition of sustainable agriculture, what does this actually mean and how can the ideas of sustainability be embedded in agriculture?  From the definitions we studied, it is evident that there are many components that need to function together to create a positive agricultural synergy.  Agriculture is a complex system with many specific variables needed to create a “whole” system. 

With this table you can see the differences between conventional and sustainable agriculture.    

It is important to understand that “we” are not re-creating the wheel with sustainable agriculture.  Rather we are reviving a part of our history, which has been pushed aside by modern conventional farming techniques.  In Hawaii, the ahupuaʻa land management system was sustainable and sustainable agricultural systems are a corner stone to the Hawaiian culture.  Think what it means for an island civilization to be sustainable, and what it means if the island civilization is not sustainable.

Specifically in the Pacific Island region, how do sustainable agricultural practices relate to our way of life?  Why should we choose Sustainable techniques? What is our sustainable agricultural history in Hawaii? 

Here is an article which has uncovered a specific historical component of Native Hawaiian agriculture.  Think about how scientific inquiry can deepen our understanding of Native Hawaiian agricultural practices.

Discussion questions:

From the comparisons of conventional and sustainable agricultural practices, what method do you think would be best to adopt in Hawaii?  Why?  Post your thoughts in the discussion forum.


Last modified: Sunday, 11 December 2011, 05:21 PM
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