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Sustainable agriculture: future hope for developing countries

Sustainable agriculture: future hope for developing countries

Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology 18(2): 133-140

Aided by a political resolve, the dedication of their scientists, and strong international support, many developing countries made remarkable progress in achieving self-sufficiency in food and natural fiber during the last two decades. However, increasing population and commercialization of agriculture in these countries have put enormous pressure on the resources needed for a sustained growth in agricultural production. Limited arable lands are being overexploited reducing their productivity. Erosion-prone marginal lands are being brought under cultivation. Faulty irrigation practices, coupled with poor drainage, have made many areas less productive than before. Several time-tested stable cropping systems have been given up in favor of new, unstable systems to obtain higher yields per unit area. Indiscriminate use of fertilizers and pesticides has led to serious unforeseen problems adversely affecting the stability of crops. In spite of these setbacks, there is hope of achieving sustainable growth in agricultural production. This can be done by improving land and water management practices; discovering stable, high-productivity farming systems including crops and livestock; evolving better, environment-friendly crop health management practices; using new biotechnology tools; supporting international agricultural research centers sponsored by the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research; involving nongovernmental organizations and government agencies in efforts to educate and support farmers; and most important of all, implementing innovative programs to reduce population growth rates with the total commitment of the concerned governments.

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Accession: 002973621

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DOI: 10.1080/07060669609500637

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