Sustainable agriculture: meaning, principles and techniques - Landini (2023)

What does the term mean?sustainable agriculturemean? what are yourMost used principles and techniques? In this article you will find theAnswers to the most important questionson this topic, which has been so central to discussions about the future of the industry in recent years.

table of Contents
What does sustainable agriculture mean?
What are the principles of sustainable agriculture?
What does it mean to promote sustainable agriculture?
What techniques and technologies does sustainable agriculture use?
How many types of sustainable agriculture are there?
What is the CAP and what are its objectives?
Agriculture 4.0 and precision agriculture for a sustainable future

What does sustainable agriculture mean?

The termsustainable agriculturerefers to agriculturerespect natural resourcesand does not use any pollutants so as not to disturb the environmental balance; it is a type of agriculture that is the opposite of thatintensive agriculture.

In the definition ofAgricultural Sustainability Institute, this means ensuring thewell-being of the world populationand their need for food and textiles without harming future generations who will inherit the world in which we live.

Sustainable development is, therefore, a type of economy that promotes respect for the environment in which we live, but at the same time is capable of doing so.protect human and financial resourcesinvolved in their processes.

That is why sustainable agriculture is aeconomically advantageous production model for employees, since one of its objectives is to improve their living and working conditions.

What are the principles of sustainable agriculture?

He5 key principles to which sustainable agriculture must respondare determined by theFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an organization under the auspices of the United Nations.

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These are the following

  1. increaseproductivity, employment and added valuein food systems
  2. protect and enhancenatural resources
  3. Improvesupportand promoteinclusive economic growth
  4. improve thoseresilienceof people, communities and ecosystems
  5. Adjust governanceto new challenges

In this vision, farmers, herders, fishermen, foresters and other rural dwellers are heard, who benefit from economic development and enjoy decent employment.
Rural men and women live in security, have control over their livelihoods, and have equitable access to the resources they use efficiently.
What: FAO

The guidelines for working in this direction are available in the documentTransforming food and agriculture to achieve the SDGswhat lists20 initiatives and actionsWhat can be implemented to achieve this?17 Sustainable Development Goalsset by the United Nations.

What does it mean to promote sustainable agriculture?

Promoting sustainable agriculture means working in four directions

  • Improve the living conditions of workers and producers, improving their market access and promoting fairer trade
  • Giving more opportunities to more producers, especially the most disadvantaged, and their protection against exploitation
  • Dissemination of information on mechanisms of economic exploitation, thus promoting consumer awareness of an alternative economic model to the prevailing
  • Promotion of social justice and respect for fundamental human rights

What techniques and technologies does sustainable agriculture use?

The most important techniques

Key sustainable farming techniques date back to the past, before the era of mass industrialization that revolutionized the agricultural world.

These techniques include

  1. crop rotationwith the aim of improving or maintaining soil yields;
  2. Monitoring of agricultural pests anddisease transmissioninsectswith their natural enemies, for example, other beneficial insects, predators, parasitoids, and microorganisms such as fungi, viruses, and bacteria;
  3. Cover the ground with straw or organic material, which helps maintain optimal soil moisture and regulate soil temperature.

Rediscovered and improved as part of a new paradigm of agriculture with less environmental impact, they now have strong supporttechnological systemthis makes them applicable and capable on a large scaleMaximize labor and resources.

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technologies 4.0

Technical innovationplays a key role when it comes to sustainable agricultural models.

Real-time data collection and analysisthat new technologies help farmers to do thisimproveand fasterdecisionsand thereforeAvoid waste and damage to crops.

This translates into

  1. Optimization of available resources: For farmers and farms, this means reducing consumption and increasing land productivity
  2. improvement of the quality of the final productthanks to the traceability of the supply chain, which allows better control of all stages of production
  3. environmental benefitsthrough reduced use of fertilizers and lower emissions

sustainable agriculture andAgriculture 4.0They are two closely related models.

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How many types of sustainable agriculture are there?

Sustainable agriculture consists ofusing agricultural techniques that respect the environment, biodiversity and the natural waste transport capacity of the Earth.

There is no single model that is inherently defined as sustainable, but several based on different or even integrated techniques and knowledge. Let's see the main ones.

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Ecological agriculture

It is a production modelonly allows the use of natural substances, in accordance with the European regulation CEE 2092/91, and aims to avoid the massive exploitation of natural resources.

Certified organic farmsdo not use synthetic chemicals such as fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, pesticides, just use themnatural fertilizersYtraditional techniques(crop rotation).

biodynamic agriculture

The objective of this type of cultivation isenrich the environment and improve the quality of food while preserving plant biodiversity.

Like organic farming,It does not use chemical fertilizers or pesticides., but use insteadhomeopathic doses of natural preparationsto promote soil fertility and plant growth. That is why he attaches great importance to the phases of the moon, which correspond to the periods of activation of life on earth.


The term not only refers to a set ofagricultural practices intended to naturally maintain soil fertility, but also to a design system that intertwines themes of architecture, economics, ecology, anthropology and legal systems.

The objective isOptimally and ethically design and manage landscapes to meet human needs in harmony with natural systems.

Fair Trade Agriculture

Finally, sustainable agriculture includes Fairtrade agriculture, a term used to describe a type of agricultureAgriculture that respects people and the environment, based on direct relationships and trust, reducing the distance between those who cultivate the land and those who consume their products.

What is the CAP and what are its objectives?

The termCAP (Common Agricultural Policy)refers tothe set of social, economic and environmental approaches aimed at achieving a sustainable and common agricultural system within the European Union.

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By adopting this combined approach and using the latest advances in knowledge and innovation, the CAP can adapt agriculture to theEuropean Green Deal, the set of political initiatives proposed by the European Commission with the general objective ofAchieving climate neutrality in Europe by 2050and the

is committed to creating an inclusive, competitive and green future for Europe.
Those:Sustainable agriculture in the CAP | European Comission

The objectives of the CAP are

  • socialsustainability
  • Environmentsustainability
  • economicallysustainability

social sustainabilityhalf

  1. Produce healthier, safer, more nutritious and sustainable food
  2. Promotion and strengthening of the resilience of people, communities and ecosystems
  3. Promote the role of knowledge and innovation

environmental sustainabilityrequires good environmental practice to be at the heart of EU agriculture and forestry to ensure thisProtecting the planet and producing food can go hand in hand.

Finally,economic sustainabilityensures

  1. livelihood of peasantsintroducing a fair income support system and achieving greater equality in the food chain
  2. HeLink between income support and environmental measuresthrough cross compliance and green direct payments
  3. rural development supportto ensure that environmental practices and investments are economically viable for farmers.

Agriculture 4.0 and precision agriculture for a sustainable future

The transition to a more sustainable future cannot be achieved without it.Changes in land management techniques and methods.
Because of this, it is important that farms accept and adopt the new technologies available.

If you want to know more, read the related in-depth articles:
Precision Agriculture: Benefits and applications for your work activities
Agriculture 4.0: the benefits for sustainability and traceability - Landini

Do you want to know more about incentives forRenovation of machinery and investment in new tractors andthe lastTechnology? Contact your nearest dealer for more information.

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What are the the principles of sustainable agriculture? ›

The report sets out five key principles that balance the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability: 1) improving efficiency in the use of resources; 2) conserving, pro- tecting and enhancing natural ecosystems; 3) protecting and improving rural liveli- hoods and social well-being; 4) enhancing the ...

What is the meaning of sustainable agriculture technique? ›

Sustainable agriculture is farming in sustainable ways meeting society's present food and textile needs, without compromising the ability for current or future generations to meet their needs.

What are the 3 main components of sustainable agriculture? ›

In order to be sustainable, three areas must be addressed by our agriculture, food, and natural resource systems. These three areas are economics, environment, and community. A sustainable agriculture must provide a fair and reasonably secure living for farm families. It should minimize harm to the natural environment.

Who proposed the basic principles of sustainable agriculture? ›

The 5 key principles to which sustainable agriculture must respond are set out by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an organisation under the aegis of the United Nations.

What are the 5 main components of sustainable agriculture? ›

5 key principles of sustainability for food and agriculture
  • Increase productivity, employment and value addition in food systems.
  • Protect and enhance natural resources.
  • Improve livelihoods and foster inclusive economic growth.
  • Enhance the resilience of people, communities and ecosystems.
  • Adapt governance to new challenges.


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