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CTA. 2003. Sustainable agriculture. Spore 104. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/47905
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore104.pdf
Farming systems, like rainbows and banana plants, come in various forms, colours and interpretations.
Farming systems, like rainbows and banana plants, come in various forms, colours and interpretations. New terms, such as ecoagriculture (see Main article) are forever emerging. In general, sustainable agriculture is the ability to sustain production over time. There are several types and many overlaps: Organic agriculture: Agriculture without the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides. Techniques such as mulching and composting are used to provide natural inputs. Emphasises local farming knowledge and techniques adjusted to different local conditions. Permaculture: Often seen as a development of the organic system, it is basically an abbreviation of 'permanent agriculture'. Permaculture farmers do not generally use inputs, even organic, from outside their farms. Some actions are linked not only to local micro-climates but also to lunar cycles and astrology, sometimes known as 'cosmovision'. (See also: www.permaculture.net) Agroecology: The science of sustainable agriculture. Incorporates contemporary scientific understanding of biological principles and resources in farming systems. Conservation agriculture: Emphasises the use of soil management practices such as direct sowing/no-tillage, reduced tillage/minimum tillage, incorporation of crop residues and establishment of cover crops. Ecoagriculture: Seeks to help farmers to grow more food while conserving habitats critical to wildlife, based on an understanding of wildlife biology and ecology, on-the-ground experimentation and scientific advances. Adherents claim that the approach breaks with both traditional conservation policies and modern agricultural techniques. (See Main article) Low-external-input and sustainable agriculture: LEISA seeks to minimise the use of external inputs and make optimal use of local resources. Stresses the application of knowledge rather than inputs. Environmentally sound agriculture: Aims to improve farm profitability without causing environmental damage. Chemicals may be used in moderation.