Sustainable Farming: Goals, Benefits, and Subsidies

Sustainable Farming is a growing concern for every nation. Therefore, the government promotes and supports sustainable farming. In this post, we are going to cover what is sustainable farming, its goals, and financial support in form of subsidies and loans from major banks like Wells Fargo, Chase, and Citi Bank. Farmers can see loads of tutorials when navigating these banks online through the YouReviewIt website.

What is sustainable farming?

The aim of sustainable farming is to save resources and protect the environment. However, equating “sustainable” with “ecological” falls short of the mark. Conventional farms can also contribute to more sustainability in farming. Rentenbank and other development institutes offer special development programs so that farmers can make the necessary investments.

Sustainability is the buzzword and the challenge of our time. Numerous farms have already taken the path of consistent sustainability. Sustainable does not necessarily have to mean “organic” and “eco”. The focus is on resource-saving management.

Sustainability means doing business in a way that conserves resources

Sustainability means thinking about tomorrow today. In essence, it is about using resources sparingly so that they are still available to future generations. Emissions that are harmful to the environment should only be emitted to the extent that the environment can neutralize them with the help of its self-cleaning power. Sustainable farming produces high-quality food while protecting resources and the environment.

The goals of sustainable farming

Sustainable farming is about:

  • Maintaining and improving soil productivity
  • Minimizing the harmful effects on climate, soil, water, air, and biodiversity as well as human health
  • Use as few non-renewable and petroleum-based resources as possible and replace them with renewable ones.
  • Cooperation with the local population
  • A qualitative and quantitative satisfaction of the basic human need for food, also for future generations
  • A reliable occupation with a satisfactory income, good living and working conditions for all people working in farming
  • Strengthening of the agricultural sector to be less vulnerable to natural (e.g. climatic) and economic (e.g. high price volatility) risks.
  • The promotion of institutions that promote the active participation of all actors involved.

Read also: Ways in Reducing Farmer’s Environmental Impact

What is more sustainable: conventional or ecological farming, industrial or smallholder production?

This is usually the core question in the discussion about sustainable farming. Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not that simple. After all, sustainability cannot be reduced to organic farming alone but depends on many factors.

In organic farming, there is greater biodiversity and less pollution than in conventional farms, in particular, due to the lack of mineral fertilizers and chemical pesticides. However, this means that organic farming requires more area per unit produced. The result is the so-called yield gap. The increased space requirements result in higher net emissions of greenhouse gases.

A major advantage of industrial farming is its innovative strength. With state-of-the-art technology, artificial intelligence, and agricultural drones, areas can be worked on with plant precision, and animals can be cared for individually. The company works more resource-efficiently – and thus more sustainably.

The question, therefore, does not have to be conventional or ecological, smallholder or industrial, but: How sustainable is the individual farm?

How do farmers benefit from sustainable production?

The desire to do something good for the environment and future generations is an important driver for running the farm sustainably. But investments can also pay off financially. In this way, you can save long-term costs for heating or cooling commercial buildings through improved energy efficiency. With the production of organic food, new target groups can be addressed. And the independent generation of electricity and heat from renewable energies increases your independence from energy suppliers and can create an additional source of income if you feed the energy into the public grid.

Subsidies for sustainable farming

More sustainability in farming is a central concern of legislators. Therefore, subsidies and a variety of programs are provided to support farmers in ongoing operations and investments. Area premiums are an important mainstay for organic farmers. These are area-related subsidies for the introduction and maintenance of ecological cultivation methods.

Agriculture Investment Program: Farmers for climate protection

With the agriculture investment program, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) supports farms that want to invest in modern technology in order to implement more climate, nature, and environmental protection.

The investment program for agriculture set up by the federal government is planned for a total of four years up to the year 2024. The corresponding funds are provided for in the financial planning of the budget. With the 230 million euros already approved, less than a quarter of the total funds made available have been allocated so far. Therefore, a large part of the investment requests from agriculture in the areas of machines for the environmentally friendly application of manure and pesticides, expansion of storage facilities for manure, and separation systems can actually be served. Agriculture will therefore continue to be actively supported in order to be able to successfully manage the transformation process that is necessary and desired by society.

Various loan programs are also offered by banks like Wells Fargo’s $200 Billion commitment on sustainable financing, Chase Bank’s $2.5 Trillion commitment to sustainable development. Check with your local bank for loan programs intended for sustainable farming.