Mar 17, 2017 01:44 AM EDT
Experts fear that lack of comprehensive agriculture plan is leading to denudation of wild resources and pollution. While agriculture is needed to sustain the ballooning population's food demand, unsafe practices are ruining the soil. Pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and herbicides are all known to cause adverse effects on the environment.
In an article entitled "Never Out of Season," author Rob Dunn described how agriculture necessitates the clearing of wild spaces. For example, Brazil has to cut down trees in rainforests to accommodate soybean plantations. This move solved the short-term need for food but Dunn argues that, on the other hand, it has a long-term environmental impact.
Dunn also described how careless agriculture is morphing the natural species of plants, sometimes with bad results. There are cases where rogue seeds are mixed up with modified agricultural variety. In turn, new plants with messed up genes are created. However, some of these accidental species are manifesting amplified negative traits.
According to Popular Science, a concrete example of this agricultural mistake happened with rice. People cleared wild areas to plant rice and it results in a more stable food source - until a grassy stunt virus spawned. What makes this pathogen dangerous is that no domesticated rice variety is known to be resilient against it.
What saved the rice industry from full-blown grassy stunt virus outbreak was found in the wild forest. A particular wild rice called Oryza nivara was discovered as a resistant variety. With a bit of genetic manipulation, Oryza nivara is now part of most domesticated rice.
At any rate, it boils down to the argument that agriculture should be done responsibly. Secondly, farmers should think twice before drastically clearing the wild areas. As in the case of grassy stunt virus, the cure to combat it was found in an untamed land. On the hindsight, a balance should be observed in agriculture. Rain forests, untouched resources and modern agriculture can co-exist after all.
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