Sustainable agriculture

Home Up Contents Genetically modified food  ] Eradicating poverty  ] Agricultural needs  ] Sustainable agriculture  ] Food supplies  ]

Vegetables are to feed people and not to make plastics.

Agriculture and population increase
In general, populations of all lifeforms grow exponentially that is by a steady proportion of whatever was there before. When there is no practical limit on resource then populations usually grow maximally and the only limit is that of the reproductive capacity of the female animal. About 10,000 years ago, human beings were obliged to commit themselves more or less fully to agriculture and the human population was 5 to 10 million. By the time of Christ, after only 8,000 years of large-scale agriculture, the human population was 100 to 300 million. After this time, the exponential growth of the population entered its rapid phase. The billion mark was passed by 1800 A.D. By year 2000, the human population exceeded 6 billion. Thus agriculture allowed a thousand-fold increase in numbers over a period of 10,000 years.

In practical sense, agriculture cannot feed a human population that has grown beyond the capacity limit. We must ask ourselves whether we can stop the growth by means that are voluntary and benign, or whether the eventual environmental restraint will be out of our hands. At some questionable time in our future we will find that our soil will no longer have the nutrients it needs to produce quality food. For some time we may counter this problem by fresh weathering of rock. Not for long! The loss of lifeforms on Earth will be permanent.

Obviously something has to be done! The Global Community proposes a tight global policy, benignly implemented, or it will be very nasty indeed. In practice, a human population of 10 to 12 billion would be too uncomfortably high and would add a high strain on world resources. What kind of world population would be reasonable? What goal should we aim at? A population should be small enough to be sustainable indefinitely and still allow plenty of leeway for ourselves and other lifeforms. It should also be large enough to allow the formation of healthy civilizations. We propose a world population of 500 million. The policy to apply is for every family to have only one or two children. It would take a thousand years to reach our goal of a population of 500 million.




Back to top of page

Definition of sustainable development ] Measurement of sustainable development ] Equitable and peaceful development ] Science and technology for development ] Disseminating information and educating ] Global co-operation on development ] Global portal on sustainable development ] Home and community development ] Sustainable economic development ] Ecological sustainable development ] Sustainable buildings ] Guidelines and criteria for projects ] Programs for training and educating ] Environmental consumerism ] Spirituality, religions and conservation ] Research and development ] Societal sustainability ] S.D. Global Information Society ] Social development:access to information ] Business responsibility for s.d. ] HIV/AIDS and development ] ICTs  and development ] Social development ] Sustainable energy ] Recycling and biodegradability ] [ Sustainable agriculture ]




Back to top of page

Send email to with questions or comments about this web site.

Copyright 2004 Global Community WebNet Ltd.