Agricultural pollution is one of the most highlighted issues of the past few decades.
In fact, soon before the internet age, when industrialization and globalization led to the increasing number of trade routes and the setting up of factories, it was warned that one of the most drastic impacts of it could be felt in the agricultural sector.
Agriculture and farming activities are the lifelines of the world. In any economy, the local production and imports of these products help build a strong foundation of demand and supply in the food and commodities market.
They also help in ensuring adequate raw material supply for industries and factories.
In such a circumstance, it is essential to understand the causes and effects of agricultural pollution and also the manner in which it can be curbed to an extent.
In this article, we would understand the types, causes, and effects of agricultural pollution alongside the solutions.
Types and Causes of Agricultural Pollution
Agricultural pollution largely deals with pollution in three different but interlinked areas of the environment including but not limited to the water, air, and soil.
The intersection between all these different kinds of pollution is what often leads to agricultural pollution.
The following are the major causes of agricultural pollution:
Fertilisers and artificial products
One of the major causes of agricultural pollution is the constant and heavy reliance placed on fertilisers and artificial products.
Due to this practice, often the soil becomes too dense in nutrients and the crop is adversely affected.
Due to pollution in other areas and lessening groundwater levels, water is, unfortunately, another reason attributed to the agricultural pollution that we see around us today.
Quite simply, the extreme weather conditions and passage of time lead to the top layer of the soil being eroded and flown away.
Because of this, the soil is no longer suitable for farming activities and does not lead to the best result even after heavy usage of fertilisers, water, or other chemically induced nutrients.
Contaminants and pests
Due to other factors, which may be natural, other contaminants carried by air or pests often lead to a worsening situation where crops are defective and are needed to be destroyed, leading to agricultural pollution.
Effects of Agricultural Pollution
The following are the effects of agricultural pollution:
Diseases arising from food and environment
Quite inevitably, agricultural pollution leads to numerous air and water-borne diseases often carried by food as well.
This is perhaps because the contaminants and imbalance of nutrients are carried on to the final batch of supply as well, which are sold in the market and purchased by the consumers, who have no clue of what diseases the food may be carrying.
Shortening lifespan of cattle and aquatic animals
Due to agricultural pollution, biodiversity takes the biggest hit perhaps.
The constant use of fertilisers and chemicals leads to many unnecessary emissions and it further pollutes the air, soil, and water surrounding the farms, affecting the lifespan of cattle, and aquatic animals and disrupting the food cycle as well.
Low Crop yield, hoarding, and decreased food exports
One of the major negative effects of agricultural pollution is low crop yield and falling supply.
Many large players in the market also see it as an opportunity to hoard the yields to let the prices fluctuate.
Once the prices soar, they sell them and earn profit.
It also often leads to a crucial decrease in food exports as the countries that produce adequate crops look to curb the domestic demands as well.
Low soil fertility
Ultimately, agricultural pollution leads to low soil fertility, which further becomes a major reason behind the lower crop yield for further years and the diminishing quality of raw materials and food produced from the farms.
Solutions for Agricultural Pollution
Increase the awareness
The most crucial solution to the problem of agricultural pollution is to increase awareness among people and especially farmers.
People must incorporate the practice of planting and nourishing more trees to ensure that soil erosion lessens and the nutrients of soil can remain intact.
Compost pits and manure management
Another way to go for curbing the ill effects of agricultural pollution could be by ensuring more compost pits and bettering the manure management system.
Today, many developing nations with enormous agricultural opportunities are failing to adopt a strong manure management system, which could better the soil quality and help them earn more profit as well by selling it further for the production of biogas.
Educate about organic farming
It is time to look beyond the traditional methods of farming. With lessening areas of agricultural land and increasing pollution in the cities, it is time to look towards organic farming and home farming.
The organic food market is on the boom and with the right investment and participation, it could be one of the most effective ways to deal with agricultural pollution.
Stricter government norms
It is perhaps time for the government of the most agriculturally strong nations to come together and impose stricter norms on the quality of yields and the manner in which farming practices are adopted.
With the right set of guidelines and penalties for industries and factories hampering healthy farming practices, agricultural pollution can still be controlled to a large extent.
Another solution to look at could be the immediate implementation of population control.
With Earth being limited in the number and availability of resources, it is time that we induce and adopt measures to control the growth of the population to ensure that sustainable and balanced growth can take place.
Thus, agricultural pollution is a serious topic and it is crucial that we must understand its causes and effects.
Additionally, active steps must be taken by the government and the people to ensure the adoption of nature-friendly and organic methods of farming and yielding crops.
With a strong plan in place and active measures, it is possible that we can tackle the ill effects of agricultural pollution in the near future.