Ms. Mona Fahmy Abdel- Wahab.
Auditor, General Manager in the Accountability State Authority (SAI Egypt) working in The Central Department for Financial Auditing of the Presidential, Economic and Service Ministries.
Master Degree in Business Administration (MBA), Strategic Management Major.
Agriculture represents one of the most fundamental sources of life on Earth; Sustainable Agriculture can play a vital role in ensuring Food Security.
As the world population continues to grow, much more effort and innovation will be urgently needed in order to increase agricultural production sustainably, as well as developing unconventional ideas to improve the global supply chain, decrease food losses and waste, and ensure that all who are suffering from hunger and malnutrition have access to food. Many in the international community believe that it is possible to eradicate hunger within the next generation, and are working together to achieve this goal.
World leaders at the 2012 Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) reaffirmed the right to have access to safe and nutritious food, consistently with the right to have adequate food and the fundamental right to be free from hunger. The UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge launched at Rio+20 called on governments, civil society, faith communities, the private sector, and research institutions to unite to end hunger and eliminate the worst forms of malnutrition.
This article explores the importance of Sustainable Agriculture and the smart agriculture practices in addressing Food Security challenges and also highlights key strategies for achieving a more sustainable and secure food system, referring to the close-knit relationship between Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.Food security & Climate change
About 80% of the global population who are most at risk from crop failures and hunger due to climate change are in Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, where climate change poses numerous challenges to Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security.Sustainable Agriculture role in facing climate change challenges
Some key aspects that control their relationship are:
Changes in the climate patterns: Agriculture contributes to a large share of greenhouse gas emissions, such as nitrous oxide resulting from agricultural fertilizers that has raised the temperature of the atmosphere at a rate 265 times more than that caused by carbon dioxide which leads to changing the growing seasons, increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather phenomena (such as drought, floods and storms), and having unpredictable weather patterns. Its features have appeared in the Horn of Africa region (Somali Peninsula), which is suffering from drought for the sixth season consecutively. These changes make it difficult to predict and plan agricultural activities, affecting yields and food production.
Water Availability: Rising temperatures and altered precipitation patterns can lead to water scarcity, affecting crop irrigation, livestock, and fisheries. Sustainable Agriculture practices, such as water-efficient irrigation techniques and water management systems, are crucial in adapting to these changes.
Crop Productivity: Some areas may benefit from increased carbon dioxide and longer growing seasons, others may face reduced yield potential due to heat, stress, changes in pest and disease patterns, and altered nutrient availability. Sustainable Agriculture practices, such as crop diversification, improved soil management, and conservation agriculture, can enhance resilience and maintain or increase yields under changing climatic conditions.
Environmental Security and Biodiversity: Climate change affects biodiversity, which plays a vital role in maintaining ecosystem balance and supporting Sustainable Agriculture. Loss of biodiversity affects pollinators (such as bees) crucial for crop production, natural pest control, soil health, and nutrient cycle. Sustainable Agriculture practices; including agroforestry, organic farming, and the preservation of natural habitats, help conserve biodiversity and the ecosystem services that agriculture relies on.
Mitigation and Adaptation: Sustainable Agriculture can contribute to mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with the agricultural sector. Practices like agroforestry, precision farming, and use of organic fertilizers can sequester carbon, enhance soil health, and reduce emissions from synthetic fertilizers and livestock, providing greater resilience and adaptability to changing climatic conditions, thus contributing to food security.Smart Agriculture for saving global Food Security
The world resorts to adapting its modern technologies and to be able to ensure a safe exit from the food crisis through many agricultural technology initiatives, known as Smart Agriculture, which seeks to use and adapt digital technology and remote sensors in managing agricultural systems.Smart Agriculture for saving global Food Security
The world resorts to adapting its modern technologies and to be able to ensure a safe exit from the food crisis through many agricultural technology initiatives, known as Smart Agriculture, which seeks to use and adapt digital technology and remote sensors in managing agricultural systems.Smart Agriculture prominent features
Relying on information management and analytic systems to make the best possible production decisions at the lowest costs, introducing artificial intelligence into agricultural operations in order to avoid severe food crises, as well as adapting to climate change and the scarcity of natural resources, especially water, are among the most prominent features of Smart Agriculture.Smart Agriculture applications to ensure the sustainability of agricultural production
Soilless Farming & Vertical Farming: To overcome water need, Smart Agriculture has rationalization mechanisms by providing soilless farming systems inside silos or air-conditioned plastic pipes, and remote control of irrigation, ventilation, and cooling.
Improving agricultural productivity: by using Artificial Intelligence to obtain accurate data and adapting “Internet of Things” (IoT) technology to operate agricultural equipment such as irrigation devices, pesticide sprayers, and robotic farms, and using agricultural robots that carry programs to identify pests or diseases that affect crops and work to treat them.
Reducing agricultural costs: Providing a base of information about Agricultural Systems that consume less- financial and natural resources.
Regional participation and cooperation: Enhancing opportunities for agricultural industries and production chains between neighboring countries.
Water resources management: through modern irrigation techniques that save water consumption.The Egyptian Strategy for Sustainable Agricultural Development and its future vision
Egypt is keen to formulate and implement policies, programs, and projects that enable maximum benefit from the available agricultural potential through a specific strategy.
The agricultural sector in Egypt possesses many natural, human, capital, technological, and administrative capabilities, but at the same time, like other agricultural sectors in developing countries, it faces many international, regional and local challenges, such as global climate change, maintaining biodiversity, desertification, transient diseases, water scarcity, and population increase at high rates.
However, Egypt's vision is to achieve comprehensive economic and social development based on rapid, sustainable and comprehensive growth of the agricultural sector and also integrated rural development to help the most-in-need groups and reduce rural poverty.The Horizontal Agricultural Expansion Project
The project aims to:
- Reconstruct the project’s area and turn it into a production area.
- Add new areas of agricultural land
- Increase the country’s production from various agricultural and industrial sources and increase the country’s export potential.
- The percentage of reclaimed and cultivated areas reached 31% of the total allocated areas.
- Lack of optimal and economic exploitation of the wells constructed within the project.
- Rapid reclamation of the rest of the areas to benefit from the spent investments on the giant pump station.
- Rapid construction of an advanced irrigation network instead of using the flood irrigation.
Achieving food security requires following a multifaceted approach that combines sustainable agricultural practices with innovative solutions, technological advancements, and policy interventions. By conserving natural resources, adapting to climate change, promoting localized food production, and enhancing food safety, sustainable agriculture can achieve a crucial role in ensuring a secure and resilient food system.References: