Ground of sustainable agriculture

konukHüseyin ARSLAN 
President of the Global Pulse Confederation(GPC)

Dear readers of Miller Magazine,
The World is at the edge of food crisis due to factors such as rapid increase of the world’s population, global warming and climatic changes and cultivable area narrowing. Growth of young unemployed army, increase in food prices, pressure on the natural resources, wasting water resources away, waste and inefficiencies in food demand are some of the global developments to affect the food industry. One should know that a crisis in the agriculture industry will absorb other industries. This affects textile, beverage, canned goods, marmalade, table vegetable and fruit, pickle, animal production and oil (sunflower seed oil, olive oil, corn oil) industries directly.

The population in our country and world is increasing rapidly. Total population of certain countries such as India and China has reached up to 2,7 billion. It is estimated that global population growing rapidly will reach up to 8 billion in 2030, and to 9.5 billion in 2050 and global demand of food will increase at a rate of 60%. Researches indicate that the amount of food produced within 10 thousand years will be produced within the next 40 years in line with growing population. Therefore, the most important matter for human life is sustainable agriculture. The most important factor for sustainable agriculture and healthy food is healthy soil. Protecting soil constitutes the basis for protecting life and sustainability. Where there is no healthy soil, there is no healthy food. Many sectors especially urbanization, industry and mining almost swallow agriculture lands in fact. Excessive and unconscious input usage leads to contamination and inefficiency of agriculture lands rapidly and make them unhealthy, which is the most important issue. However, it is well known that healthy soil is needed for nutrition and healthy and reliable food. Food production may be increased at a rate of 58 with sustainable agriculture activities. Feeding world’s population, keeping global warming limited with 2 degrees or prevailing the loss of biological diversity will not be possible without protecting soil.

The UN announced that the number of people suffering from hunger is 853 million. This number corresponds to 11 percent of the world’s population. In the UN report drawing attention that hunger and malnutrition has increased in 2017, it is emphasized that the most important factors which affect this situation are increasing climatic changes and conflicts. While 853 million people sleep hungry, 2 billion people cannot reach to foodstuff to grow properly and spend a healthy life. On the contrary, 1.4 million people are overweight or develop obesity. While physical development of 155 million children under the age of 5 fall behind, 41 million children develop obesity. The number of obese adults is 641 million that this corresponds to 13 percent of world’s adult people.

On one hand there is a hunger, on the other hand 1,4 billion tones of food go to waste per year. Food needs of millions of people who are at the hunger threshold can be met with one fourth of this amount wasted. Economic value of this waste is 1 trillion dollars. In Turkey, about 6 million bread is wasted daily, this corresponds to 1,5 billion liras of economic loss per year. One of the most important matters in world’s agenda regarding food waste is the concept of expiration date. It is remarked that there should not be written expiry date in pulses and canned goods, but recommended date instead. It is emphasized that canned goods can be maintained and consumed unless swelling or surging does not form on the can lid. Stressing that expired pulse products do not spoil unless infestation and package swelling do not form and can be consumed for a long time, experts conduct researches to prevent food waste. In France and Italy, some tax deductions are applied for markets which bring expired products to the municipality, these products are granted to needers.

Increase in obesity and diabetic diseases in the world has popularized natural nutrition trend so much. This increase in number obese people has brought serious economic magnitude. People with weight problem are spending much for weight-loss products, diet beverages and healthy nutrition day by day. Researches show that obesity economy consisting of weight-loss products, diet beverages, home-delivery healthy food and healthy nutrition is over 2 trillion dollars. Companies reduce the amount of salt, sugar and oil in their products, and they use this in their

While these are happening on the consumer side, countries are searching for ways to make such a production which will feed their lands, be beneficial to human health and sustainable and ecological. There are many works done to reproduce the cultivation of pulses which require less watering, do almost not cause to carbon emission, and are the richest agriculture product in terms of protein which is a nucleon of human body. The UN announced the year of 2016 as “World’s Pulse Year”. This product group is included in the most important food items of charity organizations such as the UN due to reasons such as rapid increase in human population, hunger and wars and climatic factors. The UN approved to celebrate one day in the world as pulse day in order to raise awareness by responding discussions and calls of Global Pulse Confederation for a long time.

Global warming and climate change entail developing new seeds. R&D studies are concentrated in order to develop new seeds which will need less water, be resistant to drought and diseases, and have hight harvest rate for the production increase. Within the next 50 years, cultivation of genetically modified seeds in agricultural products such as corn and soybean especially used as animal feed will increase. Climate change will cause to changes in production process and product ranges of the countries. One of the important matter in this process is planning agricultural production by taking climatic and soil characteristics into consideration. It is required to produce suitable product ranges by considering geographical conditions, soil characteristics of cultivation areas and costs. Every country does not have to every product. World is a village now, it is possible to reach to desired product in line with demands. We have to cultivate products which will strengthen our hands, give us our best ranges and efficiency and through which we have a competition chance, and make it sustainable.

We also suggest you to read our previous article titled "Palestinian Wheat Milling Industry".

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