Modern agriculture brings controversy since it causes environmental degradation. However, the development of knowledge and technology figured out a more sustainable scheme to fix modern agriculture.
Recently, many Indonesian farmers apply modern agriculture. This sector follows the development of technology. Modernization aims to optimize the harvest, therefore, it will guarantee farmers’ wealth. Let’s explore more about it and its controversy.
The Beginning of Modern Agriculture
The beginning of modern agriculture in Indonesia started during the New Order’s green revolution. Green revolution had a mission to make Indonesia as the world’s granary. The farmers in this era had to leave traditional farming to produce a great harvest. They joined The Five Agricultural Effort (Indonesia: Panca Usaha Tani) and Agricultural Development (Indonesia: Bimas/ Bimbingan Massal).
The shifting successfully increased production significantly. The use of quality seeds from genetic manipulation, pesticide, and farming technology successfully made Indonesia a rice self-sufficiency country. The farmers and government gained great profit.
Regrettably, the benefits only stayed for 5 years. After that, the agriculture sector fell off. Agricultural production decreased, farmers fell into poverty, and environmental damage occurred.
The Controversy of Modern Agriculture
Modern agriculture offers a high rate of productivity. However, this method is also controversial due to impacts to the environment and farmers’ welfare. This method causes erosion, water pollution, pest explosion, and loss of native plant varieties. Those problems occur because of the use of pesticides and genetically modified seeds.
The farmers who depend on it have to buy seeds and fertilizer from a third party which is more expensive. Meanwhile, they are able to provide seed and organic fertilizer independently during the traditional farming era. Consequently, production costs increase and reduce profits.
Modernization of Farming: How Beneficial?
Even though modern agriculture is controversial due to its environmental impacts, it still has a positive impact. The benefit is it has lots of harvests and utilizes time and effort efficiently. The production increased because of the use of quality seeds. The seeds can be planted 3 times a year. The product quality is better since it uses quality seeds.
Agricultural technology innovation also helps farmers to plant and harvest easily. It also helps farmers to increase production in large-scale fields. The farmer can save human resources cost because technology replaces their role.
The Development of Modern Agricultural Systems in Indonesia
Modern agriculture is the development of innovation and technology in agriculture to increase productivity and efficiency. This method is a solution to keep global food security that always increases in line with population growth.
Now, Indonesia also implements modern agriculture. Mostly, farmers use the method during the green revolution. However, there are a lot of solutions to provide sustainable agriculture as a result of knowledge and technology development. Those are organic and integrated farming.
Organic farming uses natural sources in farming activity. It considers the impact of the environment, natural cycles of nature, and biodiversity. This method does not use chemical ingredients that harm the environment.
Integrated farming embraces mutualism symbiosis between agriculture, farm, and waste management. This is a more sustainable method to produce variety and less waste production. It utilizes agricultural waste for animal feeds. Meanwhile, farms also produce livestock manure as fertilizer and biogas, and also food products such as meat, egg, and milk.
Considering the controversy of modern agriculture described above, we understand that modernization is not always valuable. However, modernity still provides space for humans to fix unsustainable agricultural systems. The more eco-friendly system innovation will bring hope for the community and farmers to carry out responsible consumption and production activities. Therefore, in the future, the stigma that agriculture damages the environment and exacerbates climate change will end.