Sustainable agriculture in the context of urban and rural development is the management and conservation of natural resources and institutional changes in such a manner as to ensure the attainment of human needs for present and future generations. Sustainable agriculture compliments rural and urban livelihoods through increasing food production at relative low costs. It entails conserving the productive capacity of natural resources on which agriculture depends, making efficient use of non-renewable resources and integrating, where possible, natural biological cycles and controls to achieve a financially profitable farming system.
Sustainable agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa can be achieved through equitable land ownership that ensure rural populace have secure tenure and access to a diverse resource base. In a region with huge reserve of unemployed labour, inequalities in land ownership tends to destabilize the social dynamics. Governments should achieve social equity in land ownership to meet the aspirations and cultural traditions of communities.
The second ingredient to sustainable agriculture in the context of rural development is a thorough understanding of both the social and environmental dynamics of rural areas in order to develop strategies for sustainable poverty alleviation. Profitable smallholder agriculture is one vital component in the strategy to eradicate rural poverty. The development of indigenous value-added enterprises also encourages more specialized and profitable agricultural products.
Organic agriculture is another sustainable option for sub-Saharan African countries. It offers a unique combination of low external-input technology, environmental conservation and input/output efficiency. This together with an integrated approach to...