Sustainability of Agriculture: Issues, Observations and Outlook
It is appropriate that sustainable agriculture be the focus of a symposium on technologies involving agricultural crop production, the environment and food security. While agriculture is an old activity, there have been rapid changes recently in development of new technologies and the manner in which crops are produced. Economic and social factors, such as world markets, the expanded roles of private industry, strong public emphasis on food quality and safety, and much greater environmental and societal expectations, are involved. Agriculturalists and producers are recognized worldwide as the primary managers and caretakers of the landscape. In the immediate future, linkages between sustainable agriculture and new technologies in developing and, especially, in developed countries will be necessary as emphasis shifts from increasing production to sustain life to distinguishing value-added traits for quality of life. This will include preservation or enhancement of the environment and biodiversity.