We’ve talked about the Forest Based Economy and the Blue or Ocean Based Economy so now, we should talk about the Bio Agriculture or Bio-Based Economy.
What is Bio Agriculture aka Bio-Based Economy
In simplest terms, this is an economy based on agriculture and its by products such as field waste from harvesting. By recycling waste material and using non-prime land for growing inedible grasses for biofuel production, this enables locals to produce more for selling as well as personal use.
How is Bio Agriculture Different From Agriculture.
Agriculture is a term for growing food. This means everything from an herb garden to an orchard. Anything non-meat and non-dairy you can harvest falls under Agriculture. Modern Agriculture uses a lot of chemicals to get rid of pests and increase yields. This is all well and good for the pocket of the grower, not so good for the health of the consumer. Also, Modern Agriculture doesn’t use their plant waste, they just plow it under in an effort to add to their soil.
Bio Agriculture is not a new concept or term. It’s actually been around since the 1930s, and Henry Ford even made car bodies out of soybeans for a while. It has gained in popularity as a healthy, holistic way of growing food on a large scale. Homesteaders have practiced Bio Agriculture for a very long time as they want healthy food for their families. Bio Agriculture uses no chemicals – everything is natural when it comes to pest control and enriching the soil. In addition, planting methods involving crop rotation and disc plowing are employed. Unlike Modern Agriculture, Bio Agriculture encourages the use of plant waste to make other things.
Benefits of Bio Agriculture
- Healthier food – the absence of chemicals on any kind makes what ever is grown for consumption healthier, Use of natural pesticides and companion planting negates the need for chemicals for pest control. Use of natural selection when growing enables the production of larger yields.
- Liquid-fuel production – this includes bio-diesel and ethanol based fuels.
- Markets Beyond the Traditional – in addition to food and feed, Bio Agriculture has seen a rise in the desire for items made from natural plants. These include bamboo sheets and hemp clothes.
- Cleaner Environment – no chemicals means no polluted water table and no poisoned animals. In addition, the processes for creating products from plants is almost completely carbon free. Also, no chemicals means cleaner soil, and holistic farming practices such as crop rotation and disc plowing create healthier soil.
Public Policy Regarding Bio Agriculture
In the 1980s, The New Uses Council and the Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops were formed. In 1992, The Alternative Agriculture Research and Commercialization(AARC)Center was created and later, in 1996, The Alternative Agriculture Research and Commercialization Corporation was founded. These entities provided funding for a lot of corporations commercializing products from their bio-based research and development. These products range from furniture to clothing to plant-based lubricants – even pharmaceuticals.
In 1998, the Council of the NABC(Netherlands-African Business Council) released a paper called Vision Statement for Agricultural Research and Development in the 21st Century and in 2000, they released another paper called The Bio-Based Economy of the Twenty-First Century: Agriculture Expanding into Health, Energy, Chemicals and Materials(Eaglesham et al. 2000).
In 2000, The National Research Council published a report, Bio-based Industrial Products: Priorities for Research and Commercialization, and this gave it Bio Agriculture legitimate scientific backing.
Public Views of Bio Agriculture
Personally, I doubt a lot of people know what Bio Agriculture is, but I am quite certain most know what it does for them. It provides them with luxury items such as bamboo sheets, quality clothing made from hemp and even sustainable building materials for their homes. More and more people are demanding plant based products as opposed to plastic and metal. If they can recycle it, even better!
It’s my humble opinion that a Bio Agriculture Economy shouldn’t be the only economy present in any given area, much less country. It has its limits and its drawbacks as far as money making is concerned. In my last discussion regarding sustainable economic models, I’ll discuss the Circular Economy.
I strongly recommend doing research on all the economic models I’ve discussed to find out more about each one. My articles are not exhaustive or definitive in any way. They are merely a way to open up a discussion about these models.
See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!