By Thulasizwe Mkhabela
JOHANNESBURG – It is common knowledge that agriculture by default, as a socio-economic human endeavour, exploits resources as inputs in order to produce food and fibre as outputs.
Thus, the idea that agriculture inherently has been depleting resources faster than they could be replenished has been a subject of intense discussion and debate for time immemorial.
The oft-cited examples of evidence of imbalanced exploitative economic endeavour – including agriculture- are pollution, soil erosion/loss, wildlife population decline/shifts, and general alteration of a natural and native flora and fauna because of human intervention.
It can be contended that agricultural practices are “unnatural”, regardless of scale and size of production. Similarly, the exponential growth in human population can be construed as an equally unnatural and parallel phenomenon with associated demands for both food and shelter, which have often