Every year 18K people die, and entire marine ecosystems can be wiped out due to the lack of knowledge of most farmers. The cause of all this? Two words, Nutrient. Pollution. You see, the way almost all commonly used fertilizers work as fertilizers is by giving large amounts of Nitrogen and Phosphorus to crops in order for them to grow despite any conditions. This may not seem a problem at first, but when you look at the arable soil, it cannot carry all the nutrients which cause them to runoff into the local environment, and when cases get worse, even outside of those. Once having entered the environment, it also enters the water cycle, going into water bodies causing Algae Bloom, which deprives marine life of oxygen. Through evaporation it also enters the atmosphere in different forms of nitrogen and phosphorus such as ammonia, which can lead to brain damage, comas, and even death, especially for infants. You might be wondering why farmers don’t replace their methods with solutions? It’s because of the lack of information getting across to them through the media. Now as the smart individuals you are, you can see the growing population only worsens this because more people, means more food demand, which means more chemical runoff. So how does one go about solving this? A solution I thought of is enforcing laws and policies that cause farmers to use conservative methods such as cover cropping and no-till practices. Through this, all farmers will be undeniably informed within a small amount of time. Not only that, but these methods are also a lot cheaper than current tactics where a lot of money is wasted on the fertilizer that never gets used by the crops. The reason the soil cannot absorb all the nutrients is due to the amount of erosion in it from the many years of rows of plants growing over and over again. Cover cropping is a method which puts in close-growing crops in spots between the normal crops. These crops help repair the soil and enhance seeding protection. No-till farming is normal farming, without any tilling. This stops any extra soil erosion from all the digging. In the end, with these two low-cost methods combined farmers can not only slow down their part in global warming, they save the lives of thousands every year both human and otherwise while they’re at it.
All this relates to the UN SDGs 3, 12, 13, 14, because it touches on an important part of the world and climate. Of course, it impacts marine life or life under water. Because of the ammonia, it also impacts health and well-being, and finally a part of it is caused from irresponsibility of production, in a time when it is more necessary than ever.