In Lampung, Indonesia Agribusiness owner Great Giant Pineapple is working hard to meet he demands of a modern agricultural business model that meets environmental standards from governments and consumers alike. (http://wbcsdpublications.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IBCSD-GGP-Casestudy-Soil-Health-Management.pdf) The leader in pineapple exports had several areas of concern in keeping up with a business that required achieving high yield while reducing waste, complying with environmental regulations and customer requirements, and participating in global warming prevention by reducing green house gas emissions. They were able to meet their goals by practicing “Good Agricultural Practices.” The corporation has been quite successful in creating a sustainable development plan. They reduced waste by 100% by building a biogas plant that turns their previous waste product into a natural energy source. They also switched over to all organic fertilizers (cow manure) as a natural source of soil fertilization to comply with customers needs as well as the health of the soil. In a further effort to meet standards they switched the products they use to treat their crop and they now include bio fertilizer and organic fertilizer application, as well as organic pest controller, nutrient conservation, soil conditioner, plant rotation, and nutrient storage.
In Adigrat, Ethiopia, The Economist reports on the massive drought that the country is experiencing. (http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21693624-governments-achievements-appear-increasingly-precarious-edge). Although nowhere near the national emergency the country experienced in the 80’s, citizens are suffering on a large scale due to a lack of water. The drought has caused the loss of crops, as well as the deaths of hundreds of thousands of livestock animals. The government is doing their best to address the sustainability crisis and also to provide for those citizens who are too poor to afford the food that is available. The government created the Productive Safety Net Programme, which provides jobs for about 7million people who work on public-infrastructure projects in return for food or cash. In this way the government is able to provide for its citizens as well as invest in infrastructure development within its cities. In a further stage of development, as well as to address the crisis Ethiopia managed to accelerate the building of a new railway line—the country’s only one—to bring food supplies from Djibouti on the coast of the Horn of Africa.
I currently live in Southern California, where we too are experiencing a massive drought, just as in Ethiopia. Thankfully, El Nino is bringing California some much needed rain, as opposed to further drought. However, the scarcity of water still exists, thankfully we have the infrastructure to be sustainable for the moment, although the increasing drought threatens this ability. In connection to the same water crisis in California, I chose the Pineapple exporter’s Good agricultural practices, because the farmers of California are not held to this same high standard by the state government. The overuse of water by farmers is one of the reasons for the extremity of the drought in California. I think that the state government could learn from the policies of the Ethiopian government and the good practices of the Great Giant Pineapple company to be proactive in addressing the need for sustainable crops and sustainable water, especially in a crisis like a drought. The government can’t expect the daily citizen to turn around a drought, it will take a massive reform effort and new rules for everyone.