Definition of National Food Policy
Policy is an overarching set of principles that guide decision making to meet specified ends. Typically, policies in government, businesses and other institutions manifest as the authority to direct resources to serve and achieve organizational priorities. National policies are useful to manage complex webs of laws, authorities and practices. Accordingly, national food policy would guide public investment in such a way that public good is maximized. Additionally, well-articulated policy would serve to prevent inconsistent government actions resulting from compartmentalized purviews over components of the agrifood system. Ideally, national food policy would enable coherent and coordinated management of the agrifood system as a whole.
Definition of Monoculture
Monocultures are crop stands featuring a single species. These are characteristic of large-scale industrialized agriculture, where uniformity and regularity facilitate mechanized operations. Some early agricultural systems originating in the Middle East were probably sown as monocultures mimicking solid stands of wild grasses. In contrast to the advantages of mechanization in monocrops, the intentional reduction of biodiversity in such stands means that ecological means of insect, disease and weed control are replaced with insecticides, fungicides and herbicides. Advocates of sustainable practices recommend biodiverse systems, including crop rotations and polycultures, which feature complementary species sharing time and/or space.