Agroecology: Agricultural Practices That Contributes To Food Security While Adapting To Climate Change

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Multiple evidence of rapid degradation of the environment is there for all to witness. The startling rise in temperatures in the arctic and Antarctic regions is just one example. Temperatures have dramatically risen to 40C (72F) above the average, and it has led to drastic results. Around the globe, tornadoes and wildfires are sweeping forests and communities. This rapid degradation is giving rise to concerns about food security and agroecology has been identified as the solution to mitigate the shortage of food while preserving the environment.

Agroecology is farming that centers on food production that makes maximum use of the services and goods offered by nature while preserving these resources for the future generation. It has long been seen that farming thrives most when it cooperates with local ecosystems.

Global Food System Responsible For A Third Of Carbon Emissions Worldwide

The climate emergency is not in the distant future but is staring us in the face. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has identified climate change as a direct threat to the planet’s health, and its human and other living inhabitants.

Hans-Otto Portner of the IPCC Working Group Two said that delaying concerted action globally will cause us to miss the brief chance offered at undoing the damage and securing a liveable world for us.

The global food system adds around a third of the carbon emissions of the world and has been identified as among the key areas where transformative action can be initiated.

The biggest example of agroecology in action is the use of biodiversity and available biomass to improve plant and soil quality rather than destroying nature with chemical resources. Farmers practicing agroecology seek to improve food outputs to strengthen fair markets for selling their produce, for balanced nutrition, enhance a healthy ecosystem, and build on traditional customs and knowledge.

Read: Farmers Show That Amazon Agriculture Can Be Sustainable Without Harming The Rainforests

The promoters of agroecology have strived to nourish and nurture a healthy landscape where they can grow the food of the world. They have as their guiding light a belief in culture and biodiversity that features research from small farmers and protecting both their livelihoods while contributing to the environment.

The farmers have grassroots organizations, leading scientists, consumers, NGOs, public agencies, and universities working with them to construct nutritious and sustainable food systems that are based on agroecology.

There are at present numerous opportunities to help in the advancement of agroecology on a global scale. All too often, the corporate food systems had a negative impact on the environment, people’s health, and the welfare and security of marginal farmers.

Agroecology has been identified as both an adaptation strategy and mitigation for climate change. Consumers are clamoring for a closer connection to food producers and healthy food on their plates.

Agroecology Is Abut Inculcating Existing Practices On A Large Scale Towards More Food And A Better Environment

Agroecology encourages traditional practices used for centuries, including intercropping, increasing the planting of cover crops, integration of trees and livestock into the farming landscape, and depending on organic farming that will enhance the health of the soil and biodiversity in the long term.

Agroecology advocates the total elimination of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. This nature-based resolution can mitigate climate change.

This solution is grounded in the adoption of the rights of small-time producers and indigenous farmers, which has been seen in the 13 agroecology principles as put forward by the UN panel on nutrition and food security.

Agroecology Is A Combination Of A Practice, A Science, And A Crusade

Though the principles of agroecology and its practice go back thousands of years, it was only a century ago that agronomists began looking at the integration of ecosystems and farming, resulting in a win-win situation for both.

Read: Regenerative Agriculture: Does It Foretell A Better Way Of Farming?

The term, agroecology, was adapted half a century ago from Mexico in the 1970s. Scientists and researchers first sounded the alarm here at the use of new and untested farming practices that were being advocated in all regions of the world.

These practices of the green revolution were backed by the Rockefeller Foundation with the approach of adapting the use of high-yield hybrid seeds, which could sustain a high growth rate only through the regular purchase of seeds and heavy investments in fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, and irrigation systems.

Adopting Agroecology As A Philosophy

The report by the IPCC has helped underline the potential of agroecology. But its adaptation will require a major shift in governmental policy around the world. And along with it a substantial change in private and public resources.

The report highlighted the benefits from this shift, especially for better climate resilience. By transforming the health of the soil, the practices advocated through agroecology can provide buffer zones against droughts, drastically reduce soil erosion, especially during storms.

The adaptation of agroforestry by integrating farming landscapes with trees helps in protecting crops and stock during heat waves.

Agroecology also encourages multi-cropping, tends to increase the resilience of crops to pests and diseases, and even increases production. And on the emissions front, it was reduced by as much as 47% according to a study.

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