Ever heard of the term agroecology? Well, it is simply sustainable agriculture. It is farming that centers on food production which makes best use of nature without depletion of these resources. Agroecology depends on diversity and builds upon it.The practice builds on traditional agricultural practices and incorporating modern research and technology. Unlike conventional industrial agriculture which results in depletion of resources, soil erosion and global warming, agroecology applies ecology to farming. It focuses both on ecological conservation and food production and security.
How is it practiced?
The practice is quite easy, few inputs are required and it is easy to practice. Small holes are dug at intervals in the selected piece of land. The holes are filled with fertilizer which will serve to restore the fertility of the soil and also help store water. Then crops are planted on these holes.
The farm are is then ‘fenced’ with small stones, stones are arranged to surround the farm land. This will help store water and allow for infiltration during rainy seasons. No specialized equipment or technique is needed.
This simple but sustainable practice also allows for intercropping and agroforestry practices too. Pests are managed naturally and fertilizer used is organic and hence there is increased biodiversity.
What are the benefits?
*More food production and fewer inputs are required.
*Rainfall is better captured and mamaged.
*Greater income is generated through increased food production.
*This practice is also resilient to climate change and shocks such as droughts and floods that are comnon today.
*The practice allows for intergration of trees hence increasing forest cover.
Currently we are facing the effects of climate change and global warming, which includes poor food production. Agroecology has been proved to be an effective way to balance between conservation, economic and production needs. The practice is cheap and can be practiced in semi arid areas that receive little amount of rain annually and it can easily be practiced by the poorest of communities.