Improving Food Security of Smallholder Farmers

SUN, APR 19, 2020 (55:02)

Increasingly frequent droughts are destroying food production levels in the more drought-prone half of sub-Saharan Africa. Although most people have attributed this gathering crisis to climate change, about 80 percent of the cause of the droughts is that fallowing – a process of allowing the forest to grow for fifteen years or more to replace the soil’s organic matter — isn’t happening. This problem has in turn caused a huge drop in soil organic matter and a resulting lack of rainwater absorption rates. The good news, however, is that there exists an extremely simple technology, called “green manure/cover crops,” that can reverse these soil organic matter losses within just a few years, at virtually no cost to the farmers.

Putting all that organic matter back into the soil sequesters tremendous amounts of carbon. In fact, if all the world’s farmers and ranchers were to sequester as much carbon/acre/year in their soils as tens of thousands of smallholder African farmers are already doing, they would sequester, long-term, over 50 percent of all the carbon the world needs to sequester in order to reach the goals of the Paris Climate Accords.

Blessed Unrest is a conference that features speakers around the world offering a variety of practical solutions from nature. The aim is to encourage attendees and viewers to arrive at the conclusion that collectively we humans can change course to a healthy and bountiful planet for all.

Image courtesy of Flickr

+ BIO: Roland Bunch

Roland Bunch, PhD is one of the most well-respected leaders in regenerative land management, both in terms of food security and for addressing ecological degradation and climate disruption. He has worked as a consultant in sustainable agricultural development for over 40 NGOs and governments in 50 nations, including Cornell University, the Ford Foundation, OxfamAmerica, Save the Children, CARE, and the governments of Guatemala, Honduras, Swaziland, Laos and Vietnam. He is the author of four books. His second book “Two Ears of Corn, A Guide to People-Centered Agricultural Improvement”, has been published in ten languages and is one of the all-time best-sellers on agricultural development programs in developing nations.

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