Back sustainable farming to regenerate our soils and reduce damaging chemicalsActions 4 Change
We want governments to make regenerative farming the norm. This means implementing policies that help farmers to move away from farming methods which are damaging soil health and harmful to animals and nature. Businesses should reduce the amount of chemicals used and greenhouse gas emissions they produce. They need to employ sustainable farming practices that protect the welfare of animals and improve our soils and biodiversity.
Why does this Action 4 Change matter?
The way we’re using our land and oceans to produce food is doing damage to the earth’s natural resources, with the global food system generating one-third of all human-caused GHG emissions. Nitrogen fertiliser used in farming is a potent greenhouse gas and not only contributes towards our GHG emissions, but causes increased levels of pollution in water.
The use of certain agrochemicals and fertilisers contaminate soil and damage our environment. Many of these substances are toxic to humans and plants. Soil acts as a cleansing mechanism for the earth by filtering out bad contaminates when they enter it. These harmful substances then end up in our water supply leading to adverse effects on humans and other organisms. We must reduce the amount of chemicals used in farming practices to improve soils and protect biodiversity.
Our demand for meat is also resulting in unsustainable farming practices, which brings with it issues relating to animal welfare and antibiotics. Intensive animal farming allows producers to deliver a lot of meat and animal products quickly and cheaply, but it often means very low standards of animal welfare are maintained. To prevent the spread of infection between animals living in extremely cramped conditions, farmers use antibiotics. Animals living in these stressful conditions are more likely to pick up infections, so increasing quantities of antibiotics need to be used. These have knock-on effects for human health, as the large-scale use of antibiotics can lead to the emergence of superbugs which are resistant to treatment and can affect humans.
If we want future generations to be able to produce nutritious food, We must support farmers to find new farming methods that are better for the planet and for the animals.
Youth in Action:
Jackson Richard Buzingo is a youth regenerative agriculture advocate from Tanzania that sees young food producers as powerful actors in transforming our food system. His advocacy stems from his great concern with agrochemical farming practices that work against nature by using damaging pesticides and toxic Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Jackson has seen firsthand the detrimental impacts of monoculture and agrochemical farming in his community and believes strongly in the need to protect soil health. He uses ‘syntropic agroforestry design’ as a solution to restore the health of the forest. Syntropic agroforestry is a method where native plant species that will restore the soil and support crops to grow, are planted in the forest.
In Tanzania Jackson has established demonstration farms to showcase that nature is extremely intelligent and can work by itself to produce bountiful crops. He has also been working with students to teach classes on regenerative agriculture and urban farming methods. Through his work with One More Salary he has been a part of the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) project which aims to curb deforestation and restore soil fertility. In this project Jackson was able to reach more than 1000 smallholder framers to work on strengthening the sustainability of their farming practices.
Jackson has seen rewarding results from his forest farms and will continue to advocate and educate others about the potential of regenerative agriculture and syntropic agroforestry as ways to tackle unsustainable food production practices.
The true transformation of our broken food systems should work with nature not against it. Regeneration of our soil is not an option if we want healthy and nutritious food. Youth communities should take the lead in regenerating soil for the better.”Jackson Buzingo