Farming plots cropped with simple agroecological methods are better at protecting land

"Following Hurricane Mitch in 1998, a large-scale study on 180 communities of smallholders from southern to northern Nicaragua demonstrated that farming plots cropped with simple agroecological methods (including rock bunds or dikes, green manure, crop rotation and the incorporation of stubble, ditches, terraces, barriers, mulch, legumes, trees, plowing parallel to the slope, noburn, live fences, and zero-tillage) had on average 40 per cent more topsoil, higher field moisture, less erosion and lower economic losses than control plots on conventional farms. On average, agroecological plots lost 18 per cent less arable land to landslides than conventional plots and had 69 per cent less gully erosion compared to conventional farms." "More frequent and more severe droughts and floods can be expected in the future; agroecological modes of farming are better equipped to support such shocks. The agroforestry programme developed in Malawi protected farmers from crop failure after droughts, thanks to the improved soil filtration it allowed.51 Indeed, on-farm experiments in Ethiopia, India, and the Netherlands have demonstrated that the physical properties of soils on organic farms improved the drought resistance of crops."

Oliver De Schutter, “Report submitted by the Special Rapporteur on the right to food”, Human Rights Council, A/HRC/16/49: 13

#farming #agriculture #environment #agroecology