There is an obvious convergence between the need to move away from industrial farming based on chemicals and mechanization to a type of farming that is more ecological and based on the rhythms and resilience of nature. From the FAO to the various national and international farmers’ organizations, people are asking how we can produce food while protecting the environment. The starting point is the need to regard the soil as a substrate to be defended and allowed to regenerate. This is why we increasingly speak of cultivating the soil to defend it and restore its fertility.
The 4×1000 Initiative is one of the tools that should help make this convergence a concrete reality. Its platform offers an opportunity to bring together information, publications, experience and ideas of those who are working towards this goal. It is not the only one, however. For a little over a decade a group of farmers and researchers have been collaborating on the creation of “Agricology“. Their starting point was the need to rethink cultivation methods in order to avoid decreases in soil fertility and pest control as well as the increase in input costs. Their aim is to share their knowledge in order to create systems of farming that are more efficient, resilient and profitable. This is sustainable farming that uses agroecological techniques such as reduced working of the soil, cover crops and the reintegration of livestock.
We think our readers may be particularly interested in a 12 part publication “Know your soils” which helps farmers to look at the soil through different eyes in order to reconsider its value and the way that it is used.