Monday 6 June 2011

Agriculture and the Green Economy

Global agriculture coalition Farming First has produced a series of graphics which clearly demonstrate the role of agriculture in helping to address the global problems of poverty and environmental degradation through building resilient economies and improving sustainability.

Section 6 in ‘Agriculture and the Green Economy’ highlights the potential losses that agriculture could face as a result of climate change…

…while highlighting the role that it could have in reducing carbon emissions:

What fascinated me were the graphics relating to soil degradation caused by humans, which has resulted in 1035 million hectares of land worldwide suffering from poor soils as a result of human activity.

But the flip side of this is the benefits that conservation agriculture (maintaining ground cover, minimising soil disturbance and cultivations, and increasing crop diversity via rotation) can bring, as shown in this graphic relating to Ghana.  Switching to conservation tillage reduced annual per-hectare soil loss from a staggering 313 tonnes to less than two, and reduced water runoff by almost 99%.