Farm Wise: Agroecology

Biowatch SA developed a term called agroecology, a new form of agricultural practice. The NGO advocates for agroecology as a proven way to “farm with nature that is empowering to farmers and promotes food sovereignty – local community control over our food and the way it is produced.” 

Interestingly, Biowatch SA claims that agroecology directly challenges methods of industrial agriculture, and provides far superior food and seed sovereignty guaranteeing healthy food products. 

“We see AGROECOLOGY as a way to work towards FOOD SOVEREIGNTY where the control of seed and land remains in the hands of farmers, and the land is used in an ecologically sustainable way” 

Biowatch SA further makes claims that smallholder farmers using agroecology harvest ‘20-60% more of produce per unit area’ than large agricultural industrial holdings, able to buy less inputs and no toxic chemicals are used. 

Agroecology rejects the use of GMO technologies and advocates for healthy soils. The science employed includes “nurturing the soil and creating the conditions that foster a dynamic balance between species so that pests and diseases are kept in check.” 

Furthermore, Biowatch SA developed EIGHT AGROECOLOGY PRACTICES for smallholder farmers and community farming; 

  1. No synthetic fertilisers
  2. No synthetic pesticides, insecticides or herbicides 
  3. No GMOs or commercial hybrids 
  4. Composting 
  5. Fertility beds (including deep trench beds, double-dig and single-dig beds) 
  6. Use of grey water 
  7. Mulching 
  8. Saving the seed of at least 14 traditional crops

Agroecology sounds more of a science fiction until a reader explores case studies of Thombithini Ndwandwe, Selinah Mncwango, Doris Myeni, Mavis Nhleko, Corinne Mngomezulu. 

Biowatch SA will be hosting a series of seminars in August on learning how to make and use biofertilizers and biopesticides. Should you wish as a smallholder farmer to be notified of when other trainings take place, please email zama@biowatch.org.za

Source: Agroecology is best practice, visit https://biowatch.org.za/download/agroecology-is-best-practice/?wpdmdl=493&refresh=5f1c4d2566c801595690277

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