Agroecology is notorious for improving food productivity and financial strength whilst cooling the planet. This call has been made at a convergence of the Foundation’s volunteers to mark EarthDay 2021.
According to a media release from HOMEF after the convergence, “The party of Mother Earth, is a celebration of life, of earth-restoring clinics in addition to a denunciation of clinics which destroy biodiversity and life-sustaining ecosystems across the globe.”
Dr. Daniel Ugwu, a lecturer at the Federal College of Agriculture in Ishiagu, Ebonyi State, speaking during the event highlighted the links between industrial agriculture and the environmental/climate challenges which the world is battling with. According to him, industrial agriculture does a lot of damage to the environment through intensive farming of arid lands and unsustainable utilization of resources such as water and fossil fuels. He added that industrial agriculture contributes 25-30% of global greenhouse gas emissions; causes biodiversity loss because of the entrenchment of monocultures and heavy use of inorganic herbicides, fertilizers and pesticides which pollute surface and soil water, aquifers and coastal wetlands and create ecological imbalance.
The volunteers called for its adoption of agroecology as it unites local and scientific knowledge and implements environmental and societal strategies to agricultural systems. “Agroecology employs methods that minimise or exclude the usage of fossil fuels, inorganic compound inputs; is not based on large-scale mono-cropping, but encourages natural agricultural procedures like crop diversification, natural soil fertility and biological control of pests,” they stressed.
Based on Joyce Ebebeinwe, HOMEF’s Programme Manager, agroecology is not merely a practice and science but also a movement that emphasizes the respect for and protection of the rights of farmers to store, reuse and share seeds.
After group discussions on how and why the requirement to restore the earth, the volunteers came up with workable solutions. Miss Tobi Wale, representing her team, first highlighted the challenges confronting the Earth such as the increasing global warming, biodiversity loss, species extinction (over 500 species at the brink of extinction), plastic pollution, and incidence of diseases and pandemics.
Miss OduduAbasi Asuquo, also speaking on behalf of her team stressed that the recorded problems necessitate earth restoration actions because we only have one Earth and actions must be taken to ensure that it remains habitable for its present and unborn generations.
To close the knowledge gap about the significance of agroecology, the volunteers called for investment in research on agroecology, provision of adequate extension service to farmers, and formulation/implementation of policies that recognise and support agroecology as a workable solution to the food and climate problems.
Besides the investment in agroecology and desisting from damaging industrial agricultural procedures, restoring the ground may also be done through education that prevents people from interfering with natural cycles; tree planting and growth of gardens; enforcement of policies in addition to penalties and sanctions for harms against the earth; recycling/avoiding single use plastics and responsible utilization of energy.
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