A sustainable development consultant says agroecology is a useful solution that can help farmers realise their potential and produce better yields.
Agroecology is the application of ecological concepts and principals in farming. Agroecology promotes farming practices that; mitigate climate change – reducing emissions, recycling resources and prioritising local supply chains.
In an interview with 263Chat during a media sensitization workshop organised by Participatory Ecological Land Use Management Zimbabwe (PELUM), Anna Brazier said the country faces serious soil degradation problems which affects farmers’ yields.
“One of the biggest problems Zimbabwe faces is soil and we have terrible problems of soil degradation and farmers are really struggling to produce yield. They are working very hard year after year and they are failing. Another problem in Zimbabwe is people are trying to grow maize in areas that are not suited to maize. In order to address these problems agroecology is a really useful solution because it gets farmers to understand the underlying issues that are causing their no yields and it helps farmers to identify local solutions.
“So from their area they can identify solutions that do not cost them any money in order to improve their yields and their food security as well as their diets and health. Once they are good at the system they will improve their income because they will be able to sell the surplus. Instead of just trying to grow maize in areas that it does not grow they can be growing many more crops that are much more successful and that gives them a much better yield,” Brazier said.
She said agroecology encourages farmers in addressing issues related to climate change.
“Agroecology has many different ways that it addresses the issue of climate change, it encourages farmers to harvest water and conserve water and obviously when climate change kicks in, people are going to be really struggling for water, rainfall is going to reduce, underground water is going to reduce so people are going to grow things with much less water so agroecology helps farmers to make use of every drop of water and to sink that water into the soil so that its available when they need it for their plants or their domestic needs.” she said.