Environmentalists have long been pushing for the use of regenerative agriculture, an alternative approach to farming they say can help the world’s poorest farmers and fight global food insecurity. Some experts say the biggest limitation of the approach may be just convincing enough of the world to adopt it.
Proponents of regenerative farming say the root of the world’s food insecurity problem is the way we grow food.
According to the the U.N.’s 2013 Trade and Environment Review, the most widely used farming system is responsible for 43 percent to 57 percent of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions and results in the loss of 50 percent to 75 percent of cultivated soils’ natural carbon content.
The loss of vital nutrients in soil is due in part to overuse of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The additives can also reduce resilience to flood and drought by removing the protective barrier provided by organic carbon.
This degenerative approach to farming has contributed to the rising sea levels, erratic rainfall and changing growing patterns associated with climate change; a new reality that threatens the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s poorest people.