Agroecology is known for enhancing food productivity and economic resilience while cooling Earth.
According to a media release from HOMEF following the convergence, “The celebration of Mother Earth, is a celebration of life, of earth-restoring practices in addition to a denunciation of practices which destroy biodiversity and life-sustaining ecosystems throughout the world.”
Dr. Daniel Ugwu, a lecturer in the Federal College of Agriculture at Ishiagu, Ebonyi State, talking during the occasion highlighted the connections between industrial agriculture and the environmental/climate challenges which the world is fighting. According to him, industrial agriculture does lots of harm to the environment through intensive farming of arid lands and unsustainable utilization of resources like water and fossil fuels. He added that industrial agriculture contributes 25-30% of global greenhouse gas emissions; causes biodiversity loss due to the entrenchment of monocultures and significant usage of inorganic herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers which pollute surface and soil water, aquifers and coastal wetlands and create ecological imbalance.
The researchers called for the adoption of agroecology as it combines local and scientific knowledge and applies ecological and societal approaches to agricultural systems. “Agroecology employs methods that minimise or exclude the use of fossil fuels, inorganic compound inputs; isn’t based on large-scale mono-cropping, but supports natural agricultural processes like crop diversification, natural soil fertility and biological control of pests,” they stressed.
Based on Joyce Ebebeinwe, HOMEF’s Programme Manager, agroecology isn’t merely a science and practice but also a movement that highlights the respect for and protection of their rights of farmers to save, share and reuse seeds.
After group discussions on why and how they need to restore our earth, the volunteers came up with viable solutions. Miss Tobi Wale, representing her team, first highlighted the challenges facing the Earth such as rising global warming, biodiversity loss, species extinction (over 500 species at the brink of extinction), plastic pollution, and prevalence of diseases and pandemics.
Miss OduduAbasi Asuquo, also speaking on behalf of her team stressed that the listed problems require earth restoration actions because we only have one Earth and actions has to be taken to ensure that it remains habitable for its current and unborn generations.
To close the knowledge gap on the significance of agroecology, the volunteers known for investment in research on agroecology, provision of sufficient extension service to farmers, and formulation/implementation of policies that recognise and support agroecology as a viable solution to the climate and food problems.
Besides the investment in agroecology and desisting from harmful industrial agricultural processes, restoring the ground can also be achieved through education that prevents people from interfering with natural cycles; tree planting and growth of gardens; authorities of policies in addition to fines and sanctions for harms against the ground; recycling/avoiding only use plastics and accountable utilization of energy.