For years now, our small farmer co-op partners have been struggling to keep their land, continue farming, supply us with high quality products, provide food for their families, and earn a dignified livelihood. They have to do this for the most part without support from public or private sectors. Governments have generally disinvested in agriculture, particularly small scale agriculture, banks don’t lend to campesinos or small-scale co-operative enterprises, resources for training and technical assistance are virtually non-existent. Now, due to unpredictable climatic changes, they now have to do all this and do it while confronting droughts during the rainy seasons; frosts during the summer seasons; excessive rainfall during the dry seasons; hurricane-like winds that blow fruit off the trees; unusually high tides that salinate farmlands; and so on; and so on.
On a positive note, organic agriculture has been receiving attention for its contribution to healthy farms, people, and food. Recently we are also beginning to hear more and more about the benefits that micro-organisms play in soil productivity, and the benefits that soil plays in sequestering carbon from the air….. all this gives us new hope that strategies do exist to reverse climate change….
We just need to learn more about the way that small scale producers are caring for the soil, water, forests, and eco-systems, support them in their efforts to steward the environment, and take action here in the North to stop polluting our resources and spewing more carbon dioxide into the air.
In the following article, Ronnie Cummins, Director of the Organic Consumers Association, writes about the power of regenerative agriculture to solve many of the crises we face today.
Read the article here.