Faced with the inevitability of the future lack of resources and alternatives, experts agree in promoting the implementation of the regenerative agriculture, a set of techniques, which promote soil life, make use of natural by-products of livestock farming and do not use chemicals or external inputs.
In an article in El País of 9 December 2023, researcher and farmer Marc Gràcia states that “(…) The results are obvious: less extension of soil is used, less is spent and more is produced”.
Agriculture and livestock farming are increasingly suffering the consequences of climate change in the form of droughts, stormy rains or unexpected frosts, many of whose problems stem originally from soil problems and unbalanced ecosystems, as well as from the application of herbicides and pesticides, or synthetic fertilisers, which promote nitrous oxide (N₂O₂) and greenhouse gases.
On the other hand, regenerative agriculture advocates direct seeding, ie, not tilling the soil to prevent soil erosion,
by favouring vegetation coverage, which avoids the release of carbon dioxide (CO₂), retains rainwater, regulates soil temperature and promotes biodiversity,
by grazing as a tool for pasture control and soil fertilisation,
and finally, by the generation of a microbiological community in living soil.
Regarding the latter, the essential help of beneficial soil micro-organisms ensures greater water infiltration and retention, making the soil more resilient to bad weather, while at the same time providing plants with nutrients and strengthening them against disease. In addition, the more organic matter present, the more carbon is retained in the soil and is no longer emitted into the atmosphere, thus also contributing to climate change mitigation.
These techniques reduce costs and increase yields year after year, making the soil more and more fertile.
However, the transition to regenerative agriculture often involves an initial drop in production in the first year, due to biological pest control, until the insects regulate each other through the food chain, and while the initially poor soil regenerates and forms the microorganisms in organic matter that will colonise it and work the miracle.
130 countries have signed up at COP28 in support of regenerative agriculture and its holistic and sustainable approach to food production, knowing that by adopting these principles we not only grow healthy crops, but also contribute to restoring ecosystems, mitigating climate change and building stronger and more resilient farming communities.
The transition to regenerative agriculture is not only an option, but an urgent necessity in building a sustainable and equitable future.