As farmers deal with the daunting challenges caused by climate change, the growing loss of cultivable land and a global pandemic, our agricultural systems must be rebuilt so that they can better adapt to and overcome future crises in order to guarantee our food security. We must help our farmers build more resilience into our agricultural systems.
One very promising solution involves agricultural practices that regenerate the soil. For example, keeping plants in the fields year-round helps to sustain all the micro-organisms in the soil, which in turn nourishes the crops. These practices also help to capture carbon from the atmosphere, representing an underused tool to mitigate climate change.
Did you know that cultivable farmland is gradually disappearing? On a global scale, we have only 60 years of arable land left. This is all the more alarming considering that our population is growing and that nearly a third of the food we produce goes to waste!
The good news is that we can actually reverse this trend! Équiterre is working on this important issue, but we’ll need your support in the years ahead to promote and bring about a sustainable agri-food transition across the country.
The agricultural community is already very aware of the need to preserve soil health. But the role that healthy agricultural lands play in climate change mitigation is not yet well known. Nevertheless, many farmers across Canada, including members of the Farmers for Climate Solutions coalition, which Équiterre joined in 2019, are implementing innovative management practices to preserve or regenerate the soil.
Farmers need support from all aspects of society as they transition to regenerative agricultural practices. Individually and as a community, we have a duty to make informed decisions to help them.
At Équiterre, we are committed to seeking the necessary public policy changes to encourage and support farmers in their efforts to adopt healthy soil practices. To successfully navigate the transition, we believe that farmers must take ownership of it and the public must support it.
Some of the Quebec farmers leading on this front will soon be highlighted through Équiterre’s Soil Conservation Showcase project. We must celebrate these innovators who are paving the way. We must spread their message far and wide to inspire others to take action and help climate agriculture take root.
Équiterre is also working with Canadian experts on a report detailing the best agricultural practices for soil health and innovative policies and programs that can encourage widespread adoption of these practices. We look forward to sharing the report with you, once it comes out this fall.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Help show decision-makers that the movement is gaining steam by pledging your support to Farmers for Climate Solutions as a farmer or non-farmer. You can also help by following Farmers for Climate Solutions on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and by sharing our content with your networks.
To show your support for Quebec farmers who are implementing healthy soil techniques, visit the Soil Conservation Showcase blog page, and like the videos.
To ensure that we can continue to feed our population, we must urgently work together to transition our agricultural and food systems towards healthy soil practices to help us mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Part of the solution lies beneath our very feet! Let’s work together to get the message out.
TO LEARN MORE
- Brief on a proposed new Resilient Agriculture program
- Increase resilience and mitigate the agricultural impacts of climate change
- Équiterre’s brief on the climate emergency
Nadine Bachand, Project manager, Agriculture and Climate | Équiterre
Alice Feuillet, Project manager, Agriculture and Climate | Équiterre