vendredi 12 octobre 2018

139- Agroecology -10- The breeding to save the planet


In a TEDx conference in 2013, the famous Zimbabwean biologist and ecologist Allan Savory explained how he was led to recognize his own and dramatic mistakes, to accept what, for him, was inconceivable: the breeding is the best solution to fight against desertification.
Furthermore, stopping desertification and re-vegetating 50% of desertified grasslands, according to him, would allow to return to the atmospheric situation of the pre-industrial era. In other words, we would stop and we would solve global warming.

Image 1: Before: desertification in progress
Image 2: cattle action
Image 3: strong trampling
Image 4: result

But this return to the pre-industrial atmospheric situation, as he explains and demonstrates, can only be done thanks to the breeding. And what is even more surprising is that the larger the flocks, the more beneficial their effect is, provided that they are properly managed.
These techniques, applied correctly, also have the potential to give back a life to degraded soils, to stop their erosion, to increase their potential of storage of rain water, in short, to give back hope to the populations most weakened by these changes.

I am thinking in particular of my dear Dogons of Mali, of whom I have already spoken to you, and for whom I continue to seek solutions (

I recommend you to see this conference to the end, in these times of doubts about the causes of climate change, and about available solutions, but especially at a time when breeding is so challenged by movements opposed to any form of animal exploitation.

However, Allan Savory explains, by proving it thanks to the numerous experiments carried out in the world on millions of hectares of meadows in desertification, how the breeding is the solution to go back.

(You can add subtitles in several languages ​​by clicking on the gear ⚙ on the bottom right of the video).

I want to add that the preservation of grass in agriculture is a technique with comparable effects on soils and climate. It's already widely used by farmers in production methods called conservation agriculture, sowing under plant cover, or simply grass cover on perennial crops. These techniques are developing rapidly because their effectiveness is well established. Millions of hectares around the world have been converted.

Yet, they are gravely threatened with abandonment because of political decisions perverted by an extremist ideology that is falsely interested in the real problems of the environment. The probable prohibition in a short time of glyphosate, whose alleged dangerousness is only a political weapon to fight against GMOs, will put a stop to these fundamental techniques to fight for soil preservation and against global warming climate.
Alternatives to glyphosate do not exist yet. It therefore seems unacceptable to me that this herbicide is thus condemned in the short term and against the opinion of all serious and recognized scientists of the planet, without viable solutions being proposed to the users.

The consequences of this prohibition without alternative will be very serious for the climate, because by forcing farmers to return to plowing, they will release into the atmosphere billions of tons of CO2 and methane, currently imprisoned in unplowed agricultural soils.

How can one, on the first hand, applaud Allan Savory for his work on the fight against desertification and soil erosion, and on the fight against global warming, and on the other hand condemn the agricultural techniques that produce the same effects?

Is there an influential politician really concerned about the future of the planet, able to say out loud that this purely political choice, without any serious scientific basis, is a gross mistake?

Desertification also threatens a large number of agricultural soils in all climates.
Cropping techniques to combat this phenomenon must be promoted, and incentives and training must be put in place to speed up farmers' conversions.
However, by demonizing agriculture, we get the opposite effect, we stop progress and we force a more conservative backtracking.
And it's very serious for the future.

Re-greening desertified areas is a good goal, but blocking solutions that prevent the degradation of agricultural soils will significantly reduce the scope.


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