What would have happened had our great great fathers ways of farming had not been tampered with? They used no chemicals, practiced mixed farming, left land to regenerate naturally and valued trees….they practiced organic farming. Things have changed with all manner of chemicals and technologies being used on the farms and it’s said that all these were introduced to enhance the farming system’s productivity. Did our grand fathers not produce enough without them? While I have no doubt about these good intentions, am deeply worried about the unfolding trends with current farming practices. Never than before, we are plagued by unending droughts and famine, farmers complain of low yields and the ever increasing demand chemical fertilizers and pesticides – where subsequent usage has to be higher than the previous one for the same results. How is this sustainable?

Effects of drought

And in an otherwise familiar trend, which many now fear could turn into a culture of sorts, diplomats and international celebrities in large 4x4s make their way into plagued hamlets to start the seemingly familiar and never-ending array of international aid appeals and humanitarian campaigns for the hunger stricken populace. Would we be here had we not adopted the conventional farming practices? I would say no.

Organic agriculture is the way to go. It uses techniques such as green manure, compost and natural pest control to maintain soil productivity, it has the potential to help farmers attain food security for their families, cut down on cost of inputs therefore saving more, and hence lessen their dependence on aid while ensuring environmental sustainability.