FunNature & AnimalRegenerative agriculture: the potential of a still little known...

Regenerative agriculture: the potential of a still little known alternative

Who has never thought of the idyllic idea of setting up a garden and it has ended up being a disaster? At least in my case, the false belief of having to put high amounts of fertilizer, ended up burning the few fruits of my work …

To face the effects of climate change, to take care of the cultivated land and incidentally, to serve as a front for completely industrialized monocultures; regenerative agriculture is born, an alternative whose main objective is to cultivate naturally, that is, without using chemical fertilizers to recover the quality of the soil throughout the process, and not the opposite.

A group of CREAF researchers who have spent more than three years studying regenerative orchards in La Garrotza, in Catalonia, within the framework of a European Life program. As they say in an interview for 324, this type of agriculture ” stores about 30 times more atmospheric carbon than a conventional one .” This is due to the fact that they are fertilized with natural products such as animal feces or organic matter from the garden itself, which, in addition to providing nutrients to the plants, make the soil retain much more water (specifically between 15% and one 20% more).

Maria Josep Broncano, CREAF technician in the project, tells 324 that “a soil capable of holding more water can soften the effects of floods and erosion in the event of heavy rains. Likewise, this capacity can also help crops to withstand severe arid conditions, such as droughts, which are increasingly frequent in the Mediterranean due to climate change. “

But the story does not end here, beyond agriculture, the team has also studied the effects that livestock has when grazing. It turns out that fields managed with animals are capable of sequestering three times more carbon a year than those using herbicides or industrial machinery. In fact, in the experimental gardens, an attempt has been made to integrate the animal-plant balance , a key piece of the regenerative model, using cows, rabbits and chickens that were fed on a different plot each day.

Javier Retana, also a member of the CREAF team, tells 324 that “it is not about going back, but only about what is beneficial. For example, in the regenerative model the land is not tilled and the soil is not left bare or bare, and no chemicals are used. Regarding emissions, the model reduces them by 40% thanks to the non-use of fertilizers and thanks to the fact that practically no heavy machinery is used on the farm ”.

In conclusion, scientists say that in a short time they have managed to recover abandoned crops and create jobs . For this reason, they argue that it is worth making an effort to get initial investments to raise projects of this type through government aid, as well as to attract young people back to the countryside and thus the growing rural depopulation. “The European Union is promoting everything a lot and the aid is yet to come. We have lost rural areas and we cannot afford it. Either we recover it or we have no future,” concludes Javier Retana.

References: (2021, September 10). An orchard capable of capturing up to 30 times more CO2 per year.

Justamante, Á. (2021, October 18). What is regenerative agriculture? CREAF.

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