Biodiversity and farming

The way that farmers grow crops and raise animals can be either good or bad for biodiversity. On one hand, farmers can support biodiversity through careful sustainable farming and organic or ecological farming methods. On the other hand, some industrial farming practices can harm the environment and organisms on and near the farm. Use of pesticides, for example, can have unexpected and unwanted effects in killing other species and polluting watercourses and when farms leave no wild spaces for nature to thrive there is a loss of habitat for bees, an essential pollinator.

In some areas, farming brings enormous changes to the landscape. In parts of the Amazon, large tracts of forests have been cut down and replaced by mono-culture (one crop) farming or pastures for cattle grazing. These changes reduce the number and variety of habitats available for species. Without suitable habitats, hundreds of species, including trees, plants, animals and birds, can no longer live in the area. The end result is a loss of biodiversity.

However, when farmers design their farms to minimise changes to the natural landscape and work to enhance biodiversity on and around the farm, they can have a very positive impact on biodiversity. Innovation in farming promise a new, sustainable method of food production.

Watch some of the videos below to find out more.

Cattle-ranching: biggest threat to Amazon rainforest

Cattle-ranching has been the key driver for deforestation in Brazil, responsible for 80 percent of the cleared lands. But in the municipality of Sao Felix do Xingu which has had the biggest drop in deforestation in the country, cattle farmers have learned to produce meat more sustainably.

Australia’s biodiversity: Farming, pastoralism and forestry

Australian agriculture provides food and fibre for millions of people in Australia and around the world but it has had a dramatic impact on Australia’s biodiversity. Dr Sue McIntyre talks about the different intensities of agriculture in operation across Australia and what the research is telling us about better managing those practices to support biodiversity.

Organic Sustainable Farming is the Future of Agriculture | The Future of Food

In this film, organic market gardeners Frank and Josje talk about how Community Supported Agriculture fits into a new story for food growing. CSA members help farmers to grow the best quality vegetables and to nurture healthy soils by committing to receive a vegetable box every week for a season. That way, the farmer can get on with growing great food and sending it direct to their customers, bypassing supermarket chains, which drive conventional growers to produce less nutritious vegetables in ways that damage the soil.

How can a small farmer earn Rs 15 lakh from multilayer farming?

Akash Chaurasia is a marginal farmer from Bundelkhand, Madhya Pradesh. With low cost and innovative farming technique, Akash earns nearly 15 lakhs from his 2.5 acres (1ha) farm through multi-layer cropping and other allied agriculture practices.

Ex-Techie who is revolutionising farming | Shankar Venkataraman

Shankar was a successful techie in Calfornia, living the Indian dream until his baby girl was hit by eczema, a disease that is caused due to the chemicals in pesticides used to grow food. This turned his world upside down and lead to creating a whole community of organic farmers in his homeland India.

Next Gen Farming Without Soil and 90% Less Water | GRATEFUL

Vertical farming with Tower Gardens is on the ‘rise’ and rightfully so. You can grow a variety of plants without ANY soil and 90% LESS water. It also requires 10x less space so you can do a lot more in a smaller area. That means easily growing fresh herbs, fruits, vegetables, and flowers both indoors and out. And because everything is grown and picked fresh, the flavour is unbelievable!

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