Anthropogenic climate change, rapid population growth, deforestation and poor management of land leading to devastation mean current agricultural approaches both in Australia and across the world must change. Industrial farming is simply not an option for the future and good governance and agricultural innovation are required to both protect the environment and tackle the uncertainties of climate change.
Innovation is however challenging to introduce and to drive positive, innovative change in land management there must be achievable incentives for agriculturists and at the same time education of consumers. Large grocery players in Australia also have an important part to play in land management and need to lift their game.
Regenerative agriculture aims to enhance and restore “resilient systems” and focuses on restoring and enhancing soil health that has been degraded by traditional agriculture. Importantly regenerative agriculture creates better quality nutrient dense food and provides other ecosystem services including soil carbon sequestration, improved soil water retention, higher crop yields and healthier communities. Regenerative farming practices are apparently increasing however it is estimated that under 2% of Australian farmers practice regenerative agriculture.
Farmers often feel a “sense of alienation” when they transition to the path of regenerative agriculture and there has been limited research conducted on the challenges farmers face when shifting from industrial farming practices to a relatively new approach that is based on conservation and adaptive management. There must be consideration of the often fluctuating seasonal darkness of being a farmer as the sound mental health of farmers is a critical component of this new paradigm in agriculture.
Join us for this thought provoking podcast with the man described by some as the godfather and leader of regenerative agriculture in Australia, Charlie Massy.