Across Africa, local farmers are developing pioneering ways to increase agricultural sustainability, reduce the impact of global warming and climate change, and increase profits. One of the techniques in question is a process known as “intercropping”, which appears to offer an important way to minimize the damage posed by climate change without sacrificing agricultural production.
In Rwanda, some farmers have begun planting banana trees alongside coffee plants. The mixing of food and cash crops allows farmers to feed their families while waiting for upcoming coffee harvests. In addition, the practice of mixing banana and coffee production has been lucrative for the farmers who are pioneering it. The banana tree offers needed shade for delicate coffee plants while simultaneously trapping carbon, reducing greenhouse gases.
Some of the farmers who have utilized intercropping have reported higher coffee yields and have tripled their income without increasing their land use.
Farm innovation, many scientists say, is the only way to guarantee a sustainable future. More intensive and more innovative farming, which can feed an increasing population without requiring more land and more resources, is the only option left to feed the planet while avoiding war, instability, and global famine, many experts believe.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer