Humus is the upper layer of the earth and stores 4x as much of the climate-damaging carbon dioxide (CO2) as all the trees in the world and 2x as much as the atmosphere. Through their cultivation, smallholder farmers promote biodiversity and, with it, the humus layer. If we support smallholder farmers in the Global South economically and technologically, we can stop climate change.
Civil society - the commitment of all citizens is required to stop the extinction of species and thus climate change.
Smallholder farmers typically cultivate the old landraces with high genetic diversity. However, the economic situation of these smallholder farmers is deteriorating due to frequent droughts and lack of irrigation options. As these small farms disappear, we also lose biological diversity (biodiversity) and thus the global climate increasingly deteriorates.
Smallholder farmers in the Global South who have access to micro-irrigation systems and soil monitoring systems (smart farming technology) and are able to apply this technology and knowledge to their fields are able to make their farms economical and sustainable operate. They preserve biological diversity and thus make a significant contribution to stopping climate change.
We make this technology and the knowledge required for it available to smallholder farmers in India and Africa. We particularly support women who can earn their own income and strengthen their equality.
5 minutes reading
A look at the development of agriculture over the past decades
shows how the crisis came about and how smallholder farmers are now
helping to stop the climate change.
Research into high-yielding crops in the 1940s
| Starting in the mid-1940s, the Rockefeller Foundation, in cooperation with the Mexican government, financed research into increasing yields of wheat, corn and beans in order to prevent the threat of hunger.
Agricultural scientist and plant researcher Norman Borlaug succeeded in cultivating high-yielding wheat varieties. These grew faster and were resistant to certain fungal diseases, allowing two and, under favorable climatic conditions, even three harvests a year. By the early 1960s, high-yielding varieties were growing in 95% of all wheat fields in Mexico. By then, crop yields had increased sixfold. Mexico was now self-sufficient and no longer dependent on imports.
Borlaug's successes were spreading.
The "Green Revolution" of the 1960s
In the 35 years after 1960, the world's population was expected to double. An enormous challenge lay ahead to prevent famine. However, Borlaug's success with wheat and corn did not directly benefit the peoples of Asia.
The "Green Revolution" is faltering
Thanks to fast-growing high-yielding varieties, farmers who used to harvest only one crop a year could now produce two or even three harvests. But in the early 1980s, crop yields declined. Something had gone wrong.
Environmental destruction and genetic manipulation
|The extensive use of artificial fertilizers and pesticides and the enormous consumption of water leached out the soil. The result of the "Green Revolution" led and still leads to dramatic environmental destruction and high costs that have to be carried by all populations.
Some people are now pinning their hopes on genetically modified seeds. In Latin America, it is already being used on a large scale in the fields. But genetic manipulation carries the same risk as the "Green Revolution". The consequences are unforeseeable. The patents for the genetically modified seeds are held by a few seed companies, on which farmers are dependent. What is planted is no longer determined by the farmer. What we eat is dictated by a few companies that make the most profit. What risk we all take with this is not foreseeable.
Smallholder farmers offer a way out of this misery. They grow the old natural, sustainable and high-yielding local varieties. Without risk. On the contrary, the variety in the varieties simultaneously ensures biological diversity in the plant and animal world, the so-called biodiversity. This stabilizes the soil and is able to store the climate-damaging CO2 (carbon dioxide). There are currently still 500 million smallholder farmers in the world. They contribute significantly to stopping climate change. But to survive they need economic and technological help.
Humans in harmony with nature
The past decades have shown that biological species diversity (biodiversity) is the prerequisite for overcoming the climate crisis. Smallholder farmers pay attention to this biological diversity when growing crops. They are able to stop climate change worldwide. But they need economic and technological help so that they can do their work and so that they can make a living from it.
The non-profit Smart Farming gGmbH promotes women in agriculture and thus strengthens women's rights in the Global South.
We stand on the threshold
of a new, better world
The knowledge and experience of smallholders, supported by modern technology, make an enormous contribution to preserving biodiversity, protecting the climate and feeding the world.
Modern technology helps to stop climate change.
Understanding what plants need at every moment is key to healthy plant growth and low-impact management. Sensors for soil moisture, soil temperature and nutrients monitor the condition of the plants and soil and automatically activate drip irrigation and fertilization when the plants actually need it. This reduces water consumption by up to 40% and reduces stress on the plants.
On the smartphone, tablet and computer, farmers see the current status of the soil in real time and can take action remotely at any time. As a result, they increase productivity and generate a higher harvest. Water consumption is reduced. The environment, soil and water are protected, the climate is preserved and food quality is improved.
Modern technology changes the farmer's job
Smart farming technology brings together the experience of farmers accumulated over generations with modern agricultural research. This symbiosis frees farmers from the vagaries of the weather. They get direct feedback on the status of their crops via sensors on their smartphones and tablets, and activate drip irrigation on their croplands at any time. Their economic situation improves with stable and higher incomes.
The struggle with the field gives way to a harmonic interaction of the farmer with the soil and the plants. Smart farming makes the profession of farmer attractive to young people again, especially to women. It is a profession that uses modern technologies, the farmer's experience and the knowledge of agricultural science in harmony with nature. We support especially women in the Global South.
The technologies we use secure people's livelihoods.
But there is more to it than that.
It is a matter of a dignified life.
First and foremost, work secures our income and livelihood. But work is more than just that. Smart farming places the work of smallholder farmers in a new light. The way they interact with nature is changing. The struggle with the soil is giving way to a joyful interaction with nature, with the plants. Work brings joy and self-fulfillment to their lives. Smart farming enables a new, modern cultivation of the fields and a harmonic handling of the plants and the soil and brings fulfillment in the work as a farmer.
Prosperity is there for everyone. Modern technologies make prosperity possible for all. Smart farming offers a solution for many people who earn their living in agriculture to achieve a sufficient income. It is an opportunity for smallholder farmers to change their working conditions, and indeed their whole lives.
Today we are at the threshold of a new and better life for all people. The new technologies make it possible. It is in our hands to use them properly.
Participation in social and cultural events is important for social solidarity in society. Engaging with art and culture provides access to the country's history, traditions and cultural values of the world. Participation is only possible if the existence is secured, if the income is sufficient. The goal of Smart Farming gGmbH is to generate an income for the operators of smallholder farms that enables participation for farmers all over the world.
Smart Farming gGmbH is a registered, non-profit organization
controlled by the German tax authorities.
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