Regenerative agriculture as a drought solution
The lack of water is worsening the already difficult situation in the farms. For the farmers of Farmers Farm, who farm in a semi-desert area of the Granada Geopark, drought is a threat they face on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, the risk of desertification affects many other areas of Spain. According to the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, water stress and aridity now cover more than 365,000 square kilometres.
Due to climate change, dry spells are becoming more intense and longer lasting. It is not raining. Added to this is the scarcity of water caused by increased consumption and the pressure of human activity on water reserves. Getting water to irrigate crops is mission impossible.
This is why the farmers at Farmers Farm have seen regenerative agriculture as the best way to sustainably and ecologically transform dry land into fertile fields. Among the principles of this agricultural model are the control of soil erosion and water retention, which is essential in the Altiplano de Granada area, which has an average rainfall of 300 mm per year.
The American farmer Gabe Brown, a pioneer in regenerative land management, established that in order to carry out regenerative agriculture, the soil must be rehabilitated and its fertility restored. This is vital:
- Minimise tillage and carry out non-invasive ploughing
- Protecting vegetation cover to slow runoff
- Preserving the living roots of perennial crops
- Enhancing biodiversity
- Integrating livestock
Agricultural drought in facts
Drought is a challenge for the planet. Water scarcity affects more than 40% of the world’s population and this percentage is expected to increase. More than 1.7 billion people now live in river basins where water consumption exceeds recharge.
On the other hand, approximately 70% of all water abstracted from rivers, lakes and aquifers is used for irrigation. This water footprint extends over 330 million hectares. According to the World Bank, irrigated agriculture accounts for 20% of the total cultivated area, but contributes 40% of total food production worldwide.
In addition, agriculture and livestock farming are the two primary activities that pollute water the most with discharges of pesticides, phosphates and nitrates.
At Farmers Farm we partner with small local producers who not only do not overexploit resources, but also regenerate them. We know that regenerative farms, in addition to producing profitable crops, must protect nature, soil and water.