[7 April/Rural Life]

Asian farmers were growing rice and rearing fish in the same fields to increase income and reduce weeds. Eco-farming techniques could deliver environmentally friendly food for a growing world whilst increasing farmers’ earnings and making farms more resilient to climate change, according to campaigners. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation Regional Programme Leader, Pasquale Steduto, said agriculture was in transition and that climate change caused uncertainty. Global food production was based on extensive use of costly chemical fertilisers and pesticides which impact the environment. Former French Agriculture Minister, Stephane Le Foll, added that there were three big challenges; climate change, food security and the connection between agriculture, forestry, economy and employment. He said the solution was ecological agriculture. Soil absorbs carbon from the atmosphere naturally. Co-Founder of Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, Million Belay, said philanthrocapitalists like Bill Gates and others promote commercial agriculture.