I believe that farmers should not be pressured or forced into running unsustainable farms.
Although a lack of understanding about the negative implications of tilling and about maintaining productive soils may be a reason why farmers are continuing to farm in this way, there are also plenty of farmers who want to make the change, but it is too difficult for them. For example, in "Kiss the Ground", it was mentioned that tilled fields that produce animal field guarantee a profit. And, for someone who makes a living off of their farm, other sustainable farming options may be too risky for them.
I envision a world in which farmers are educated and supported so that they can move from maintaining monoculture farms that use strategies such as tilling, to farms that are more biodiverse and do not employ destructive techniques.
An intervention that could help with this is changing the requirements to secure subsidies. Note that my proposition is to change the requirements for existing subsidies, rather than introducing new ones. This is because simply adding new subsidies will not erase or cancel the impact of the other subsidies (which are more easily secured by monoculture farms that ultimately feed livestock). A specific type of support could be to provide farmers with funds to get a no-till drill (which was brought up in "Kiss the Ground"). This helps to retain water, promote the growth of microorganisms, and prevent runoff. This is a simple target for farmer financial support, but there are many other areas that can be amended to help farmers run more sustainable farms.
Hi Nav I really liked your idea of supporting and educating the farmers! It is so important for the farmers to acknowledge the importance of sustainable farms and actually bring it into action since they are the group of people who work with soil the most.
Really like your suggestion about subsidies!
I don't know much about farmers in Canada or other western countries, I think the education and support for farmers in western countries are really far better than in other countries, but at the same time, western countries seem to face far more problems than other countries.
Where I come from, farmers are relatively uneducated, government subsidies are inadequate, emerging technologies are not widely used, and we have experienced serious pesticide disaster problems before, but in recent years, through human control and the breeding of various genetically modified crops, these problems seem to have disappeared in an instant.
The situation is not different from country to country, and I think we can learn from the strengths of other countries to make up for our own shortcomings.
I support the idea that farmers should cooperate with environmental protection agencies and governments to develop more sustainable agriculture. In order to do this, it would be a good way for the government to introduce some relevant policies or welfare subsidies, so as to make farmers more willing to develop sustainable agriculture.
I also hope there are more educated farmers in the future to maintain the sustainability of the farm.
Hey Navkiran, your suggestion to educate and provide alternative methods to agricultural practice is super valid and I really appreciate it. However, I was wondering what do you think will happen if limiting tilling results in a decreased health and fitness of some crops? I would imagine if no tilling laws were implemented some food products could be affected in regards to public availability. This would ultimately have economical ramifications. Do you have any suggestions on how we can make the planet, farmers and consumers happy? Or do you think someone is going to have to make a sacrifice?
I really like your vision on educating and supporting farmers!
I like the idea of providing more support and educating farmers of the benefits of sustainable farming practices!
Hi Navkiran! This is so interesting, I agree that if there was more support for farmers maybe they would focus on creating a sustainable farm.