The seed industry’s role in addressing desertification

The seed industry’s role in addressing desertification

On the African continent the challenge is not only to increase food production to meet the growing demand for food, but also to ensure the sensible use of resources with the view to sustainable production.

“It is critical that we should be aware that the decisions we make regarding food production will impact our natural resources. Equally important is the choices all of us make regarding what we eat, drink, buy, and wear,” says Dr Lukeshi Chetty, General Manager, South African National Seed Organisation (SANSOR).

Focusing on the World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought that was commemorated on 17 June, she reiterated that arable land was vital in Africa and needed to be protected and restored. “Without arable land, food production would be impossible. Soils is a key asset to farmers and together with vegetation, help to store carbon that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere and contribute to climate change.”

World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought was proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1994. This year, the theme was: Rising up from drought together.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that by 2030 Africa will have lost two-thirds of its arable land if it is not stopped.

The term desertification has been defined by the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) as land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas through natural processes as well as human activities.The full article is for subscribed members only. To view the full article please subscribe. It’s FREE!Log In Register

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