Maximizing Photosynthesis and Root Exudates through Regenerative Agriculture to Increase Soil Organic Carbon to Mitigate Climate Change
To shift from a significant emitter to a major mitigator of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, agriculture needs to change from the current dominant paradigm of chemically intensive, industrial/conventional systems to regenerative systems by focusing on plant biology and living soil sciences. Maximizing photosynthesis to capture and convert atmospheric CO2 into organic molecules to store as soil organic carbon (SOC) would be an effective carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technology to mitigate climate change.
The world reached 420 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere in May 2022. The Global Carbon Budget report estimated that atmospheric CO2 reached an annual average of 417.2 ppm in 2022.
Regenerative agriculture is based on a range of food and farming systems that maximize the photosynthesis of plants to capture CO2 and use organic matter biomass and root exudates to store it as SOC. It can be applied to all agricultural sectors, including cropping, grazing, and perennial horticulture. Meta-reviews and other published studies have found that transitioning to regenerative agriculture systems can result in more sequestration than emissions from agriculture, turning agriculture from a significant emitter to a major mitigator of GHG emissions.
The Science-based Evidence to Ban Glyphosate and GMOs
The U.S. Bullies Mexico over its Sovereign Right to Ban Glyphosate and GMO Corn.
Mexico announced that it was phasing out the use of glyphosate herbicides, the cultivation of GMO corn, and the import of GMO corn for human consumption and livestock feed by the end of 2024. The reasons for the decree given by Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador are to protect the health of Mexico’s consumers and small-scale farmers, the environment, and the purity of Mexico’s native corn varieties.
The decree states, “With the objective of achieving self-sufficiency and food sovereignty, our country must be oriented towards establishing sustainable and culturally adequate agricultural production, through the use of agroecological practices and inputs that are safe for human health, the country’s biocultural diversity and the environment, as well as congruent with the agricultural traditions of Mexico.”
Bayer-Monsanto and Dow have since launched 43 lawsuits in Mexico attempting to overturn the presidential decree.
The Cuban Paradox
Landing in Cuba is like approaching a vibrant emerald in the middle of the sea. Fields full of shades of green are scattered throughout the island’s territory in orderly plots; various grids of all sizes, some with small groups of cattle. Among these farms, several vacant lots stand out, demarcated despite not having much vegetation or signs of any intervention. The land available for farming seems to abound before my eyes.
What brings me to Cuba is the eighth International Encounter of Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, Nutritional Education and Cooperativism, organised by the National Association of Small Farmers (ANAP). It’s an opportunity to exchange knowledge, immerse in the island’s agricultural dynamics, and foster solidarity among the peoples of the Americas. These gatherings bring awareness to the multiple impacts of the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed on the Cuban people by the U.S. government for over 60 years.