- Nature-Based Solutions and Agroecology: Business as Usual or an Opportunity for Transformative Change? Nature-based solutions need to be diversity-based. Let’s look at some example, shall we? Buckle up…
- The productive performance of intercropping. Meta-analysis shows intercropping leads to more land sparing and more protein compared to monoculture.
- Sparing or expanding? The effects of agricultural yields on farm expansion and deforestation in the tropics. Ouch, increasing yield results more often in higher deforestation than lower. If only they had gone for intercropping…
- Crop mixtures outperform rotations and landscape mosaics in regulation of two fungal wheat pathogens: a simulation study. …or crop mixtures.
- Intensified rice production negatively impacts plant biodiversity, diet, lifestyle and quality of life: transdisciplinary and gendered research in the Middle Senegal River Valley. And just to be clear, agricultural expansion can be bad for both farmers and the environment.
- Drivers and consequences of archetypical shifting cultivation transitions. Being able to charge rent is the main driver of the move away from shifting cultivation, but the environmental results depend on what system replaces it.
- Contribution of the biodiversity of edible plants to the diet and nutritional status of women in a Zapotec communities of the Sierra Norte, Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s the older, less educated housewives that are more nature-based, and all the better for it.
- Six Underutilized Grain Crops for Food and Nutrition in China. That would be barley, buckwheat, broomcorn millet, foxtail millet, oat, and sorghum, which would certainly make a nature-based breakfast of champions.
- Traditional crops and climate change adaptation: insights from the Andean agricultural sector. Growing traditional crops in the Andes may be less profitable, but it is more resilient to climate change. Unclear which of the two options is more nature-based, though. And has anyone told China?
- Opportunities and Challenges of Indigenous Food Plant Farmers in Integrating into Agri-Food Value Chains in Cape Town. To take advantage of nature-based solutions in South Africa, you have to know about local nature.
- Community Seedbanks in Uganda: Fostering Access to Genetic Diversity and Its Conservation. More research is needed to figure out how community seedbanks can be at their nature-based best.
One Reply to “Brainfood: NbS, Intercropping, Sparing, Mixtures, Intensification, Shifting cultivation, Mexican wild foods, Chinese NUS, Andean crops, South African indigenous foods, Uganda community seedbanks”
Nature-based solutions. This assumes, with no evidence at all, that Nature is always species-diverse. It supposes that in our management of natural ecosystems we have always lowered diversity and this change needs to be reversed by increasing biodiversity. This is simply silly fact-free nonsense. There are very many natural ecosystems that are `pure’ one-plant species monodominant. Some are essential for ecosystem services. I used to curate (and manage) vast areas of Rhizophora mangroves in the lagoon and vast beds of sea-grass on the reef flats on an atoll. I grew up in a town with 60km of coastline with vast swathes of monodominant marram-grass (Ammophila) on the sand-dunes and similar dominance of Spartina on the mud-flats. There is a vast area of wild rice in the Indus estuary.
If you want to copy nature then these tough survivors are the thing to treasure, not the species of mixed vegetation that are too weak to exclude other weak species. That’s what `diverse’ vegetation actually is, composed of species too weak to become monodominant. It is beyond belief that the authors want all fields to be like that. Janzen had worked this out 50 years ago.
Monodominant vegetation is resistant to any (or most) pest and disease pressures: it has to be to survive.
Farmers need to follow the rice model—monodominant paddies—and not the `milpa’ model (more garden than field).