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  • Matthew & Kata

Land Sharing of Land Sparing Debate Part 3.

As a final offering on the land-sharing/land sparign debate:

Land sharing on the other hand allows an a co-existence of food production and biodiversity, which if well balanced can continue indefinitely providing both rich natural habitats and productive farming. Some (often vested interests) assert that agro-ecological farming will not be able to feed growing populations, but the evidence for this is very sparse and a number of studies have shown that well managed agro-ecological and regenerative systems can be highly productive, whilst minimising resource inputs. We should also bear in mind that farming has co-evolved in landscapes over millennia, and very often traditional and adapted traditional farming methods can provide ecological niches for certain species which would be threatened without diverse, mosaic agricultural and natural landscapes.

Ultimately, setting land sharing in opposition to land-sparing is unhelpful. Land areas can exist in parallel, which respectively primarily serve nature or serve food production - but with a healthy, balanced farming system the two are not in opposition. What we do need to challenge is the intensification of agriculture wherever it takes place. We should be very awake to those who would marginalise land sharing. Most likely they are representing vested interests (for example the agro-pharma industries, whose business it is to profit from the supply of outside inputs to agriculture). Farming is and should always be first and foremost a biologically mediated activity. The closer farming is able to immulate the processes and cycles to be found in natural systems, the more likely it is to have a long-term future.

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