In cooperation with smallholder communities, AVSF implements agroecology practices for crop and livestock farming that present at least two advantages: they reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by storing more carbon in the soil and by limiting the use of harmful chemical inputs, and they allow smallholders to better adapt to the effects of climate change.
An alarming observation
Published in 2018, the latest report from GIEC (intergovernmental group of climate experts) warned of the disastrous consequences of rising average temperatures.
With a 1.5°C increase, 8 % of plant biodiversity would be lost (18 % with a 2°C increase) and smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa, southeast Asia and Latin America would suffer an alarming drop in agricultural yields. But the effects of climate change are already visible: according to the World Meteorological Organization, over 2 million people worldwide are displaced because of climate-related catastrophes, while over 800 million are undernourished owing in part to long-lasting droughts.
Smallholder communities are the main victims of climate change and its impacts: considerable losses to their harvests, their herds and their other means of subsistence put them at great danger in terms of food insecurity, even though they generate the least amount of greenhouse-gas emissions.
A solution: agroecology
While about 25 % of greenhouse-gas emissions are caused by clearing, agricultural production and fertilization, agroecology is a solution to help prevent and reduce the effects of climate change. That’s why AVSF helps smallholders transition to agroecology by developing practices that are known to improve the resilience of vulnerable families and regions. There are many different agroecology techniques, and they are adapted to each region: diversification of crops relying particularly on agricultural biodiversity, better use of leguminous plants, agroforestry, combination of crop and livestock farming with the use of organic fertilizers, improvement of soil fertility (to increase carbon sequestration) and a sharp drop in, or even elimination of, the use of chemical fertilizers, etc.
AVSF also promotes renewable energies, which reduce in particular the use of firewood and therefore deforestation: in Mali, for instance, small methanization units make use of animal residues as gas for cooking, while using organic fertilizer for the crops; improved fireplaces reduce the quantity of wood used for the cooking of shea processed by women, while solar panels provide the energy needed for pastoral-well pumps and irrigation systems for small market gardens. All of those practices are associated with the strengthening of exchanges between players in the region to coordinate their actions in support of resilient, low-emissions areas.
Providing technical support for 2,000 crop and livestock farming families and local communities to help them jointly manage pastoral resources in the Ferlo region (joint plan for development, pastoral water system, regeneration of vegetation)
Helping 2,000 families overcome climate challenges with drip irrigation and agroecology