Enough Deforestation, let’s talk Afforestation
Towards the beginning of 2016, India’s forests covered almost 25% of all land making our country the 10th greenest in the world! While battling continued deforestation, we managed to increase forest cover in India by almost 4000 square-kilometres in just 7 years – a remarkable feat.
On the other hand, deforestation is still a major concern across the globe. To put things into perspective, here’s an alarming statistic: forest area equivalent of 50 football fields disappears every minute across the world and raises a question; what is causing this massive rate of deforestation?
The primary reason for this is slash-and-burn farming, a resource-intensive method which is not sustainable. Illegal logging and infrastructure development are the other reasons which contribute significantly to deforestation.
The good news is that wider use of modern farming technologies can accelerate productivity improvements so that tomorrow’s food demands could be met with existing farmland. This will eliminate the need for further deforestation or other land conversions to agriculture. Here are some of the key practices which farmers can employ to build a greener future:
Identifying and planting seeds at a precise distance can help make the most from available land. Through this method, each plant gets sufficient nutrition, water and adequate sunlight, without wasting precious space.
Plants that have been bred to increase yield can produce a greater output from the same area of farmland as compared to their regular counterparts. Through selective breeding, these plants have been chosen for their output both in terms of quality and quantity.
Almost 40% of the world’s produce is lost to pests, a number that could rise to 80% without the use of pesticides. Efficient pest control could almost double the output of a farm, thereby reducing the need to slash down more forests.
At Monsanto, we develop tools and techniques to help maximise the yield of farmland to feed a growing population. Through, efficient pest control to our high-yielding seed variety, we contribute to reducing deforestation. But it doesn’t end there.
We have a multi-year ongoing partnership with Conservation International to protect and restore forests across the world. So far, our combined efforts have saved 17,000 hectares of forests.
You can also contribute to the worldwide movement to curb deforestation by learning and participating. Spend some time today in understanding the benefits of forests in our ecosystem and how we can save them. Participate by joining a local forestation group in your city or simply by planting a tree. Together, we can gift Mother Earth a greener future.
A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
Franklin D. Roosevelt