Food security requires only 3 things
- Water management
- Soil management
- Seed management
Does that seem simplistic? Maybe; but intentionally so. Each one of these represents a significant challenge to food production and each one has a solution.Water management
- water has 2 problems
- Too much
- Not enough
If torrential rain is a problem, I would look towards Papua New Guinea, where the locals plants on terrarces with trenches going straight down the mountainside. This prevents errosion and water logging of crops. Notably when misionaries came and tried to westernize their farming, it failed spectacularly. Raising crops in mounds is also good for avioding water logging.
Not enough water requires a series of measures. Stop slashing-and-burning and move to a slash-and-char
methodology to add biochar to the soil to create Terra Preta
, this will increase the water holding ability of the soil. Use some material such as gra**** as a much to reduce evaporation. Tree shrubs like Tagasaste
will add nitrogen to the soil and also provide a windbreak, stock feed and a source of material for biochar and mulch.
Gathering water by using roof run off and water tanks will also pull people through the dry times.Soil management
- soil generally has 3 problems
- It's depleted
- It has been lost to erosion
Depleation can be fixed with the aplication of mulch, biochar
and crop rotation. Plants like Tagasaste
will shelter other plants and fix nitrogen from the atmosphere.
Erosion requires the planting of windbreaks, and planting ground covers to bind the soil together and stop wind errosion. Mulching will also provide a protective layer.
Depending on the contamination, the PH might be very high, or low, the earth might be salty, or have heavy metals, or be radioactive.
PH is relatively easy to treat chemically. Salt requires salt tolerant plants and long term care. I've read that reed beds are effective in treating a certain degree of heavy metal / radioactive land. I suspect it couldn't support human life safely though.Seed management
Some varieties might produce more
food, but at the wrong time, or all at once, instead of a stagered supply. Certain multinational chemical companies sell self terminating seeds which produce more, but have totally sterile seeds, locking the buyer into a permanent relationship with the company. These are all bad outcomes.
Many local varieties will be suited to local conditions, but may benefit from the vitality of hybridization with either a different species, or the same species from a distant region.The solutiuon?
This might not work for big-agriculture, but it will work for small plot holders and subsistance farmers.