Organic food and farming provide a significant solution to many of today’s challenges – foremost the climate and biodiversity crises. A report of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization states that unsustainable and industrial agriculture is the largest driver of biodiversity and habitat loss, and it contributes to climate change, contaminating soils and water bodies, threatening rural livelihoods, food and nutrition security. More than 800 million people are malnourished due to hunger and famine. Around 30% of the global adult population is suffering from obesity, while 1 million species are threatened with extinction. The need to produce food and sustain life are the most important challenges of the 21st century.
Agriculture is a source of pollution in many countries. Pesticides, fertilizers and other toxic farm chemicals can poison freshwater, marine ecosystems, air and soil. Many farming practices such as burning fields and using gasoline-powered machinery buildup greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. ‘National emissions reported to the UNFCCC and the EU Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Mechanism has reported that 10% of greenhouse gas emissions directly come from agriculture at the global and EU level. Farmers usually have to bear the consequences of unsustainable economies and lifestyles. They are the world’s poorest and most food-insecure people who are severely hit by climate change.
The great news is that millions of farmers around the world are leading the way to a more sustainable food future by using organic and other ecological farming methods. They use agroecological practices like intercropping, cover cropping and crop rotation.. According to farmers, their voices as farmers are not heard enough. They are happy to hear about the #IGrowYourFood campaign from IFOAM – Organics International which provides the farmer’s community with a global platform to speak and share their challenges concerning unsustainable food systems. #IGrowYourFood is a global action day that celebrates the people who sustainably grow and handle our food. Through this forum, the farmers aim to support the organic movement to increase sustainable food production across the world.
United in applauding farmers growing our food sustainably, the #IGrowYourFood action day held on the 25th September 2020 became a global celebration. Farmers, organizations, retailers, citizens, and many more joined from over 45 countries to directly share the importance of growing food sustainably and celebrating the farmers who do so.
It is a global action day initiated by IFOAM – Organics International. Founded in 1972, IFOAM – Organics International unites the organic movement in different countries and works to bring true sustainability to agriculture across the globe. IFOAM – Organics International is an umbrella organization for organic food and farming. For 20 years, they have been representing organic in policymaking and advocating for a transformation of food and farming. Their work is based on the principles of organic agriculture – health, ecology, fairness and care. The working span of IFOAM – Organics International is to uphold the principles of organic to support both human life and ecology, improving the conditions of farmers, laborers, and other marginalized groups.
IFOAM – Organics International amplifies farmers’ voices by sharing stories, videos, pictures, memes and articles across social media using the hashtags #IGrowYourFood and #LuvOrganic. The initiative behind celebrating this day is to connect with people who are growing organic food and are widely using agroecological practices. Through this platform, they invite farmers, processors, producers, exporters, traders and businesses to share their experiences through social media. This includes speaking about their challenges and suggesting radical solutions that help to preserve their livelihoods and nourish their communities. Having this proactive vision, IFOAM – Organics International globally promotes organic policies to support a change in sustainable food and agriculture systems.
Their mission is to achieve excellence and endurance in organic agriculture and commerce and grow the organic sector. The members act individually and collectively to nurture and protect the environment and wellbeing of the farmers. #IGrowYourFood helps members to work in collaboration. Their advocacy emphasizes creating a world where people can easily access healthy food grown using g organic farming practices.
Community of farmers and educators shared their opinions about #IGrowYourFood Mission
Just as the food we eat has no boundaries, the action day has brought endless significance to the organic farmers. According to Thales, an organic farmer working in Brazil, through this platform, they have been able to create powerful and productive ecosystems, for us and future generations.
Saskia von Diest, an organic advocate from South Africa states that choosing organic and agroecology is the kinder choice to protect the only earth that we have, for the future generations of all species, human and non-human. #IGrowYourFood initiative from IFOAM – Organics International has helped to strengthen this message.
Selina Nkoile is the founder of the Nashipai Maasai Project empowers Maasai girls through education and uses permaculture to promote biodiversity and tackle climate change. The #IGrowYourFood action day from IFOAM – Organics International provides spaces for the farmers to share their experiences.
For 19 years Rongyan Lu and her women’s group from Guangxi, China have been conserving 126 local varieties of important crops and medicinal plants. Through the # IGrowYourFood action day,IFOAM – Organics International highlights the importance of this work and how communitie are adopting organic farming. By having the support of farming communities, they can stand together in strengthening the work of the organic sector.
The farmers believe in farming with nature. Every handful of vibrant organic soil contains billions of microorganisms. These unseen creatures support plant and animal health including a range of techniques to support soil biology, build fertility and increase organic matter. Key practices include cover cropping, composting, crop rotation and grazing management.
IFOAM – Organics International’s solutions for a sustainable food future
· Organic farmers begin with a focus on creating healthy living soils. This builds the foundation for strong, naturally healthy plants and animals – and healthy food. Organic food has consistently been found to have higher levels of health-giving antioxidants. Organic milk also shows an optimal health profile when compared with non-organic milk.
· Farmers and investors are encouraged to increase small- and mid-scale food producers’ access to arable land, water, credit, and fair markets.
· Biodiversity is the foundation of a vibrant organic farm. Organicfarmers practice crop rotation that helps to maintain soil health. Rotation also prevents crop-specific pests and diseases from building up in one place.
· Healthy living soils are the foundation of a thriving organic system. Getting your soil health right will help your plants and animals become healthy and resilient which will help you move away from chemical fixes to pest and disease problems.
· Organic production benefits our ecosystems in several important ways. Organic farms protect the health of our waterways while contributing to biodiversity. Well-managed organic soils also store significant amounts of carbon, stabilizing our climate and keeping our planet habitable for generations to come.
Shaping the future of organic!
“Agroecology isn’t just a form of production where we regenerate the soil… we also care for relationships, gender equity, and a fair division of labour.”
The growing members of #IGrowYourFood aim to look forward to highlighting and celebrating all those who are working towards sustainably sourced products next year. From young organic farmers leading change in their communities in Kenya, Germany and USA enthusiastically joined the platform and shared the importance of growing food sustainably across the world. With the #IGrowYourFood action day everyone can join by posting videos and/or pictures with #IGrowYourFood, or by listening to and sharing interesting stories from organic and agroecological farmers as they talk about their work, the challenges they face and how we can support them!
Bringing clean water – Christopher Kenny’s Preservation Earth Project
Science plainly shows that a human can survive three weeks without food, yet most individuals cannot survive three to four days without water! Dehydration sets in, and the person will go into shock and become vegetative even if they continue to breathe. In other words, water is an essential requirement. A living thing cannot thrive without it. Nonetheless, it is a horrifying truth that billions of people worldwide lack access to safe drinking water.
In developed countries, when everything from technology to luxury is available, receiving clean water at home is as ‘natural’ as breathing fresh air. Most individuals in advanced nations may not pay much attention to it, but this is not the case for the rest of the globe. Many countries continue to lack access to clean water sources or water appropriate for human use. Safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene at home should not be limited to the wealthy or those who live in cities. These are some of the most fundamental human health requirements, and all countries must ensure everyone has access to them.
The Preservation Earth Project (PEP) made its way to Tsaile, New Mexico. Over time, uranium mining, fracking, and pesticide abuse damaged the water supply, resulting in a high occurrence of numerous illnesses. Approximately 35% of the Navajo people do not have access to flowing water, and some must go to a remote location to fill barrels with water from a polluted local spring.
There is no doubt that climate change is boosting storm strength. Recent natural catastrophes have heightened the need for groups to step up and give support, answers, and relief to individuals affected by such natural disasters. The Preservation Earth Project is a non-profit organization that provides support, education, and solutions to help society transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
A look back at Christoper Kenny’s life
Chris Kenny was born in Summit, New Jersey, on May 4, 1961. He was one of twelve children. In 1980, he received a B.A. in economics and finance from Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina. He also attended New York University, earning a commercial real estate management degree from the Schack Institute. Since 2018, he has served as the head of Strategy and E-trading at Hartfield, Titus, and Donnelly. Kenny started his career in the U.S. In 1985. He worked as a Treasury Bond Broker. He formerly worked at Bonds.com as the director of fixed income sales and technological development. His academic background is in business and finance. Chris is passionate about developing and promoting renewable energy, mainly when it is used to assist people in need. The potential to aid those in urgent demand as a result of a human-caused environmental or natural disaster is not just a philanthropic act but also a once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity.
He used solar power on mobile platforms as a backup power source for emergencies, water purification, and water pumping.
His academic credentials are in business and finance. Chris is passionate about developing and promoting renewable energy, mainly when it is used to assist people in need. The potential to aid those in urgent need as a result of a human-caused environmental or natural disaster is not just a philanthropic act but also a once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity. He has over 38 years of experience in finance as a salesperson, broker, trader, and investor.
Making clean water available to everyone
In 2012, Kenny founded The Preservation Earth Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It provides assistance, education, and alternative energy solutions to help society shift to renewable energy. It was involved and aided Haiti several times after the 2010 earthquake, providing portable solar electricity for water purification and medical facilities. In 2020, the business devised a solution for the Navajos’ contaminated water source. They collaborated with engineers and local officials to build, produce, and install a solar-powered water filtration system for the Navajo people of Tsaile, New Mexico. Other activities have included providing portable solar power to the “Cajun Navy” for rescue and clean-up in areas devastated by the 2015-2021 hurricane season in Louisiana.
The project designed, delivered, and installed a solar-powered filtration system that will provide clean drinking water to the local Navajo community 365 days a year for many years to come. Several more initiatives are in the works to provide safe drinking water to Native American communities on the Navajo Reservation.
President’s letters of gratitude
President Jimmy Carter sent Chris two heartfelt letters encouraging him to continue his charitable work. He suggested calling Habitat for Humanity and asking if they were interested in collaborating on a few projects. He and Kenny both helped out at the charity.
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