On this picture, you can see a young Somali farm worker tending a crop of maize in Dollow, northern Somalia. (© AFP PHOTO/Tony KARUMBA)
Pierre Rabhi is a farmer and philosopher. Since the 1980s he has been working on agroecology. This is a new way of giving everyone the opportunity to cultivate the earth in a respectful way, enabling the whole planet to be fed. Find out more.
Can you explain why not everyone has enough to eat?
The planet is dying of hunger because of human injustice. A minority of humans deprives the majority of the right to eat. The problem is that one fifth of the world's population, ourselves included, eats more than it should. What do we need to live? To eat, be clothed, have shelter and receive medical care. The rest is unnecessary. We place so much importance on the superfluous that we forget the basics: that everyone in the world should have enough to eat.
How do we end world hunger?
Nature is very generous. It provides a great deal without requiring much. For example, when you eat a tomato, did you know that you only need to plant the seeds which are inside it to grow new tomatoes?
Planet earth offers extraordinary wealth. Man plunders and damages it to make money and create economic growth. He destroys forests to make furniture, pollutes the sea to transport crude oil, etc. We mustn't forget that we only have one planet! We have to protect it.
If we had more respect for nature, we could produce large amounts of good quality food. This is what we call agroecology. We cultivate without poisoning the earth and by recycling the planet's natural waste.
And it works! The proof: we have been able to grow wheat in the African desert, where the earth is driest. The principle is to say to yourself: my earth gives me food to eat; I will give back what it needs to thrive.
In your opinion, why is this method not used?
Modern agriculture supports numerous industries, for example, those which make fertiliser and pesticides. This creates lots of employment as well as revenue for states so they don't want to abandon this type of agriculture.
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