Biodiversity for farm productivity
Take a walk through an organic farm, observe and enjoy…..all the different types of plants, flowers, insects, birds and animals.
They are not there because they have a market value – but because, without them there would be no profits, there would be no food.
Most farmers know about the honeybee. Without them, pollination would not be possible for important vegetables, fruits, herbs and seeds.
Imagine life without cucumber, garlic, peppers, or coriander? That is a life without pollinators, and it will impact crop yield and quality.
The way we farm affects biodiversity, and in turn affects our farm productivity and affects our farming enterprise. For example, the widespread use of pesticides has killed many good insects like honey bees or other pollinators. Pesticides kill all insects irrespective of their role in the ecosystem, which is why they are so inefficient.
Our work as organic farmers is to be part of a larger whole that includes insects, animals, plants, trees, soil, water and air – so that they function sustainably. The more biodiversity there is, the more functional, stable and resilient the food production systems will be.
Farms that don’t pay attention to biodiversity, will be more susceptible to insect attacks, pathogens and disease. In monocultures, a pest can multiply faster and when biodiversity is reduced, there are high chances they are devoid of their natural predators.
Small diverse agricultural plots tend to confuse pests, but most importantly they house a more diverse number of species and therefore they balance each other out.
Soil that contains diverse and dense life of microorganisms, allows for plants to access nutrients, and therefore is the key for healthy plants.
The more diverse the species and their functions in our farm lands, the more productive and stable these systems become.
We can support biodiversity, by adopting organic farming practices, providing diverse habitats that attract different species.
In an open area you can put a 4m stake for birds of prey to rest on. They are the predators for rodents that can eat your crops.
You can build an insect hotel – from branches, sticks, or reeds, even left over bricks to create the environment that will attract beneficial insects to settle in.
Even a dead tree’s trunk can attract important predators, such earwigs and beetles.
Planting diverse kinds of trees will attract birds to live and nest or feed on their fruit.
Even the presence of large shrubs on your land border are great living spaces for insects and small animals like hedgehogs and lizards and weasels.
Flowers are great to attract pollinators! Beautiful flowering plants will also be buzzing with insect life. They also look beautiful, and it is important for us too to feel happy when outside on our farm.
Herbs we enjoy in our favorite dishes have essential oils that repel insects. Having them helps increase the diversity of plants in our land.
Recognizing and appreciating this beauty is part of our journey as organic farmers
who promote biodiversity. Making us proud in becoming stewards of nature.
Through our farming we become part of nature and gain efficiency where others have neglected. To harvest our crops but also, all of nature’s potential.