Kenya (and indeed Africa) is still a predominantly agricultural economy and a majority of families rely on nature for their livelihood from raw materials, food and materials for shelter. However, farming practices continue to threaten the long-term sustainability of nature and its ability to sustain the population.
The use of industrial fertilisers, for example, is responsible for soil compaction, soil degradation, and nitrogen leaching. Despite this, its use continues to increase. Measures to ensure sustainable agricultural practices have drawn attention to regenerative agriculture. Regenerative agriculture is holistic, leveraging the interconnections between crop farming, animal farming, farming practices, mixed farming, and crop rotation while minimising soil and land disturbance to create richer, more fertile, and sustainable soil.
In its principles, regenerative agriculture reduces soil disturbance through regenerative culture methods that reduce surface erosion that has been synonymous with modern tillage practices. Minimum to no-tillage helps to ensure farms are self-sustaining, reduces chemical contamination of soils, and ensures plants and animals critical to enriching the soil are not disturbed. This lack of disturbance also comes with many cover crops that enhance soil coverage, nutrient quality, carbon circulation, and nutrient circulation.
In practising regenerative agriculture, there is immense focus on plant and crop diversity. Diversity ensures that nutrients necessary for the growth of the crops can be obtained from within the ecosystem without the need for chemical or industrial substances. Where organic matter is necessary, integrating animals as much as possible onto the farms helps to ensure the farms are supplied sufficiently. For the farmers, there is often an increase in productivity and a reduction of input cost with the regenerative practices, while for the natural ecosystem, circulation is enhanced by keeping crops in the soil as long as possible. During hotter seasons, drought-resistant crops can help to keep the soil rich and full of nutrients.
Regenerative farming practices aim at reducing desertification, chemical pollution, erosion, and decarbonisation improving soil quality through soil regenerating practices. In the end, the soil will serve people better by giving them better yields consistently. Practices like aquaculture, agroforestry, agro ecology, no-tilling, holistic planned grazing, composting, silvopasture, cover cropping, and planting perennial crops are examples of preferable practices.