X is for Xeriscaping

X is for Xeriscaping

Date: 12 October 2014

Xeriscaping is a form of landscaping and gardening which emphasises water conservation and is therefore ideal for arid environments. Although it is mainly used to create efficient and drought-resistant gardens, rather than to produce food as such, it borrows from some of the agroecological techniques used across arid and semi-arid parts of Africa by using methods to increase soil moisture and reduce soil erosion. It is also the only farming-related word we could think of that starts with the letter X. Well, that and xerophytes (plants adapted to survive in the desert) and xylophagy (animals that eat wood).

Photo credit: J Brew

The A-Z of Food Sovereignty in Africa shows the positive alternatives to corporate-led agriculture. A new letter was posted each day in the lead up to World Food Day arrived on 16 October 2014.

Africa’s small-scale food producers already know how to produce enough food sustainably to feed themselves but the political and economic rules which govern the food system are set against them. These rules are written by and for multinational companies and political elites, in support of a global food system that benefits them rather than the millions of smallholders and family farmers who produce the food and get little in return.