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Land conservation: Our call this rainy season

By Hashim Ngaisala Ichichi Msusa

The rainy season of 2022–2023 appears to have opened doors where farming is the main activity. Since there is no way to multiply land, conservation is crucial. The land will be required for agriculture in both the present and the future. This is so that agriculture can produce food for both people and animals.

Unfortunately, thousands of hectares of farmland in Malawi are left washed away every rainy season, despite the fact that the National Agriculture Policy of 2016’s preface states that agriculture is still the foundation of the country’s economy and plays a significant role in employment, economic growth, export revenues, the reduction of poverty, and food security, among other things.

Therefore, agriculture needs to be preserved from erosion and utilized sustainably. The concept of sustainability is absent from the usage of fertilizers, for example, if their continued application threatens the future fertility of our land. We should use the land in a way that meets the requirements of the present while also providing for future generations. The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s guiding principle is, in a nutshell, sustainability.

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) highlighted the value of resource conservation when dealing with natural resources, such as land for farming. Sustainable land use was highly valued by He (Peace be upon Him). The idea of “protected areas” and the conservation techniques that are increasingly applied today was possibly first introduced by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). Due to a lack of available land, we have carelessly farmed on the mountains and hills, resulting in soil erosion by the water’s movement.

The southern suburbs of Medina were designated as preservation zones by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him). Within a four-mile radius, he forbade hunting during certain times, and within a 12-mile radius, he forbade cutting down trees and other flora. The creation of these protected areas is evidence of the value the Prophet (Peace be upon Him) attached to resource management, sustainable use of those resources, and the preservation of the environment and agricultural lands.

As a country, we must look into sustainable agricultural practices without undervaluing the importance of spiritually inspired approaches to care for the soil that supports agriculture. For as long as there are humans, farming activities will be necessary. Remember that God Almighty gave us the land to farm as a gift. Utilize it wisely while putting a priority on conservation.

Let us make an attempt to reap the benefits of this rainy season by planting more trees around our farming areas as an intervention in minimizing land degradation, erosion, and wind erosion, which causes massive harm to our fields. This season, earn a mark by planting fast-growing trees.