In syntropic agriculture, farmers stop fighting nature and learn to embrace it

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Brazilian-based Swiss agronomist and cocoa farmer Ernst Götsch has created a model of organic farming that he says can replace the Green Revolution that was driven by advances in agrichemistry. His syntropic farming system imitates nature and is based on successful agroforestry methods. It is climate-friendly, ecologically sustainable and above all cost-efficient, attracting a growing number of soy farmers in Brazil interested in implementing it. MINEIROS/GANDÚ, Brazil — Behind the wheel of his black suburban van, Paulo Borges has to squint to focus on the SUV motorcade in front of him, vanishing in a red cloud of dust. Borges, a landowner, is following other farmers to a workshop on the road near Mineiros in the midwest of Brazil, the grain-growing heartland of the country. Brazil is the world’s biggest producer of soybeans, and half of it is grown here in the savanna-like region of the country known as the Cerrado, according to the national statistics institute, or IBGE. Green soy fields stretch to the horizon, separated by straight, reddish-brown dirt tracks. Every few miles, a few tall red cedars and ironwood trees, replete with parrots, are a reminder that the Cerrado was once the transition forest to the Amazon. […]

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