15 March 2005

LEISA Magazine | 21.1 | March 2005

In this issue we take a closer look at the ways small-scale farmers have managed to make more efficient use of the energy sources available to them.

Agriculture is about converting solar energy into biomass products such as food, fodder, fibre and fuel. Small-scale farmers manage this process using the limited additional energy resources available to them, such as their own labour or animal power.

To efficiently use the energy available in the farming system, it is important to integrate the different components such as crops, animals and microorganisms so that they support each other and maximise the flow of energy and nutrients within the farm. The energy present in residual biomass can be recycled back into the farm; and renewable natural resources such as the sun, wind and flowing water can also provide much needed additional energy.