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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Justin Gillis, NYT: New Push on Sustainable Agriculture

New Push on Sustainable Agriculture

Green: Politics
This week the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations threw its weight behind a new push for sustainable agriculture in developing countries. While declaring that “we have no option but to further intensify crop production” to feed a growing and increasingly affluent world population, the F.A.O. nonetheless urged a broader application of techniques that, while raising yields, have also been shown to reduce inputs of water, energy and fertilizer, compared to more conventional farming approaches.
Greener techniques have already gained some momentum among farmers in some parts of the world. They include conservation agriculture, noted for minimal use of plowing; integrated pest management, an approach that minimizes the use of pesticides; and more precise and judicious use of water and fertilizer. “None of them are absolutely new,” Shivaji Pandey, head of an F.A.O. division, acknowledged in a video briefing.
What’s new is that the F.A.O. has put all these techniques together in one document and urged agricultural specialists worldwide to use it as they plan development projects, which are expected to become more ambitious amid the world’s current food crisis. The book-length document is available online and can also be ordered in hard copy at this link.

1 comment:

ccpo said...

Fascinating that they can't bring themselves to acknowledge these things have been around for decades in the form of Fukuoka's natural Farming and Mollison and David Holmgren's permaculture. if they'd noticed 40+ years ago, we'd not be in the mess we are in now.