Recent projects in 20 African countries had resulted in a doubling of crop yields within three to 10 years. Those lessons could be widely mimicked elsewhere, it said.
"Agriculture is at a crossroads," according to the study by Olivier De Schutter, the U.N. Special Rapporteur. The U.N. is looking at how to depress record food prices and avoid the costly oil-dependent model of industrial farming. "The cost of food production has been very closely following the cost of oil," he said. Upheavals in
Natural farming could also make farms more resilient to the projected impact of climate change including floods, droughts and a rise in sea levels that the report said was already making fresh water near some coasts too salty for use in irrigation.
Developed nations, however, would be unable to make a quick shift to natural methods because of what he called an "addiction" to an industrial, oil-based model of farming. Still, a global long-term effort to shift is needed.
Dr. Grout’s comment:
Olivier De Schutter was appointed the Special Rapporteur on the right to food by the United Nations Human Rights Council. He is independent from any government or organization. He makes a refreshingly candid assessment of how to feed a growing world population.
Conventional farming is not resilient to climatic shocks or economic upheavals. It relies on expensive fuels, antibiotics, and often expensive genetically modified seed which requires more pesticides. De Schutter says that model that just doesn’t work anymore. His reports on projects in
The problem has always come in how to make money not selling fertilizer and not selling patented seeds. As De Schutter points out, it is a matter of human rights to develop a new business model.
Obviously there is much public support for De Schutter’s recommendations to create a less toxic world with healthier food.