Saturday, February 27, 2016

Wake up before it is too late: Make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate

Even though United States government continues to push for the use of more chemically-intensive farming methods such as GMOs and monoculture-based crops, the cultivation of GMOs is being banned across the world including in several different European countries.

And while Monsanto and others continue to use their multi-million dollar PR budgets to push the narrative that GMOs are needed to “feed the world,” an oft-overlooked report released in 2013 by the United Nations tells a completely different tale: that small scale organic farming is the key to feeding the world and improving food security for the needy after all.

That was the key point of a publication from the UN Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) titled “Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It’s Too Late,” which included contributions from more than 60 experts around the world.

The cover of the report looks like that of a blockbuster documentary or Hollywood movie, and the dramatic nature of the title cannot be understated: The time is now to switch back to our natural farming roots.

The findings on the report seem to echo those of a December 2010 UN Report in many ways, one that essentially said organic and small-scale farming is the answer for “feeding the world,” not GMOs and monocultures.

According to the new UN report, major changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems, with a shift toward local small-scale farmers and food systems recommended.

Diversity of farms, reducing the use of fertilizer inputs and other changes are desperately needed according to the report, which was highlighted in this article from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

It also said that global trade rules should be reformed in order to work toward these ends, which is unfortunately the opposite of what mega-trade deals like the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S.-EU Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) are seeking to accomplish.

The Institute noted that these pending deals are “primarily designed to strengthen the hold of multinational corporate and financial firms on the global economy…” rather than the reflect the urgent need for a shift in agriculture described in the report.

Among the findings of the report are that the following changes are needed:

Increasing soil carbon content and better integration between crop and livestock production, and increased incorporation of agroforestry and wild vegetation
Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of livestock production
Reduction of GHGs through sustainable peatland, forest and grassland management
Optimization of organic and inorganic fertilizer use, including through closed nutrient cycles in agriculture
Reduction of waste throughout the food chains
Changing dietary patterns toward climate-friendly food consumption
Reform of the international trade regime for food and agriculture (in other words putting the power back in the hands of the people rather than companies like Monsanto)
The report specifically mentions the promise held by biodynamic farming, an organic system that works with the rhythms of nature and the planet to produce incredible yields without synthetic chemicals.


See Full Report here
Wake up before it is too late: Make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate

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