Daily Archives: June 12, 2009

Organic farming “could feed Africa”

For a long time now, the organic option has been criticized as “elitist” by advocates of genetic modification and monopoly control, who claim that with its supposedly lower yields and more stringent management requirements, it could never feed the world’s growing population. Well, finally, here’s a writer who begs to differ. Writing for The (U.K.) Independent, Daniel Howden argues that traditional practices and organic agriculture provide real hope for the future, in contrast to the failed green revolution and the mirage offered by advocates of GMOs. Here’s an excerpt from his story:

Rice farmer on a rice paddy in Africa. Picture from ecoworldly.com

Rice farmer on a rice paddy in Africa. Picture from ecoworldly.com

“Organic farming offers Africa the best chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and malnutrition it has been locked in for decades, according to a major study from the United Nations to be presented today.

New evidence suggests that organic practices – derided by some as a Western lifestyle fad – are delivering sharp increases in yields, improvements in the soil and a boost in the income of Africa’s small farmers who remain among the poorest people on earth. The head of the UN’s Environment Programme, Achim Steiner, said the report “indicates that the potential contribution of organic farming to feeding the world maybe far higher than many had supposed”. Continue reading

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