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  1. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    31 Jan '14 02:51
    http://www.iatp.org/blog/201309/new-un-report-calls-for-transformation-in-agriculture

    The U.N. Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has issued a report titled, 'Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It's Too Late'. The report states that:

    Transformative changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems in order to increase diversity on farms, reduce our use of fertilizer and other inputs, support small-scale farmers and create strong local food systems.


    Personally, I couldn't agree more. A complete overhaul of our agricultural system would go the longest way toward staving off looming environmental ruination.

    Other highlights from the report include:

    The report links global security and escalating conflicts with the urgent need to transform agriculture toward what it calls “ecological intensification.” The report concludes, “This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers.”

    The report’s findings are in stark contrast to the accelerated push for new free trade agreements, including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S.-EU Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which expand a long discredited model of economic development designed primarily to strengthen the hold of multinational corporate and financial firms on the global economy. Neither global climate talks nor other global food security forums reflect the urgency expressed in the UNCTAD report to transform agriculture.

    The IAASTD report concluded that “Business as Usual is Not an Option,” and the shift toward agroecological approaches was urgent and necessary for food security and climate resilience. Unfortunately, business as usual has largely continued. Maybe this new UNCTAD report will provide the tipping point for the policy transformation that must take place “before it’s too late.”
  2. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    31 Jan '14 03:05
    Originally posted by rwingett
    http://www.iatp.org/blog/201309/new-un-report-calls-for-transformation-in-agriculture

    The U.N. Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has issued a report titled, 'Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It's Too Late'. The report states that:

    Transformative changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems in ...[text shortened]... tipping point for the policy transformation that must take place “before it’s too late.”
    Agriculture is sooooooooooooo two centuries ago.
  3. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    31 Jan '14 03:09
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Agriculture is sooooooooooooo two centuries ago.
    The sustained attempt to largely divorce modern populations from any involvement in the production of the food that sustains them has had dire and wide-ranging repercussions.
  4. Standard member caissad4
    Child of the Novelty
    31 Jan '14 03:11
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The sustained attempt to largely divorce modern populations from any involvement in the production of the food that sustains them has had dire and wide-ranging repercussions.
    We are doomed !
  5. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    31 Jan '14 03:11
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The sustained attempt to largely divorce modern populations from any involvement in the production of the food that sustains them has had dire and wide-ranging repercussions.
    Didn't Jared Diamond call agriculture mankind's worst mistake?
  6. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    31 Jan '14 03:31
    Originally posted by rwingett
    http://www.iatp.org/blog/201309/new-un-report-calls-for-transformation-in-agriculture

    The U.N. Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has issued a report titled, 'Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before It's Too Late'. The report states that:

    Transformative changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems in ...[text shortened]... tipping point for the policy transformation that must take place “before it’s too late.”
    I agree. For too long, the USA has promoted the large corporate farm. Too little attention to the smaller family farmers.
  7. 31 Jan '14 05:05
    Originally posted by caissad4
    We are doomed !
    The situation is desperate, but not serious.
  8. 31 Jan '14 06:35
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The sustained attempt to largely divorce modern populations from any involvement in the production of the food that sustains them has had dire and wide-ranging repercussions.
    Yeah, like wealth, health, security, etc.
  9. 31 Jan '14 10:19
    Originally posted by rwingett
    The sustained attempt to largely divorce modern populations from any involvement in the production of the food that sustains them has had dire and wide-ranging repercussions.
    Subsistence farming is far more damaging to the environment than modern commercial farming.

    I agree with you that farming in general needs an overhaul. I disagree with your solutions.

    Poor farming practices are responsible for almost all large floods in the last 50 years.

    I have heard claims that increasing soil carbon via better farming practices could completely resolve the global warming problem - but I have not been able to confirm the figures.

    In Zambia, what is badly needed is education and encouragement to switch to modern practices. Farmers have a tendency of doing what they have always done even when they know there are better methods. One of the biggest problems is that the government has little incentive to encourage better farming practices. They instead have incentives to do things like subsidize fertiliser or maize meal prices - both of which can be damaging to farming in the long term.
  10. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    31 Jan '14 11:22
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Didn't Jared Diamond call agriculture mankind's worst mistake?
    Yes, he did.

    http://discovermagazine.com/1987/may/02-the-worst-mistake-in-the-history-of-the-human-race#.UuuG_Pb9ivw
  11. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    31 Jan '14 11:32
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Yeah, like wealth, health, security, etc.
    The benefits of modern, industrialized agriculture are immediate and easy to spot. Its dangers manifest themselves in unexpected ways and are slow developing. We have thus been blinded by spectacular short-term gain and oblivious to the long term damage that our agricultural system is inflicting upon the planet. That balance sheet, however, is moving more and more into the red. We cannot continue destroying our natural capital at our present rate indefinitely.
  12. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    31 Jan '14 11:40
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Subsistence farming is far more damaging to the environment than modern commercial farming.
    I find that statement to be ludicrous on its face. But even if it were true, no one is suggesting that we return wholly to the practices of the past. We have made great strides in permaculture and sustainable farming practices. What is needed is a blending of the past with modern insights.
  13. 31 Jan '14 12:00
    Originally posted by JS357
    The situation is desperate, but not serious.
    Wasn't agriculture one of the 4 horsemen in Revelation?

    If so, I think it fair to assume the situation is desperately serious.
  14. Donation rwingett
    Ming the Merciless
    31 Jan '14 12:43
    Originally posted by whodey
    Wasn't agriculture one of the 4 horsemen in Revelation?

    If so, I think it fair to assume the situation is desperately serious.
    Uh...no. Agriculture was not one of the four horsemen. But between Cain and Abel, whose offering did the Lord prefer? And whose did he reject?
  15. 31 Jan '14 13:30
    Originally posted by rwingett
    Uh...no. Agriculture was not one of the four horsemen. But between Cain and Abel, whose offering did the Lord prefer? And whose did he reject?
    Sorry. If you want to generate panic and fear, try fitting the 4 horsemen back into the equation. Cain and Able simply don't have the same effect as a skeleton on a horse with a sickle.

    Just say'in.