Originally posted by humy
I find it hard to imagine the horrendously wasteful slush-and-burn farming still going on in the futuristic ~200 years from now!
It takes a remarkably long time to get better farming practices into use. But given that modern agriculture is less than 100 years old in most parts of the world, I would certainly expect changes in the next 50 years.
The most important thing is farmer education on best practices, something that most governments are not putting enough effort into. Better ways of farming have been known about for quite a long time but are not being put into practice. Farmers stick with what they know works until they see their neighbors doing something better. Its too big a risk for most farmers to experiment and be the first.
My sister is trying hard to change the practice of burning on her land and it is already showing benefits. But it may be many years before her neighbors see the difference and start to do the same.
No-till agriculture is also starting to get noticed in Zambia, but again will likely take a very long time to spread.
The problem is the government spends large amounts of money on fertilizer subsidies and much less on farmer education. If they reversed that policy, then the fertilizer wouldn't be needed.