Yields went up 214 percent in 44 projects in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa
“If we don’t radically transform the direction of the global food system we will never feed the billion who are hungry,” De Shutter warns.
“Nor will we be able to feed ourselves in the future.”
By Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Feb 8, 2011 (IPS)
Eco-farming could double food production in entire regions within 10 years while mitigating climate change, according to a new U.N. report released Tuesday in Geneva.
An urgent transformation to ‘eco-farming’ is the only way to end hunger and face the challenges of climate change and rural poverty, said Olivier De Schutter, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, following the presentation of his annual report focusing on agroecology and the right to food to the U.N. Human Rights Council.
“Agroecology mimics nature not industrial processes. It replaces the external inputs like fertiliser with knowledge of how a combination of plants, trees and animals can enhance productivity of the land,” De Schutter told IPS.
“Yields went up 214 percent in 44 projects in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa using agro-ecological farming techniques over a period of 3 to 10 years… far more than any GM [genetically modified] crop has ever done.”
Other recent scientific assessments have shown that small farmers in 57 countries using agro-ecological techniques obtained average yield increases of 80 percent. Africans’ average increases were 116 percent.
“Today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilisers in boosting food production in regions where the hungry live,” De Schutter said. [Video Interviews with De Schutter]
Agroecology applies ecological science to the design of agricultural systems. It enhances soil productivity and protects crops against pests by relying on the natural elements. Continue reading