Copyright (c) 2010 Alison Withers
Amongst the Millennium Targets that were set at the turn of the century were certain ambitions set for improving agriculture and food production and decreasing global hunger and malnutrition.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) highlighted some certain places on which focus needed to be focused including working closely with civil society organizations, the domestic private sector and international partners to improve fertiliser provide and demand, making sure a massive replenishment of soil nutrients on lands with nutrient-depleted soils worked by smallholder farmers, and conducting a massive education program for community-primarily based workers to make certain expertise in soil nutrients, water provide and environmental management.
As we come to the finish of a year (2010) of extreme climate, meals commodity price speculation and renewed fears of high food prices and meals scarcity in 2011, one newspaper headline appears to suggest that items in the UK are not getting any better. It reported that a study by the UK’s Commission for Rural Communities had found that 25% of the country’s farmers have been living beneath the poverty line with an revenue of significantly less than £20,000 a year and of these a third had produced no profit for the final three years. Tenant farmers have been particularly badly affected, especially these whose companies depended on grazing livestock.
It is a scenario that would be recognised by the many tiny farmers in building nations across Africa and S Asia and presents a bleak picture. There are, even so, a number of organisations that function hard to create more sustainable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective methods for small farmers.
Among them is the not for profit organisation Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International (CABI) which has numerous projects across the planet and this month celebrated its centenary at a two-day workshop in Delhi, India. CABI has worked with the Indian Government to assist the country’s enhance their yields and the quality of their crops – by assisting them with methods to handle pests and diseases, and by producing confident they have access markets plus the understanding and expertise to meet international export requirements. The function echoes on of the places the FAO highlighted (see above).
The Worldwatch Institute is an additional independent study organization functioning on concerns around the atmosphere and sustainability. It plans a extensive project for 2011, to be named The Nourishing of the Planet, which will assess the the state of agricultural innovations-from cropping approaches to irrigation technologies to agricultural policy – emphasising sustainability, diversity, and ecosystem well being, as effectively as productivity.
Each CABI and Worldwatch incorporate private sector analysis, for instance from Biopesticides Developers, as revolutionary thinkers and possible sources of solutions for enhancing agricultural productivity in a sustainable way – employing low-chem agricultural merchandise such as biopesticides, biofungicides and
An additional constructive news story this week (November 29 2010) highlighted an innovative thinker, a retired Dutch inventor referred to as Pieter Hoff with a potential innovative remedy to the problem of growing plants in dry regions. It consists of a basic container, a bucket, fitted with a convex cover in which are two holes. It permits water to be trapped and for a plant to grow in what is properly a microclimate. Water is dripped onto the plant at 50cc per day, which makes it possible for the plant to survive but not to grow properly which encourages it to develop tap roots so that it can search out water by itself. Test have shown that it operates much better than daily watering and makes it possible for plants to grow in challenging areas exactly where there might be small ground water or power supply.
It is innovators like these that could make all the distinction in tackling the issues of growing crop production to meet the projected expanding globe population in ways that are sustainable and that farmers can recognize and afford.