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Ecological farming offers real green revolution for agriculture

Greenpeace released 'Agriculture at a Crossroads: Food for Survival', highlighting the ongoing food and climate crises and calling for a new ecological approach to agriculture.

The report, published in the run-up to the World Summit on Food Security, details key findings of the recently-published International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), a comprehensive global assessment of the state of agriculture written by over 400 scientists and carried out under the auspices of the UN and the World Bank. Greenpeace's report supports the main message of the IAASTD: current models of agricultural production are no longer an option.

"In the midst of the twin crises of climate change and food security, all we hear from world leaders is more of the same tired old phrases, and all we are getting are the same outdated polluting technologies that have brought us to the brink of these crises in the first place" said Dr. Doreen Stabinsky, Greenpeace International Agriculture Campaigner. "This approach will not solve the problems. Business-as-usual has failed."

Chemical-intensive agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, directly responsible for approximately 14% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It is also indirectly responsible for over 30% more, through the conversion of forests to agricultural lands, fertiliser production, and the transport and processing of food.

Ecological farming is the best approach, since it significantly reduces agriculture's impact on the climate and at the same time makes it more resilient in the face of changing and extreme weather events. By improving the health of soil and water, conserving the biological diversity upon which to build resilient farming systems and increasing the overall sustainability of the agricultural system, ecological farming provides more food for the long term.

"Increasing productivity does not depend on expensive technologies that poor farmers cannot afford. Ecological farming methods are the modern technologies that will help small producers to achieve food security in a changing climate. Only by investing in ecological farming will we be able to continue to produce for the next century," concluded Stabinsky." The UN Agriculture Assessment report provides the vision towards a real green revolution in agriculture."

by S. C.
12 november 2009, Food & Fun > Nature