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there was much of interest in the IAASTD...

as I noted over at FS, courtesy of B at MoA who scooped us all with this...

The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology (IAASTD) recently released its final report in Johannesburg, South Africa. The result of an exhaustive 3-year international consultation similar to that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IAASTD calls for an overhaul of agriculture dominated by multinational companies and governed by unfair trade rules. The report warns against relying on genetic engineered “fixes” for food production and emphasizes the importance of locally-based, agroecological approaches to farming. The key advantages to this way of farming-aside from its low environmental impact-is that it provides both food and employment to the world’s poor, as well as a surplus for the market. On a pound-per-acre basis, these small family farms have proven themselves to be more productive than large-scale industrial farms. And, they use less oil, especially if food is traded locally or sub-regionally. These alternatives, growing throughout the world, are like small islands of sustainability in increasingly perilous economic and environmental seas. As industrialized farming and free trade regimes fail us, these approaches will be the keys for building resilience back into a dysfunctional global food system.

Expecting solutions from the institutions that created the disaster in the first place is like calling an arsonist to put out the fire. Getting the poor back on the land and providing them the support presently being captured by the world’s agri-foods monopolies would be a truly systemic and durable solution to our current global food crisis.

what I've been saying for years and what has been obvious to anyone on the ground...

Amongst the 22 findings of the study that chart a new direction for agriculture: a conclusion that the dominant practice of industrial, large-scale agriculture is unsustainable, mainly because of the dependence of such farming on cheap oil, its negative effects on ecosystems — and growing water scarcity.

Instead, monocultures must be reconsidered in favour of agro-ecosystems that marry food production with ensuring water supplies remain clean, preserving biodiversity, and improving the livelihoods of the poor.

monoculture industrial agriculture is not good for growing food.  it is good for growing money.  and you can't eat money.

as to Monsanto and their ilk -- well, they're like any other corporate mafia... except worse, because what they are trying to enclose and monopolise is life itself.

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu May 1st, 2008 at 11:19:28 PM EST

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