crop yields

Eco-farming outperforms GMOs at improving crop yields and growing more food, says report

Friday, April 01, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: eco-farming, crop yields, health news

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(NaturalNews) A new United Nations (UN) report blows a major hole in the modern myth that genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) are the answer to improving crop yields and ending world hunger. A UN Special Rapporteur explains that small-scale eco-farming reliant on natural growing methods works better than GMO and other pesticide-based agricultural systems at producing more and better food -- and if implemented on a wider scope, small-scale farming could double the world's food production capacity within ten years.

"Today's scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live -- especially in unfavorable environments," said Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur. "To date, agroecological projects have shown an average crop yield increase of 80 percent in 57 developing countries, with an average increase of 116 percent for all African projects. Recent projects conducted in 20 African countries demonstrated a doubling of crop yields over a period of three to ten years."

Instead of relying on chemical pesticides and insecticides, eco-farming utilizes nature's own balance to thwart pests and improve yields. Certain combinations of trees, plants, animals, and insects, are used to maintain soil health and eliminate harmful pests. Beneficial insects like ladybugs, for instance, work very well in organic agriculture to protect crops from pests without the need for harsh chemical applications (http://blog.cascadianfarm.com/category/farm/...).

Unlike GMOs, eco-farming allows the People to freely grow and harvest their own food, and take advantage of what nature freely offers them in order to do so. Within the GMO paradigm, however, farmers are controlled by companies like Monsanto that sell them self-destructing "Frankenseeds." These seeds require heavy pesticide applications in order to grow, and represent an unsustainable system that has devastated the livelihoods of thousands of farmers while failing to deliver on its promises (http://www.naturalnews.com/GMO.html).

De Schutter explained in his address that when the African country of Malawi replaced is "massive chemical fertilizer subsidy program" with agroecology, more than 1.3 million of the poorest people in the nation benefited, and corn yields increased from one ton per hectare (ton/ha) to up to three tons/ha.

"Despite its impressive potential in realizing the right to food for all, agroecology is still insufficiently backed by ambitious public policies and consequently hardly goes beyond the experimental state," he added.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.srfood.org/images/stories/pdf/pre...

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