Wednesday, June 22, 2011

UN Agencies Recommend an Organic Green Revolution

One of the most common arguments in favor of GMO and industrial food production, is the reality that one billion people do not have adequate access to food and one in four children in developing countries is underweight, and the earth’s population is projected to grow to 9 billion people by 2050.  How can we produce enough to feed a growing hungry population?
The UN’s Conference on Trade and Development and UN Environment Programme have made a short film which addresses this question titled “Organic Agriculture: A Good Option for Least Developed Countries”.  These international organizations call for another Green Revolution, but one that is based on sustainable, ecological agriculture without imported pesticides, fertilizers, and industrial machinery which are very expensive for the world’s developing countries. 
First, organic produces high yields: In the video, Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director says “We prepared a study on the transition towards agriculture and the associated productivity gains achieved.  Across Africa on average, the increases in yields were 100% and in East Africa even 125%."
Second, organic is easy and cheap to implement everywhere: poverty and hunger are closely linked to environmental degradation.  It is much easier to implement new farming techniques in the poorest, most rural communities than to ship chemical pesticides (produced by developed countries) to these areas. 
Third, organic agriculture is sustainable ecologically, but enables farmers to become economically independent.  Organic agriculture’s comparative resilience to climate change is another important consideration for these Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Organic agriculture does not just create jobs, but better living standards.  Dr. Supachi Panitchpakdi,  UNCTAD Secretary-General, says “To be able to make use of locally available renewable products for the production processes could also help to shield the least developed countries from the vicissitudes and the vulnerability to the kind of shocks that could come from climate change and price fluctuations.”
The video is only four minutes long, check it out!

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