The GLP is committed to full transparency. Download and review our Annual Report.

Even this organic advocate thinks African farmers need herbicide

| | December 1, 2014

Why aren’t agroecological techniques farming spreading faster among poor farmers? If you are a farmer in the rural part of an undeveloped country, where it’s hard to get synthetic fertilizer, pesticides, and genetically modified seeds, it only makes sense to turn to a form of agriculture that eschews those things. Instead of requiring technological inputs, agroecology and organic farming require skills — which are free and non-proprietary.

So why don’t we see organic production raising developing rural areas out of poverty? I’ve seen two possible explanations: Big Agribusiness is sabotaging the nascent growth, or farmers aren’t getting the training they need.

The combination of these two explanations is also plausible: It’s not that agribusiness is out there setting fire to organic crops, but Big Ag corporations are actively working with charities and aid organizations. That means they can influence the direction that education, and each nation’s agricultural policy, takes.

Of course, there’s one other possibility: It could be that organic methods just aren’t working for poor farmers.

Here’s a pragmatic take from Tanzania: Don Lotter recently published a paper titled “Facing food insecurity in Africa: Why, after 30 years of work in organic agriculture, I am promoting the use of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides in small-scale crop production.”

Read full original article: Even this organic advocate thinks African farmers need herbicide

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.

Send this to a friend