Going Green

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Farming's Future?

Here is a thoughtful article from the BBC.

Sowing the seeds of farming's future

Global food stocks are running low and rich nations should not take security of supplies for granted, argues Les Firbank. In this week's Green Room, he outlines his vision for sustainable farming amid the uncertainties we face in the 21st Century.

In the last 12 months, the price of wheat has doubled, and all of a sudden, talk of food security is back on the agenda.

Global food stocks are running low.

There are three main reasons:

- increasing use of crops for bio-energy, especially in the US
- increasing demand for meat and milk products in the developing world (livestock are often fed grain and seeds, even if for only part of the year)
- poor harvests around the world following droughts and floods

We are already seeing changes to farming. In Europe, the set-aside programme, a way of managing food surpluses by paying farmers not to grow crops, will no longer apply.

This alone will...(complete article here).

Agriculture is definitely changing. The growth of Third World economies will increase the funds available for higher quality and further processed food. Better nutrition will fuel population growth. The demands on the world food supply will continue to increase. Less land available for farming and more people to feed will create new challenges.

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