Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nourishing The Planet: World Watch

Danielle Nierenberg: State of the world pre-release. Visited 200projects across Africa tosee what is working in Africa.  Full report released inearly Jan 2011. 

Brian Hal   :  Hunger persists.  A policy of agricultural abandomment exist in Africa.  Africas food output hasbeen focused on raw commodities not on added value. 
First :Make better useof water,there is much greater potential that is not being tapped.  As little as 5%gets to crops.  Increase mulching, tilling.  can increase yeild 20-135%  Return on investment was so fast that 5 years later farmers will still use it and spread to surrounding farms
second:Make sure all the post harvest loses are minimized. This can be simple and very effective. Better storage, quickly get rid of spoiled produce, better drying.Community storage very effective.
Third: plan for more farmers incities.  By 2020 35-40M African will relie on urban agriculture.  There are many models for urban farms.
Fourth: Pay for programs for farmers to store carbon in the soil.i.e. keep farm planted more of the year  plant trees.  75 project in 22 countries that are working on this. Great GreenWall initiative and the Billion tree initiative.

Dr Dyno Keatinge: Humanity doesn't live by caloriesalone.  We need diverse diet.  Grains are just calories. and are 50% of food eaten.  We have 2B people who are malnourished.  Very few nuts and berries in diet.  This is major cause of epidemic of type two diabetes.  The Green Revolution is doing disservicebecause we have cast into stone that we put our effort predominately into grains.  Malnutrition is principle thing we need to address.  Not only to feed the planet but nourish it as well.  Rateof return in rice/wheat there is very small rate of return since there are so many people in it.  In nuts berries and other side crops the rate of return on $ can be very hi 3-400 %.  Broader crops are more likely to help break out of poverty and also address nutritional/vitamin deficiencies.  Don't give up what we are doing but expand to other typed of crops.

Hans Herren:Agriculture at the cross roads.  We need a paradineshift in agriculture.  In particular we need to look a changes from on that produces green house gases to one storing carbon.  We need a Brown Revolution in Agriculture.  Biggest return on research comes from one program.  this was using natural means with zero cost to farmer that preserves the crop better.  This is the most easily implement low hanging fruit.  If we want to move over into sustainable ag,we need todo these simple steps.  Indirect investments.  Infra structure, markets,

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