The Real "Miracle": Sustainable Agriculture

  • What is sustainable agriculture? (Lim Li Lin/TWN)
    An interesting debate on what constitutes sustainable agriculture was held in April at the 8th session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development in New York. The session also discussed the pitfalls and limitations of the Green Revolution and genetic engineering technologies.

  • Lessons from the Green Revolution (Peter Rosset et al)
    Introducing any new agricultural technology into an inequitable social system cannot eliminate hunger if the social questions of access to the technology’s benefits are not addressed. And if the technology in question destroys the very basis for future production by degrading the soil and generating pest and weed problems, it becomes both ecologically and economically unsustainable.

  • Ten reasons why GE technology cannot ensure food security, protect the environment and reduce Third World poverty (M.Altieri & P. Rosset)
    Biotechnology companies contend that genetic engineering (GE) technology is indispensable for resolving the problems of world hunger and poverty without harming the environment. Miguel A Altieri and Peter Rosset challenge this claim.
    See also Genetic engineering for the South?

  • Asia must reject 'golden rice', say activists (Kelvin Ng)
    Asia-based agricultural activists say that the so-called ‘golden rice’ (rice seeds genetically fortified with a precursor of Vitamin A) will not help to reduce malnutrition and the lack of Vitamin A and is not a sustainable solution to the problem of food security.

  • The 'golden rice' - an exercise in how not to do science (M.W.Ho)
    The ‘golden rice’ - a genetically modified (GM) rice engineered to produce pro-vitamin A - is being offered to the Third World as a cure for widespread vitamin A deficiency. In the following audit, Dr Mae-Wan Ho uncovers fundamental deficiencies in all aspects of the project and contends that it is being promoted in order to salvage a morally as well as financially bankrupt agricultural biotech industry.

  • The potential of agroecology to combat hunger in the developing world (M.Altieri et al)
    Miguel Altieri, Peter Rosset and Lori Ann Thrupp explain the meaning of agroecology and its importance in resolving the crucial problems of hunger, inequality and sustainable development in the developing world.

  • Cuba's organic revolution (H.Warwick)
    The US trade embargo of Cuba, plus the collapse of the island’s Soviet market, has meant that the country has found it virtually impossible to import the chemicals and machinery necessary to practise modern, intensive agriculture. Instead, it has turned to farming much of its land organically - with results that overturn the myths about the ‘inefficiency’ of organic farming.