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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sustainable Farming a New Time for an Old Idea?

Sustainable farming practices are a noble idea but in western developed societies a whole lot of people have to be on board to make it work--including consumers.  This piece by Taro Aso comes from the London Financial Times. It is a discussion in advance of the Group of Eight summit in L'Aquila where 27 countries and 11 organisations will meet this Friday. 
My favored paragraph is below followed by a link to the entire piece.

Uncertainties about supply were brought home by the recent price spike and ensuing social unrest around the world. Export restrictions raised fears among importing countries that they could not rely on markets, and provoked a rush to grab land. At the same time, the size of the price surge poses a grave threat to human security; globally, the undernourished will soon surpass 1bn.

Is the current food crisis just another market vagary? Evidence suggests not; we are undergoing a transition to a new equilibrium, ref­lecting a new economic, climatic, demographic and ecological reality. If that is the case, food security can no longer be just a matter of famine relief. The question must be how we can expand food production beyond traditional economic and geographical boundaries in order to live sustainably. / Comment / Opinion - The world must learn to live and farm sustainably
We believe non-binding principles would promote responsible investment and sustainable farmland management. They should include, among other things:

● International agricultural investments, particularly sovereign interventions, must be transparent and accountable. Investors should ensure that key stakeholders, including local communities, are properly informed. Agreements should be disclosed.

● Investors must respect the rights of local people affected by investments, in particular land rights. They should also ensure the benefits are shared with local communities in the form of employment, infrastructure, skills and technology transfer.

● Investment projects need to be integrated into recipient countries’ development strategies and environmental policies.

● Investors must take into account the food supply and demand situation in recipient countries. Foreign investment must not aggravate local food insecurity.

● Deals for land and products should adequately reflect market values. Trade arrangements must adhere to World Trade Organisation rules.

Comments :

2 comments to “Sustainable Farming a New Time for an Old Idea?”

mowdy5gs said...

Folks should actively save or make way for personal [small] backyard greenhouses. Free veggies and fruit all year. Water will factor in and its market value at any said time but its still cheaper than the store. In the end, why line the pockets of other countrys [like commie ones] when we can line our own? Soon and by soon I'm thinkin political time so anywhere from three to five years there will be movements to isolate once again from the world. Only markets and imports/ exports. Thats the system that worked for America and in the world where everything is about me how better to make it about me than to make it about me? Capitalism was once about "injinuity". How to make a buck out of anything and everything. Now everything is regulated till its dead and when things are de regulated well,.. We seen how that worked for us in the Bush years. America as we know it was put togeather by farmers of all walks of life and now we seem to be pushing farmers to become extinct. Why? I say everyone can fight this push by FARMING your own food in?? You guessed it. Your own land. Even if that land is a porch or a balcony. Market drives much. Money doesnt bend to the will of man. Man bends his will for the money.

Is it cheap to grow you'r own cow's? lol

Jane Paudaux from Greeley, Colorado said...

Well I like the idea of backyard greenhouses but it isn't for everyone. Plus I want the local small business farmers and families to stay in business. There are some good fresh food systems being built in local communities across the nation. I'll post more about them as I finish up some research.

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