Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/10/agroecology-innovation
The author presents this piece as if it’s some new technology, it’s not, at least not here in the US. The basic information put forward here has been known for years in the organic and sustainable farming communities, using new terms such as “agroecology” doesn’t change that. Yes conventional farmers need education in this area, and a push in this direction, but even more important, the consumers need an education and a realization that farmers have to make a livable wage, and that they will have to pay for the true value of farm products produced. An area of farm study, not brought up in this story is soil science and the relationship of natural elements to each other, and how that relationship effects the ability of plants to use them. This is an area almost all farmers need help understanding. We don’t need money wasted on studies on organic farm production, farmers need the support of the federal government and the public to enable these methods to go mainstream.
The market version of Agroecology is the Cooperative; the banking version of Agroecology is Public Banking;
new research demonstrates that there are nearly 700 public banks around the world that have combined assets nearing $38 trillion — about 48 percent of global GDP
Excellent resource Soil Care Network
Here is their newsletter for june
Excellent articles under headings of: Research, Soils In The News, Policy and Social Movements
Here are the first 2 articles in the Policy section
The issue of unequal and undemocratic power over land in the UK is getting attention thanks to a report produced by George Monbiot and others and discussed here in the Guardian. In a nutshell, they argue that making land into a financial asset rather than a public good and resource for social and ecological lives is having huge negative impacts. Reclaiming shared ownership of and responsibility for land is a foundational part of moving to a healthy socio-ecology.
- A growing number of states in the US are adopting soil-health related policies. What was a fringe concern is becoming a mainstream issue! A useful analysis of the bills was done by the Union of Concerned Sciences, and can be read here.
It’s great to see this entering political discussion. There are various very interesting visions of how to do this well, even with a reduction of capital in potentially very little time. Here are a few:
- Permaculture (a scientifically based craft of design, see particularly Bill Mollison)
- Natural Farming as in The One Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka. No-plow grains.
- Syntropic Agriculture as developed in the tropics by Ernst Gotsch
- The organoponic movement in Cuba after the fall of the Soviet Union
- Ruth Stout method
- Sepp Holzer
- Traditional organic methods along lines described by Rodale
- Restoration Agriculture as described by Mark Shepherd (an answer to people who do not feel that regenerative methods can work for broad-acre farming)
- Seed saving, including the work of Vandana Shiva
We’re going to have to do this. It will take many hands. There is a learning curve. Government and large business are mostly though not entirely opposed. We will save a lot more of what we have if we start earlier rather than later.
Great to see this re-published here at Common Dreams, and entering broader discussion.
It is important to include an analysis of what we are up against. Not just in terms of ecological degradation, biodiversity loss, mass extinction, soil loss, uprooted communities, etc. etc. etc. But in terms of political and economic power: The global system of colonizing corporate power that manipulates both public dialog and “representative” democracy to serve the propaganda and profit interests of these corporations.
If we do not speak frankly to each other about the power we face, and the need to confront that power and replace it with more ecological and democratic systems, then we will continue to play on a severely tilted playing field, and we - society and ecology and community and humanity - will continue to lose to the big colonizing corporate players and their multi-billions of dollars of propaganda and political influence.
We need land reform, wealth reform, legal reform, ownership reform. We need deep de-colonization of the entire global political economy.
Yes we need agroecology, permaculture, regenerative organic agriculture, ecological restoration. In order to get these, we will have to dis-empower the rampant colonizing economic and political structure that is centered on the investor-owned, limited-liability corporation. This is simple realism, and i want more writers to include this in their analysis and prescription.