Controversy Between Industrial Model of Agriculture and our Local Farming Systems
An industrial model of food production is neither efficient nor sustainable. It is not efficient, because it uses ten units of inputs, largely fossil-fuel-based, to produce one unit of food. This is why it is destroying ecosystems and the planet, as well as creative, meaningful and dignified work in agriculture. This is why it is not sustainable. It eats into the ecological foundations of agriculture.
Even though the evidence is clear that ecological farming produces more and better food, using fewer resources, and rejuvenating the soil, biodiversity and water that it uses, corporations continue to fog our thinking about the future food and farming with new propaganda and new spin “ sustainable intensification”, “smart agriculture”, “climate-smart agriculture”.
This is spin, because dependence on chemicals and poisons and GMOs is ecologically and economically non-sustainable. It is ecologically non-sustainable because it is destroying soil integrity and soil fertility. Any agriculture system that destroys fertile soils is non-sustainable, because soil is the foundation of agriculture.
Contrary to the claims of corporate public relations, industrial monocultures use more land to produce less food, and bad food.
They produce nutritionally empty commodities, most of which go to biofuel and animal feed. Only 10 percent of the corn and soya is used directly as human food. This is not food system.
What is being referred to as “smart agriculture” and “climate-smart agriculture” is designed to make farmers and society dumb, by asking them to give up their intelligence, their knowledge, their skills, and buy “data” which become yet another external input leading to more control by and dependence on corporations and more failures in agriculture. Data controlled by distant, centralized systems is not the intimate knowledge of the soil, the biodiversity, and farm animals that an ecological farmer has. Big data is “information obesity”, not knowledge or intelligence, which are living participatory process. “Climate-smart agriculture” is actually “climate -dumb agriculture”. It is the next step on the wrong road, the road that leads to guaranteed destruction of the earth and society. And the dumbness is evident in Monsanto’s failing fortunes. Beyond a certain point, spin and bullying cannot sustain a business.