Geneva (AFP) Oct 16, 2010
The United Nations top official on the right to food called for wholesale changes in farming methods to safeguard the environment and ensure everyone has enough to eat.
Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food, said in a statement to mark World Food Day that there is currently "little to rejoice about," and "worse may still be ahead."
"Current agricultural developments are ... threatening the ability for our children's children to feed themselves," he said. "A fundamental shift is urgently required if we want to celebrate World Food Day next year."
De Schutter said the emphasis on chemical fertilisers and a greater mechanisation of production was "far distant from the professed commitment to fight climate change and to support small-scale, family agriculture."
In addition, "giving priority to approaches that increase reliance on fossil fuels is agriculture committing suicide," he said.
"Agriculture is already directly responsible for 14 percent of man-made greenhouse gas emissions -- and up to one third if we include the carbon dioxide produced by deforestation for the expansion of cultivation or pastures.
"As a result of climate change, the yields in certain regions of sub-Saharan Africa are expected to fall by 50 percent by 2020 in comparison to 2000 levels. And growing frequency and intensity of floods and droughts contribute to volatility in agricultural markets."
De Schutter said that pursuing the current approach would be "a recipe for disaster."
Instead there should be a global promotion of low-carbon farming, he said, adding that "agriculture must become central to mitigating the effects of climate change rather than a large part of the problem."
"Low-technology, sustainable techniques may be better suited to the needs of the cash-strapped farmers working in the most difficult environments," De Schutter said.
"They represent a huge, still largely untapped potential to meet the needs and to increase the incomes of the poorest farmers."
Climate change and agricultural development must be thought of together, instead of being dealt with in isolation from one another, De Schutter urged.
"To do so, we need to resist the short-termism of markets and elections. Development of longer-term strategies through inclusive and participatory processes could and should clearly identify measures needed, a clear time line, and allocation of responsibilities for action."
"What today seems revolutionary will be achievable if it is part of a long-term, democratically developed plan, one that will allow us to develop carbon-neutral agriculture and to pursue everyone's enjoyment of the right to food through sustainable food production systems."
The 30th celebration of World Food Day on Saturday has the slogan: "United against hunger."
The main issues in focus are rapidly increasing demand for food commodities and changing climates that affect abilities to produce food.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Farming Today - Suppliers and Technology
Jakarta (AFP) Oct 15, 2010
Indonesia will be forced to import rice in bulk and reduce exports of other commodities after extreme weather harmed agriculture over the past few months, officials said Friday. Crop yields - especially rice - were harmed when the La Nina phenomenon significantly reduced the dry season period between April and September, said Indonesian Farmers Association secretary general Benny Pasaribu. ... read more
SymetriGEO Supports UK-Led Common Geospatial Tool Set Project|
10th Anniversary Of The International Charter Space And Major Disasters
A New Pair Of Glasses To View Earth
Satellites join up to map Earth
NKorea Jamming Device A New Security Threat
KORE Telematics Introduces Location-Based Service Offering
Trimble Releases Next Gen Of TerraSync GPS Data Collection Software
EU's Galileo satnav system over budget, late: report
Brazil mulls land auction to beat logging
Footage shows land clearing threatens Indonesia tigers: WWF
Litter collected, trees planted for global climate campaign
Deforestation examined in U.N. report
Supporting The Advancement Of DoD's Net Zero Energy Initiative
Sunoco To Supply NASCAR With Ethanol-Blended Race Fuel
Rentech's Synthetic RenDiesel Fuels Audi A3 TDI
Farm And Food Industry Groups Oppose EPA Decision On Corn-Based Ethanol
Carmanah And Trojan Battery Enter Into Strategic Partnership
GM To Install Solar-Powered EV Charging Stations
DuPont Introduces New Kapton Films For Flexible And Thin Film PV Apps
OPEL Solar Launches New Mk-IX High Concentration PV Solar Panel Technology
Wind power to grow massively until 2030
China's wind power capacity to increase five-fold by 2020
Google in major bid for Eastern US wind power
Findings About Wind Farms Could Expand Their Use
China mine death toll hits 31 as anger rises over rescue
Hope fades for trapped miners in China after 26 killed
China mine death toll hits 31 as anger rises over rescue
At least 30 Chinese coal miners trapped: state media
China VP promoted as party pledges political reform
Xinhua: Nobel committee blind to state of China human rights
Chinese Nobel laureate's wife slams 'illegal house arrest'
Former Chinese communist officials in blunt reform call
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|