Halweil - Chapter 3 Brian Halweil, "Farming in the...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 3 Brian Halweil, "Farming in the Public Interest,". in Linda Stark, ed., State of the World 2002 (W.W. Norton and Company, 2002), pp. 31-74 ' Farming in the Public Interest Brian Halweil The fragde hillsides and forest edges of Central America are home to some of the poorest and hungriest people in the western hemisphere. Hybrid corn seeds, synthetic fertilizers, and other technologies that helped raise food production elsewhere are not available or f i r d a b l e t o many people in these communities. Even where these technologies have been used, the results have not always been optimal-they have eliminated local crop varieties, polluted water supplies, depleted the soil, and left families in debt. In the 1970s, food production had stagnated throughout the region. With more and more villagers fleeing for nearby cities, residents of places like Guinope, Honduras, often referred to their home as a "dying townm-a common refrain throughout the region.' By the 1980s and 1990s, however, towns throughout the region had in many ways been reborn. Take San Martin Jilotepeque, a town in the central highlands of Guatemala. In 1972, farmers there began to adopt a series of low-cost innovations to help improve the health of their land, including planting grass hedges to control erosion; rotating corn with beans, peas, and other legumes that add nitrogen to the soil; and covering the ground with vegetation yearround to reduce water and soil loss. Between 1972 and 1979, the amount of corn harvested from the average hectare jumped from 0.4 tons to 2.5 tons, without the use of any chemical fertilizer or p esti~ides.~ The initiative, led by the US.-based development organization World Neighbors, was designed not so much to introduce particular technologies as it was to boost the capacity of farmers to innovate, experiment, and "become the protagonists of their own development," according to Roland Bunch, coordinator of the effort. Even after World Neighbors left in 1979, the corn yield nearly doubled again in San Martin, to 4.5 tons by 1994--on a par with the average U.S. yield-because farmers continued to explore better ways to h m . Yields of beans, the other staple crop, grew ninefold-from 170 kilograms per hectare t o 1,500-between 1972 and 1994. Villagers adapted many techniques for their own needs, and in many cases developed entirely new systems of production, from crop rotations to cheese-making to organic crop p rod~ction.~ Emigration from San Martin to nearby cities dropped 90 percent as more productive farms paid higher wages and needed more workers. Nutrition, public health, and literacy all improved as additional food and income led to greater investment in health care and education. Soil quality improved, tree plantings increased, and water quality benefited from reduced agrochemical use. As the amount of organic matter in the soils improved, so did resistance to drought, making farmers less susceptible to climate variability-a growing problem, as deforestation in the region has made the rains more erratic. Farmers became more involved in local decisionmaking and civic responsibilities, and many of them got jobs as agricultural extension agents, spreading their knowledge to other communities throughout Central A m e r i ~ a . ~ I n fact, this experience of healthier soils, higher yields, higher wages, and improved prospects was carried to hundreds of towns throughout the region by thousands of farmers sharing knowledge with other firmers, a movement known as Campesino a Campesino. In Guinope, corn yields increased from 0.6 tons to 2.4 tons between 1981 to 1989, and reached nearly 3 tons by 1994. Elias Zelaya of nearby Pacayas, Honduras, says that "now, no one ever talks of l ea~ing."~ Perhaps the most surprising benefit to the region came in 1998-two decades after the project ended-when Hurricane Mitch dumped 2 meters of rain on Central America, wiping out nearly all crops in some areas. Hillsides and the mostly poor people who inhabit them were hit hardest, but the thousands of farms throughout Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua that were touched by Campesino a Campesino withstood the force of the storm much better than others, retaining more topsoil and more of their crop. Landslides were three times more severe-in terms of area affected--on conventional plots.6 This experience-in which farms anchor hillsides, store carbon, house biodiversity, provide stable rural incomes, and yield food without expensive or toxic inputs-stands in stark contrast to the type of farming that prevails in much of the world today. As currently practiced, agriculture delivers a great deal of food while it wears down ecosystems, while people go hungry, and while rural communities wither. The growing costs of this "destructive" food system are pushing farmers, scientists, politicians, and consumers all over the world toward a very different model-what might be called a "regenerative" food system-that better serves the public interest. This new model is also sometimes called "multihnctional" o r "agroecological." In this vision, farms function more like selfsufficient ecosystems and depend less on chemical inputs-a shift that will reconcile agriculture's tension with the environment while offering hope for poor farmers around the world. And rather than just driving tractors and spraying ammonia, farmers play an active role in agricultural research and decisionmaking, a change that will help revitalize rural communities. Finally, the food chain will also look different, with consumers buying more food directly from farmers and caring more about the source of their food. These were the sorts of ambitious goals for agriculture that participants at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro envisioned 10 years ago. Implementation of these goals in the last decade, however, has fallen fir short. The upcoming World Summit in Johannesburg offers an important opportunity to regain the momentum. In a few cases, governments are supporting such a shift by closing the wide gap in women's access to agricultural resources, eliminating pesticide subsidies, reducing trade distortions, or using any number of other policies. The synergy between different farming practices or policies fortunately makes the task less daunting. Substitutes for agrochemical inputs, for instance, will not only be good for the ecological performance of agriculture, they will benefit poor farmers who cannot afford expensive inputs. In general, the same policies that will improve farmers' economic prospects, such as more secure land tenure and credit institutions, will also speed the spread of regenerative or ecological farming practices. The successes remain scattered, but they offer principles that can be applied widely to better meet the needs of the land and the people who depend on it.' The Rise of Dysfunctional Farming There is no doubt that modern farming has demonstrated great capacity t o amass mountains of homogenous commoditiesevidenced by large increases in production in many parts of the world and falling commodity prices over the past 50 years. (See Figure 3-1.) This is no small achievement. But the same farms have generally wrought a great deal of environmental and social dysfinction. Nations have used food output as the sole measuring stick of agricultural success for so long that it has become difficult to comprehend the price we pay for ignoring all other riter ria.^ Recently a team of agricultural econo- mists tried to put a price tag on the cost of modern farming in the United Kingdom, and they came up with a conservative figure of more than $2 billion each year. The estimate included the costs of removing pesticides and other agrochemicals from drinking water, the damage from soil erosion, and the medical costs of food poisoning and "mad cow" disease, but it did not include the more than $4 billion of government subsidies paid to farmers or the billions in health care costs due to poor food choices. Still, the figure equaled 90 percent of what British farmers earn each year. The study's lead author, Jules Pretty of the University of Essex, concluded that people in the United Kingdom pay three times for their food: once when they subsidize farmers, a second time when they pay to clean up the mess f iom polluting farm practices, and again when they buy food at the checkout counter. Costs like these-to ecosystems, rural communities, and society as a whole-are not confined to the United Kingd~m.~ Many of these costs grew out of the "cheap food policies" of Europe and North America after World War 1 . ( A more accu1 rate name might be a "mass food policy," with an emphasis on quantity rather than quality that generates many hidden costs.) The policies included government support for domestic crop production in an effort not so much to prop up rural communities as to assure affordable food for workingclass citizens. This encouraged overproduction by inspiring a single-minded focus on extracting as much crop as possible fiom a given plot of land, unintentionally marginalizing considerations of how food was produced and who benefited. Several decades later, the developing world embarked on a similar course that focused on production at any cost-the package of improved seeds, els of output, contemporary farmers have 60 raised this transforma. ..:. tion t o a new plane. For example, whereas - 120 Chinese farmers were .... .. ........... ......... . : using some 10,000 varieties of wheat in ........... .... .. .. .. - 80 1 949, that number had declined to 1,000 ........ by the 1970s, and to Food Prices '-..' '.. ................... a bout 300 varieties (bosed on 1999) today. The 14 leading varieties occupy more Source: FAO, IMF, World Bonk t han 4 0 percent of O China's wheat fields. 2000 60 1970 1980 1990 O f the 7,000 crop species that have been Figure 3-1. Per Capita Food Production and Agricultural Commodity Prices, 196 1-2000 domesticated by humans, a mere 30 agrochemicals, and irrigation known as the species provide an estimated 90 percent of Green Revolution. The intentions, as in the global calorie intake-indeed, wheat, corn, N orth, were good-more food to feed and rice provide more than half-and occuhungry mouths. But they neglected an py the vast majority of global crop area, a important fact about hunger around the pattern that leaves farmers and the global world: producing more food does not autofood supply vulnerable to erratic weather or matically eradicate hunger.1° pest outbreaks.12 At the same time, farmers gradually Wildlife populations generally decline began contributing to some of today's most when farmland replaces forests or other natwidespread ecological problems-including ural ecosystems, but the less diverse the farm, contamination of waterways, biodiversity the smaller the homes and food sources for decline, the spread of toxic chemicals, and wildlife. A recent assessment noted a marked climate change. Ecologist David Tilman at decline in the diversity of "landscape struct he University of Minnesota and colleagues tures" in industrial nations over the last 50 recently suggested that in coming decades, years as farmers removed stonewalls, industrial farming will rival climate change hedgerows, grass strips, ponds, windbreaks, as a source of "massive, irreversible enviand trees to accommodate the machinery ronmental impacts."l used on larger and less diverse plots. The T hat agriculture and the environment populations of nine species of farmland birds always seem to be at odds is more unfortuin the United Kingdom fell by more than nate than inevitable. From its roots more half between 1970 and 1995.13 than 10,000 years ago, agriculture has But monoculture does perhaps its greatalways represented a transformation of est damage when it spills out of the field. nature. But in search of ever increasing levConsider the U.S. Midwest, one of the 'er Capita Production Index j 1 989-90= 100) Food Price Index ( I 960= 100) + I I . I ' most productive agricultural regions Million Tons o n the planet and a model for farm 1 60 practices elsewhere. At any given point in time, over 80 percent of the crop- 120land in states like Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana is planted in just two species: corn or soybeans. This necessitates 80 heavy pesticide and fertilizer use, since monocultures invite pests and draw a 40l ot of nutrients o ut of the soil.14 Source: FA0 Locally, chemical use raises levels of 0 nitrates and pesticides (both hazardous 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 200C t o public health) in groundwater and Figure 3-2. World Fertilizer Use, 1950-2000 reduces soil quality; several decades of heavy chemical fertilizer use has acidified many midwestern soils, a condition world's other major agricultural areas. that leaches out key nutrients and comproRivers, lakes, wetlands, and other bodies of mises the long-term productivity of water that drain farming regions have the region. Worldwide, farmers use 1 0 become repositories for excess agricultural times more fertilizer today than in 1950, nutrients, which alter the composition of and spend roughly 1 7 times as muchspecies in water and on land, favoring some adjusted for inflation-n pesticides. (See organisms and driving others into extincFigures 3-2 and 3-3.) Yet the effectiveness tion. Deadly algae blooms and coral reef of these applications has plummeted-a destruction related to farm pollution have tenfold increase in fertilizer use has coincidbecome common in coastal areas on all ed with just a threefold increase in food continents, and dead zones have emerged production, while the share of the harvest i n the Baltic and Black Seas that are even lost to pests remains largely the same as in larger than the one in the Gulf of Mexico.'' Beyond outright pollution, industrial 1 950 despite the use of much greater quantities of p esti~ide.'~ Since large monocultures do not 6illion ~ ~ l l ~ ~ make very efficient use of inputs, nutri- 35 Source: Agranova e nt runoff from midwestern firms leaks 30 - ( 1 999 dollars) i nto the Mississippi and ultimately concentrates in the Gulf of Mexico. Once 2 5there, the excess nutrients help to pro- 20duce algae blooms that suffocate ocean life in a "dead zone" that at times cov- 15ers over 18,000 square kilometers and 10has decimated local fisheries.l6 5T he Midwest has a long history of 0-m this sort of food production, but the 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 1999 same pattern-and the associated problems-is emerging in most of the Figure 3-3. Global Pesticide Sales, 1950-99 I I I - 1 1 I I I farming has placed particularly heavy demands on water resources. Much of the growth in food production in the last halfcentury was built on the expansion of irrigated area, which grew from 1 00 million hectares in 1950 to 274 million in 1999. Today, the 17 percent of the world's cropland that is irrigated yields more than 40 percent of the world's food. Continued expansion of irrigated area with little regard for water conservation is no longer realistic in most of the world in the b ce of growing competition with nonfarm demands and mounting concern over the impact of large dams.18 Perhaps the strongest evidence that our food system i s dysfunctional i s the fact that farmers are the poorest people on the planet. Northern China provides one dramatic case. In recent decades, continuous cropping of irrigated corn and wheat has spread in this breadbasket of the world's most populous nation, putting tremendous pressure on water resources. Today, water tables in northern China are falling 1-1.5 meters each year as farmers pump more water out than is replenished by rainfall. Water deficits are growing in all other irrigated regions as well, including the Indian subcontinent, the western United States, and across North Africa and the Middle East. Nearly 10 percent of the world's grain harvest is now produced by drawing down water supplies, like money from an overdrawn back account. Such overuse also means a drain on the water available to natural ecosystems: water use for irrigation threatens more than half of the nearly 1,000 major wetlands recognized as vitally important by the international c ~mmunity.'~ Perhaps the strongest evidence of how dysfunctional our food system has become is the fact that brmers, as a group, are the poorest people on the planet. Of the 1.2 billion people worldwide who earn a dollar a day or less, 75 percent work and live in rural areas. Across a wide range of nations in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, poverty is considerably more prevalent in rural areas than in cities. Even in the United States, the rural poverty rate is 23 percent higher, and in many areas farm families depend on food donations from social services agencies, church pantries, and soup kitchens. Rural indicators of income, health, education, and political participation continue to lag far behind urban indicators. Ironically, hunger is also concentrated in rural areas, worsened by poorer access to a safe water supply and sanitation. Although generally on the decline, hunger persists in much of the developing world for between 800 million and 1.1 billion people. And in sub-Saharan Africa, the share and the absolute number of hungry children have actually increased in the last two decades.20 From Brazil to Bangladesh, such dismal prospects have fueled a mass exodus from rural areas as the chance to make a living as a farmer disappears. This shift is not surprising, considering that most of the money in the food business now flows to cities and factories, not the farm. In 1950, for instance, American farmers captured over 506 of the average dollar that an American spent on food. By 1997 they were getting just 76. The vast majority of the money now goes to food processors, food marketers, and agricultural input suppliers-a pattern mirrored around the world. Part of this has to do with the fact that today people eat more packaged and prepared foods that bear little resemblance to the original crop harvested by the farmer. But it is also due to farming's growing reliance on expensive inputs and machinery, as well as the rise of agribusiness "cartels" that leave little room for farmers to make a profit. Global integration of food production has intensified these economic pressures that are fueling the exodus from the c ~untryside.~~ Hunger Amidst Plenty I n 1996, delegates at the World Food Summit in Rome committed to cutting world hunger in half by 2015-a significant retreat from a 1974 goal to eradicate hunger within a decade. In 2001, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) declared that at the current pace, even the less ambitious goal would not be reached for more than 60 years, too late for many of the world's poor.22 How can a sizable chunk of the world remain hungry when food production soared in the last half-century, modestly outpacing population growth? The growth in global food production is in some ways a less important consideration than our capacity to boost yields where food is needed most, particularly where conventional farming techniques have fiiled. Many of the world's hungry people have been unable to plug into the standard approach to raising food productiongenetically uniform fields supported by chemical cocktails-because it was too expensive or inappropriate for local conditions, or because of a lack of land, market access, and other constraints. Since existing tools have not worked for these people, conventional agriculture has largely given up on them and assumed they will be better off moving to a city or doing something besides farming. It is estimated that almost 1.8 billion people in developing nations live in forests and woodlands, arid regions, steeply sloping hillsides, or other lands unsuitable for modern food production. These "marginal" or "less-favored" areasthe Sahel of Africa, the hills of the Andes, or the rainforests of Indonesia-now house the bulk of the rural poor and the world's hungry.23 Some agricultural scientists hope to find a solution to this problem at the genetic level--engineering crops to thrive in a wider range of environments-although to date the technology has proved largely irrelevant to the needs of the world's hungry. (See Box 3-1.) "Throughout the world, poor farmers are seldom limited by the genetic potential of the crop," notes Roland Bunch, who is now with COSECHA, an agricultural consulting group based in Honduras. A given corn variety might yield 5 tons per hectare under ideal conditions, but the same variety planted in depleted and drought-prone soils might yield less than 1 ton per hectare. According to Bunch, who has worked for decades with farmers in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, "ecological conditions, like soil fertility and water availability, are their major constraints"-constraints that cannot be readily overcome by genetic irnprovement, whether through biotechnology or more traditional means. To help the poor farmer, innovations must reduce these ecological constraints with low out-of-pocket costs, while building the resilience and stability of production and allowing sufficient flexibility so that they can be used in diverse ecological settings." The big gains for these farmers will come from taking advantage of "free" biological services, including nitrogen-fixing (or leguminous) plants such as beans or clover, the nutrient cyding abilities of soil microbes, and beneficial insects--an approach now widely referred to as agroecology. In many ways, h s is the most sophisticated approach t o farming because it depends on an intimate understanding of ecological interactions in the firm landscape. The best use of local resources and local knowledge substitutes for chemicals and techno-fixes. Instead of a 11 B OX 3-1. A B IOTECH F I X FOR HUNGER? I i Have you heard of Golden Rice?It's the yellow- ' tinted strain of a staple food that has been genetically engineered to contain beta carotene, and that could be a blessing for the hundreds o f millions of people in the developing world 1 who lack enough vitamin A to lead healthy lives. (Beta carotene is the precursor of vitamin A, an especially important nutrient for children.) Worldwide. 100-140 million children suffer I some degree of vitamin A deficiency, a condition that can suppress the immune system, cause blindness. and, in extreme cases, even kill. Unfortunately,the average person would have t o consume an unreasonable amount of 1 Golden Rice every day--some 9 kilograms of cooked rice, 12 times the normal i n t a k e t o get the necessary vitamins. Some nutritionists argue that it would make more sense t o help poor people grow green vegetables, which produce more beta-carotene than Golden Rice does as well as various other nutrients completely lacking in rice, Golden o r otherwise. Moreover, beta carotene can only be converted t o vitamin A in the body of an already well nourished person. (Body fat and some other nutrients are necessary in the reaction from beta carotene t o vitamin A.) Geneticist Richard Lewontin notes that "the developers of Golden Rice have not dealt with this problem in their publicity releases." The much-touted promise and the sad reality of Golden Rice mirror the broader discussion of the role that genetic engineering may play in eradicating hunger. There is no doubt that biotechnology is an extremely powerful 11 ' package of inputs that is deployed in the same way everywhere, an agroecological approach depends on principles whose specific application varies by site.25 The importance of this approach for poor farmers has been confirmed by a recent sur- t ool that holds some real potential for agriculture. But its current emphasis b ean little relevance t o the needs of poor farmers and the world's hungry. The United States, Canada, and Argentina contain 98 percent of the global area of genetically engineered (or transgenic) crops. The biotechnology industry has funneled the vast majority of its investments into crops and traits designed for large-scale, mechanized farms of the First World-soybeans engineered to tolerate herbicide spraying o r corn that churns out its own insecticides. This is not a big surprise, considering the technology is largely controlled by the private sector and defined by a landscape of patents and other proprietary obstacles. A report from the U.N. Development Programme recently acknowledged this commercial reality, but clung t o the hope that biotech could play a large role if only given the chance. If there is a role for biotechnology in improving the way we farm and in reducing hunger, it may be as an informational rather than an engineering tool. The ability t o map and study the genetic code of agricultural plants-the field called genomics--can greatly enhance traditional breeding or improve our understanding of how plants respond t o drought and disease. This role for biotechnology may ultimately prove less r isky-and more p alatablethan swapping genes between wholly unrelated species. SOURCE: See endnote 24. I vey by University of Essex researchers Jules Pretty and Rachel Hine of over 200 agricultural projects in the developing world that depended on ecological approaches. They found that for all the projects-9 million firms, covering nearly 30 million hectaresyields increased an average of 93 percent, and substantially more in some cases. Most important, a majority of these projects succeeded in boosting production under adverse conditions, in marginal areas where everything else had M edJ6 One particularly u sell principle for raising production in these areas is the use of leguminous crops to boost soil fertility. Whereas F i t World firms face nutrient overload, nutrient shortages plague Third World h s . Annual rates of depletion for the principal plant nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) range fiom 40-60 kilograms per hectare in Latin America to we1 above 60 kilograms per hectare in parts of Africa. In East Africa, an estimated 50,000 firmers who cannot f iord chemical fertilizers are sowing several different leguminous tree crops (such as sesbania o r tepbrosia trees) during the fillow season as a way to boost the yield of the subsequent crop. Such "improved fillows" can often boost corn yields two- to fourfold in the following season, while also reducing pest pressures, yielding helwood and animal fodder, and improving soil health. The improved fillow system also lends itself to local adaptat i o n - h e r s can grow trees for differing lengths of time or can plant them with other crops-increasing the likelihood of success in a wide range of c ircum~tances.~~ Some might argue that doubling or tripling yields is less impressive when yields are starting fiom the low levels found in much of the developing world. But an ecological approach may in some cases hold significant untapped productivity that has been obscured by prevailing farm practices. Consider sustainable rice intensification (SRI), which confounds traditional rice growing in a number of ways. Rather than grow rice plants in clumps in flooded fields, SRI transplants seedlings at a much younger age, spaces individual plants widely, periodically waters the field, and aerates the soil throughout the season. These relatively simple changes mean that the plants develop much more extensive root systems, with additional strength to withstand drought and disease; flooding, it turns out, can suffocate and stunt the roots. Typical yields for SFU, which has been used by thousands of farmers in all major rice-growing regions, are 6-10 tons per hectare, several times the 2-ton average for rice grown in much of the worldJ8 Where the extra labor needed for certain agroecological techniques is not available, adoption of these techniques can be slowed. In certain parts of Asia, for instance, farmers have abandoned SIU techniques for this reason, despite the large potential increases in yields and profits. In such cases, farmers can emphasize innovations that require the least labor (adding legumes to the rotation, for instance) over practices that require more labor, such as regularly aerating the soil.29 Perhaps the most important testing ground for any attempt to eradicate hunger is so-called rain-fed areas-the agricultural equivalent of inner cities. These arid regions without irrigation are home to a disproportionate share of the world's hungry, and nearly half of the projects in the University of Essex survey took place in these areas. One project focused on boosting food security in the Sahelian countries of Africa-a region that includes Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Somalia and that is characterized by erratic rainfall, low natural soil fertility, and high rates of desertification. The Sahel is also one of the most entrenched pockets of hunger on the planet: more than half the children in several nations are chronically malnourished. Nearly 16,000 farmers on 26,000 hectares used a combination of measures to check erosion and boost the fertility and water-holding capacity of the soil, which resulted in a sustained tripling of both millet and peanut yields compared with control farms. In drought years-when hunger tends to deepen-these practices also resulted in less severe and less frequent crop failures. In general, agroecological systems exhibit more stable levels of productivity over time than chemical-intensive systems-a sort of risk management that results from strengthening the ecological infrastructure of the farm.jO Since mainstream agricultural research has tended to neglect these arid areas-the conventional approach has been to focus on irrigated areas because they have generally offered more stable and higher crop production-many of the relevant strategies will have to grow out of local innovation. On at least 100,000 hectares in Niger and Burkina Faso, a farmer innovation called tassas ( or zaz holes) has tripled yields on land that has generally been considered too infertile, dry, and cracked for most agricultural endeavors.' Tassas are small pits dug in the soil, filled with manure, and then planted once they fill with rain. Households using this technique have shifted from not having enough food for half the year to producing a surplus of 153 kilograms annually. These small schemes cost less than large-scale irrigation projects, are easier to manage from the bottom up, build on traditional knowledge of climate and hydrology, and are often the only ways for the very poor to get i rrigati~n.~' Clearly, for this sort of farming to thrive, farmers will need to control resource use and other decisions in a way that has not always been common. A lack of such involvement is one of the main reasons that many low-cost but high-yielding farming systems d o not flourish in the first place, particularly since the success of any ecological farming technique depends on locationspecific knowledge and adaptation. For instance, improving the availability of water often depends on greater involvement of farmers groups and cooperation between farmers. In Sri Lanka, a pilot program began in 1981 to improve water management in the irrigation scheme of Gal Oya-the largest and most disorganized system in the nation-by giving local farmers organizations control over the timing and distribution of water releases. These managerial changes alone doubled water use efficiency, so that twice as much cropland could be served with available water. In combination with improvements in agricultural practices, the amount of rice produced per cubic meter of water released from the reservoir quadrupled. Based on these results, the government decided in 1988 to hand management of irrigation systems nationwide over to local water users groups.32 M ore recently, during a drought in 1997, when the government considered suspending rice production completely, Gal Oya farmers organizations were given the opportunity to proceed with the small amount of water available. They were able to cultivate the whole area, and harvested an average to better-than-average crop. This is the sort of increase in water productivity that Sandra Postel of the Global Water Policy Project says will be required to cope with limited world freshwater supplies in coming decades.j3 Perhaps no other group commands as little control over agricultural decisions as women. In the developing world, women tend most of the fields, plant most of the seed, pull most of the weeds, haul most of the water for crops and family, harvest most of the food, and then cook most of it. Their role as nutritional gatekeeper has swelled as more men migrate to towns and citiesnearly 40 percent of households in rural I nda, for example, are headed by women. Yet rural development programs consistently overlook women, targeting extension, credit, and other services at men. Women own just 2 percent of land worldwide; even where they do, their ability to use it is hampered by limited access to agricultural infrastructure, credit, and extension. In Kenya, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, for example, women do most of the farming, yet receive less than 10 percent of the credit awarded to smallholders and just 1 percent of the farm credit overall.34 Such discrimination means women are less able or willing to invest in the land. Liz Alden Wily, a political scientist in East Africa, argues that lack of secure landownership rights for women is the most significant obstacle to reducing hunger and poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. Yields of maize, beans, and cowpeas could be increased by over 20 percent in that region by giving women equal control over agricultural inputs and equal access to extension services. In Kenya, a new weeding technique raised crop yields by 56 percent on women's plots when the women controlled the output, but by only 15 percent on men's plots when women weeded but the proceeds went to men.j5 Women are not the only marginalized group in this respect. In most nations, an elite minority owns most of the farmland, and largely determines how that land is used. Roughly 100 million farm familiesabout 500 million people-lack ownership or owner-like rights to the land they cultivate, including a near majority of agricultural populations in South and Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and Southern and Eastern Africa. (See Table 3-1.) They have little incentive to build up their soils, plant tree crops, or adopt many of the other agroecological techniques that require long-term investment, even when such practices may be in their best interest. In the case of improved fallows in East Africa, the poorest farmers have difficulty changing to the new system because they lack credit services and they need some cash flow until the fallow begins to pays 0% obtaining credit often depends on owning some land for ~ o l l a t e r a l . ~ ~ Rural development programs consistently overlook women, targeting extension, credit, and other services at men. T he participation of farmers in agricultural research can often make the difference between success and failure in reducing hunger. This requires building the capacity of local people to experiment, innovate, and better understand their ecological surroundings-a radical shift for many agricultural institutions, which still tend to regard farmers as a relatively marginal part of the agricultural R &D machine. The irony, according to agricultural sociologist Ann Waters-Bayer, who recently surveyed farmer innovations in sub-Saharan Africa, is that often the best place to look for solutions to the problems faced by farmers is in the fields of neighboring farmers who have been wrestling with the same problems for years.j7 As noted earlier, in San Martin in Guatemala, crop yields continued to Table 3-1. Land Distribution in Selected Countries and Worldwide Countrv D escri~tion Zimbabwe Some 70,000 whites (0.5 percent of the population) own 70 percent of the land; 4,000 whites own nearly one third of the farmland. South Africa Blacks, who account for 75 percent of the population, occupy 15 percent of the land. Namibia Some 4,000 whites (less than I percent of the population) own 44 percent of the territory. Brazil Just 3 percent of the population owns two thirds of the land. India Some 9 percent of the farm population owns 44 percent of the agricultural land. United States Only 16 percent of farmers control 56 percent of all the land. Worldwide In 28 o f 44 nations surveyed by the International Labour Organisation, the top 10 percent of landowners controlled over 40 percent of the land. SOURCE: endnote 36. See increase dramatically long after World Neighbors staff left, and some 80-90 different agricultural innovations were documented in the villages studied, including two new nitrogen-fixing crops, two new species of grass used for erosion barriers, marigolds used for control of parasitic worms, and homemade sprinklers for irrigation. In Latin America, only 30 percent of households who have participated in farmer field schools still suffer food shortages, compared with 50-65 percent of their neighbors. Rural residents who are better prepared to cope with shifting conditions-whether climate change or global market change-are better able to feed t hem~elves.~~ The Nature of Farming As agriculture has abandoned much of its original ecological complexity, it has become more of a drain on the global environment-worsening rather than lessening floods, emitting rather than storing carbon in soils, and destroying rather than hosting biodiversity. Since agriculture occupies such a large share of the world's land area-nearly 40 percent worldwide, and at least half in large nations like the United States and India-farming to build up rather than erode ecosystems offers widespread environmental benefits.39 Consider the relatively simple technique of planting two varieties of the same crop in one field. In China, when farmers have replaced the standard monoculture with two rice varieties, pest pressures have plummeted, allowing elimination of pesticide use. ( A side benefit was a 20-percent boost in total yield, since more diversity allows greater use of field niches.) In settings like the U.S. Midwest, where single-species fields that stretch for kilometers are the norm, the addition of a winter rye crop to the normal corn and soy rotation cut the amount of nitrogen leaking from fields by at least half, with huge benefits to water quality. Farms that rely more on ecological processes within the field and less on chemical inputs will themselves begin to h nction more like the wetlands, forests, and grasslands they replaced-with the added benefit o f producing food.40 Trees are one element that has generally not fit the stereotypical "modern" farm landscape. But by reintroducing trees and o ther perennials, farmers can reduce erosion, sequester carbon, retain water, and generally buffer agriculture against ecological extremes that accompany climate instability. Tree planting can also form part of the strategy to combat salinization, the dominant form of land degradation in irrigated regions. (Trees improve soil drainage and prevent water from pooling near the soil surface, where it evaporates and leaves salt residues.) In Algeria, the government has decided to convert a large chunk of its grainland-starting with 15 percent and eventually growing to 70 percent-to tree crops in an effort to stop the spread of the Sahara Desert and reduce the nation's considerable salinization problem.41 Reintegrating trees into the farm landscape is one part of a broader strategy to use agriculture to help conserve biodiversity. "Many people believe that biodiversity can be preserved simply by fencing it off," said World Conservation Union-IUCN scientist J efiey McNeely. "But agriculture and biodiversity are inextricably linked." Almost half of the areas currently protected for biodiversity are in regions where agriculture is a major land use. To avert widespread extinctions, a recent IUCN report recommends that farmers create spaces where wildlife can thrive in and around farms. Letting part of the farm go.wild often has the added benefit of boosting production, as when grass hedges provide fodder for livestock or habitat for pollinators. In the Philippines and Indonesia, fishing communities have banned fishing in "no-take" reserves to provide breeding sanctuaries where fish populations can recover. A survey of the reserves found that in the first three years after they were established, fish number, size, and diversity in the surrounding areas all increased d ramati~ally.~~ For the farmer, improving environmen- tal performance and raising the bottom line will often intersect. Consider the potential of "no-till" firming, which can simultaneously reduce costs, boost profits, and protect agriculture's most basic foundationsoil. The approach involves planting seeds in the stubble of the previous crop rather than plowing the soil each season, which can accelerate erosion. The growth of this technique in Latin America has been phenomenal: farmers are using no-till on 11 million hectares in Brazil, up from 1 million in 1991, and on 9.2 million hectares in Argentina, up from 100,000 hectares in 1990. In the Brazilian state of Paranh, where half of cultivated land uses no-till, costs for weeding, tillage, herbicides, and fertilizers have dropped dramatically, boosting profits by nearly $200 per hectare. And the technique has cut soil erosion by 9 0 percent, greatly reduced water pollution, and boosted soil organic matter-the form in which soils store carbon-pointing to a role for better soil management in efforts to mitigate climate change. (See Box 3-2.)43 Reducing agrochemical use and f r am pollution will also be essential to biodiversity preservation on the farm. A recent report from the Soil Association in the United Kingdom tallied the findings of 23 comparative studies of the biodiversity benefits of organic and conventional farming. On the organic farms, it found: substantially greater levels of both abundance and diversity of species, including five times as many wild plants and several rare and declining species; 25 percent more birds at the field edge and 44 percent more in the field in the fall and winter; 1.6 times as many of the bugs that birds eat; three times as many non-pest butterflies; o ne to five times as many spiders; and Last June it was not rainclouds that darkened the skies over Tintic Junction, Utah, but hordes of "Mormon crickets" eating their way across 600,000 hectares of farmland and more than $25 million of produce. That same month, provinces across China were hit by the worst locust plague in years, reaching a peak density of 3,00&10,000 insects per square meter in some areas. As in Utah, the affected areas in China had experienced warmer winter months than usual, followed by a prolonged dry spell, creating the perfect conditions for insects to breed and destroy cropland. Farming is vulnerable to many of the spasms that are likely to accompany a changing climate. Yet according to FAO, local disasters such as hurricanes, flooding or massive crop infestations pose less of a threat to Food production than the steady changes in rainfall patterns and regional temperatures. Fortunately, the same practices that help farms adapt to climate variations are the most potent weapons for mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For instance. building up a soil's stock of organic matter--the dark, spongy material that gives soils their rich smell-not only increases the amount of water the soil can hold (good for weathering droughts), it dramatic increases in life in the soil, including earthworm^.^ The organic systems surveyed held the biodiversity advantage by including more diverse crop rotations, the year-round presence of ground cover, greater habitat (hedgerows, trees, wild vegetation) at field boundaries, no use of agrochemicals, and use of green manuring (leguminous crops that are worked into soil)--all practices that have been progressively abandoned as agriculture has industrialized over the last helps bind more nutrients (good for crop growth). Organic matter is also the form in which our soils store carbon dioxide-the principal greenhouse gas. Whereas well-managed soils in temperate regions can accumulate 100 kilograms of carbon per hectare a year, and in the tropics 20&300 kilograms, farms planting green manures or using no-till methods can accumulate up to 1,000 kilograms of carbon in a m.Farms with trees planted strategically between crops will better withstand torrential downpours and parching droughts and will "lock up" even more carbon; the improved fallows being used in Africa typically store three times as much carbon as nearby croplands or grasslands do. The systems that store more carbon are often considerably more profitable, and they might become even more so if farmers get paid to store carbon under the international climate treaty. In Chiapas, Mexico, farmers are already paid to shift from systems that invoke regular forest clearing to agroforestry. The International Federation of Automobiles is funding the project as part of its commitment to reducing carbon emissions from sponsored sports car races. SOURCE: See endnote 43. century. Moreover, the authors concluded that the spread of organic firming in the United Kingdom was an essential component of any attempt to reverse the well-documented decline in Britain's farmland wildlife, and could deliver much better results than other government wildlife conservation p rograrn~.'~ Financial mechanisms can be among the most p owerll drivers for changing the way we farm. Yet governments have rarely penalized farm pollution. Pesticides, chem- ical fertilizers, and animal feedlots are just a few things that might be taxed. Denmark, Norway, and Sweden already have substantial taxes on pesticides, with the goal of cutting usage by 25-50 percent in coming years, and the Netherlands taxes farms that generate excess manure. Dave Brubaker of the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins University suggests a tax on industrial animal production, now the fastestgrowing form of meat production worldwide and a major source of water pollution. Such a tax not only would make it more expensive to set up and run factory farms, and therefore make grazing and organic meat production more competitive, but it would also help slow the loss of smaller firms because the tax would be based on herd size.46 Combining financial incentives with education about reducing agrochemical use is also powerful. After attending farmer field schools on insect ecology and nonchemical pest control (and after higher taxes on certain pesticides), 2 million farmers in Viet Nam cut pesticide applications from 3.4 to just 1 per season. And following a two-year campaign to explain to rice farmers that spraying during the first 40 days after sowing is unnecessary because insect damage during this stage rarely reduces yields, nearly 80 percent of Mekong farmers had stopped early spraying and 30 percent now farm rice entirely without pesticides-with no drop in yields.47 Today, however, most agricultural policy acts as a powerful disincentive against shifting to cleaner methods of food production. A case in point is the more than $320 billion that governments of industrial nations spend each year to support agriculture. The lion's share of these subsidies are tied to the production of a h andhl of commoditiessuch as corn, soybeans, and beef. This arrangement helped create the less diverse system in the first place and inhibits the adoption of resource-conserving practices by making them less profitable. Farmers interested in diversifjling o ut of the handful of crops that receive payments lose a significant source of income.48 But there is huge potential to use this money more creatively. Recent food safety crises in Europe and the United States, by exposing the public health fallout of current farm practices, have pushed the political momentum toward redirecting production payments to "greenn or "stewardship" payments, which would support firmers who meet certain ecological goals. An important side effect of decoupling these payments from production of a specific commodity would be the boost given to rural communities, since the current structure funnels the vast majority of funds to the largest and most well off farms. But the p owerhl commodity lobbies-including trading and processing firms that reap benefits in the form of lower commodity prices-are not likely to take any loss of income lightly, and represent one of the strongest barriers to subsidy reform.49 Although most industrial nations more than doubled public expenditures on agricultural conservation programs between 1993 and 1998, these payments still represent just 2 percent of total agricultural budgets in these nations, a meager counterweight to the massive commodity payments that perpetuate dysfunctional farming. Moreover, prevailing conservation payments focus mainly on marginal lands or the edges of fields, not on land in production. For example, 85 percent of U.S. conservation payments, including the Conservation Reserve Program that pays farmers to protect erosion-prone lands, are for lands not in production. Although beneficial, these programs do not by the 1993 Union-wide policy to support affect farmers' practices on the majority of farmers in the first years of conversion from their land.50 conventional to organic production. (See I n other words, "greening the edges" Figure 3 4 . ) Conversion has been highest will not be sufficient to restore biodiversity in the nations with the highest transfer payin farm fields and to reduce most farmments per hectare-Austria and Switzerrelated pollution, since "the middle" of land, where roughly 1 0 percent of the area the farm holds most of the potential for is organic today.52 b oth negative and positive ecological Without transition payments, many impacts. Some agricultural economists have farmers may be unable to afford to shift to suggested that any payments to farmers a different farm system: for many ecological should depend on a basic level of ecological farming practices, productivity and profcompliance and that farmers who go itability are likely to drop for awhile as the beyond the minimum should receive more ecological infrastructure of the farm (soil money. Nations can already do this without quality or insect predator populations, for making major changes to existing policy, instance) and the farmer's expertise but generally they do not. For instance, improve. For example, where decades of European states can deny subsidies to farms pesticide use have wiped out a farm's insect that do not comply with environmental populations, it may take several years to requirements, although only a few have rebuild the diversity that helps control pests done so. And the existing U.S. Farm Bill naturally once a farmer decides to move provides for several conservation programs toward nonchemical pest control. Even that are perennially underfunded. Still, though studies show that losses are often France is considering shifting 20 percentrecouped by greater returns after the transiup from just a few percent today--of tion period, farmers generally see cost as a all direct payments to farmers toward rural chief reason not to change. The transition is development and ecological farming also complicated by the inertia of university programs in coming years. This would professors and researchers, agricultural support France's Contrats Territoriales d'Exploitation (land management Million Hectares 4 agreements), a new grassroots program that involves rural communities in deciding what changes to farming 3practices will most benefit local environmental needs but also farm p r~fitability.~~ 2Whatever the policy change, new incentives can elicit a dramatic Iresponse. Consider the effects of broad government support for organSource: Univ. of Wales 0 ic farming in the European Union. 1985 1990 1995 2000 Over 8 0 percent of the explosive g rowth in organic area there has Figure 3-4. Certified Organic and In-conversion Land in European Union, 1985-2000 occurred in the last six years, spurred I I extension agents, and government agricultural officials, who are all often quite unfamiliar with new modes of farming.53 W hy C are About Rural Areas? Because the farm sector is such a small share of the economy in wealthy nations, it is easy to think that governments can ignore rural areas. Michael Lipton o f the Poverty Research Unit at the University of Sussex describes a contradiction between the rhetoric of poverty reduction among international lenders, like the World Bank and aid agencies, and the large-scale neglect of rural areas-home to most of the world's poor. International aid to agriculture has declined two thirds in real terms since the 1980s; rural investments represented less than 10 percent of World Bank comrnitments in 2000.54 Such reductions send a worrisome signal to governments in Atiica, Asia, and Latin America, who have already cut spending on education, credit, marketing assistance, and other essential support services in rural areas, partly as a result of austerity measures encouraged by international lenders like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. "As public commodity procurement boards-along with the provision of rural credit and extension and rural infrastructure m aintenanceare privatized as part of structural adjustment policies," notes Rafael Mariano, chairman of a F iipino farmers union, "the new entities are under no obligation to service marginal rural areas and often result in even spottier coverage than the institutions they were intended to replace."55 Rampant consolidation at all layers of the food chain has further squeezed the role of farmers in the economy. (See Table 3-2.) In Canada, for example, just three companies control over 70 percent of fertilizer sales, five banks provide the vast majority of agricultural credit, two companies control over 70 percent of beef packing, four companies mill 80 percent of the wheat, and five companies dominate food retailing-a situation that means farmers pay more for inputs and get paid less for what they harvest. Although industry analysts often argue that such consolidation is necessary to deliver affordable food, it reduces choice and ultimately allows a few companies to control prices. To date, few nations have shown interest in enforcing existing antitrust laws in agriculture, with even less hope of such action at the global But the argument for investing in rural areas is quite strong, since rural people still constitute the majority of the population in developing nations. Moreover, rural investment generally spills over to the rest of the economy and to urban areas, becoming an indispensable engine of economic growth (not to mention the growing and more explicit role for farmers in taking care of the countryside). Rising farm production and farm incomes provide the base for growing urban industrial centers, which gradually draw people out of agriculture-the history of the industrial world over the last century or so. In West Africa, for example, each $1 o f new farm income yields income increases in the local economy ranging f iom $1.96 in Niger to $2.88 in Burkina Faso. And the growing prosperity of millions of small firms in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan following World War I1 is widely cited as the major stimulus to the dramatic economic boom those countries enjoyed. I n contrast, many farmers today-far from choosing to move to the city-are driven off the land by desperate economic circumstance~.~' Table 3-2. Concentration in Various Layers of Agribusiness Business Sector Description Agrochemicals Five companies control 65 percent of the global pesticide market. Seeds The top 10 seed firms control 30 percent of the global seed m a r k e ~ companies five control 75 percent of the global vegetable seed market. Trade The top five grain trading enterprises control more than 75 percent of the world market for cerea1s.A handful of transnational companies control about 90 percent of the global trade in coffee, cocoa, and pineapples; about 80 percent of the tea trade; a 70 percent of the banana m a r k e ~nd more than 60 percent of the sugar trade. Meat One firm controls 60 percent of chicken purchases in Central America. In the United States, four companies control over 80 percent of beef packing, and five companies pack 75 percent of the pork. Retail Five retailers control 50 percent or more of all food purchases in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom; two firms control over 80 percent of Hong Kong's retail market; between 1994 and 1999, the share of the retail sector in Brazil controlled by the top 10 supermarkets grew from 23 percent to 44 percent. S U C : See endnote 56. ORE Prosperous rural areas can thus take pressure off of urban infrastructure by reducing migration to cities. Research in Brazil has found that in just one month the total cost to the state of maintaining a given person in an urban shantytown, including water services, electricity, and infrastructure, can exceed the yearly cost of helping landless laborers get established on idle farmland. As a result, urban welfare groups there have joined with farmers, unions, and environmentalists to support the Landless Workers Movement, a grassroots coalition that pushes for land reform, as an alternative to the growth of city slums.58 Ecological farming systems might offer an even better alternative, since they generally require greater management and labor, usually a plus for rural communities. ( Notill farming is a notable exception; it reduces labor needs, although the farmer will spend more time orchestrating the diverse rotation that helps keep weeds down once plowing stops.) In the Indian states of Maharashtra, Gujurat, and Tamil Nadu, since the introduction of water storage tanks, widespread tree planting, and other measures to boost water conservation, seasonal migration out of rural areas has declined sharply, as enough water is now available to farm in the dry seas0n.~9 Land reform has fallen off the development radar in recent years, even though lack of land rights is still one of the dominant constraints to improving rural lives. Analyses of poverty trends in India between 1958 and 1992 have shown that poverty fell the most in the states that implemented more land reform. China's move from collectivized management of farmland to relatively equitable household responsibility between 1977 and 1985 resulted in tremendous gains in food production, moving a huge chunk of the world's rural poor out of poverty. Especially where land is scarce or widespread redistribution is unlikely, even small amounts of land for a garden or home can mean better family nutrition, higher income and status, and access to credit.60 Collective action among farmers in the form of cooperatives, unions, or research collectives can be particularly important to bolstering power in the food chain. Economist Bina Agarwal notes that t!!roughout South Asia, forming groups has been an essential strategy to boost the power of women in the struggle for land rights. Farmers cooperatives in Mozambique enjoy greater market access, improved transportation of produce, and better prices, including 22 percent more for maize and 93 percent more for groundnut than paid to individual farmers. In general, these groups help farmers take back some of the profit currently captured by the rest of a gribu~iness.~' I n other cases, the central challenge for farmers will be finding new market opportunities, a pursuit that remains largely neglected. A recent survey in the developing world found that just 12-15 percent of agricultural projects included some focus on either marketing or increasing the value of the farm product through processing. (As with insecure land rights, farmers are much less likely to invest in their farms without access to markets.) The Association for Better Land Husbandry in Kenya has developed the Farmer's Own brand, which markets energy bars, cooking sauces, and other food items made from locally produced crops as a way to get farmers a h gher price for their harvest. Among the most h elpll initiatives would be basic credit and storage facilities that allow farmers to wait for the best time to sell their harvest and thus capture some of the windfall profits that usually go to local merchants, lenders, and brokers. Cashstrapped farmers often need to sell their produce at harvest time, when a market glut means that prices have bottomed out, and then buy the same crop back for their own consumption later in the season, when prices might be several times higher.62 T he exact opportunities will vary with location, but the ability of a wide base of the rural population to make more money on or off the farm depends partly on closing the gap between rural and urban areas in schooling, literacy, health care, and other basic services. A recent analysis showed that of six types of public investment in rural areas in China-education, agricultural research, roads, telephones, electricity, and irrigation-education has the greatest impact on reducing poverty. Extra investment in rural areas generally enhances welfare more than it would in urban areas, since rural communities start from a much lower level of service; for example, an extra year of schooling for an urban child will likely mean costly college education, whereas for a rural child it means grammar Lack of land rights i s s till one of the dominant constraints to improving rural lives. Many government officials and development economists view trade as an essential component of reducing rural poverty. Yet in most nations, market liberalization has tended to benefit larger farmers and agribusiness companies and to widen inequalities. between these people and small, poor farmers. The United Nations surveyed 16 developing nations implementing the last phase of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and concluded that "a common reported concern was with a general trend towards the concentration of farms," a process that tends to exacerbate rural poverty and unemployment. During the first seven years of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), all three participating nations saw commodity prices and farmer incomes plummet, as the companies that trade and process agricultural commodities reaped windfall profits. As farmers depend o n markets that are farther and farther away, moving, storing, processing, and brokering of food begins to assume greater importance than production.* Current international trade agreements actually restrict the ability of nations to protect and build domestic farm economies, forbidding domestic price support and tariffs on imported goods. (Politically powerful industrial nations have, nonetheless, boosted their own barriers to trade in recent years.) At the same time, these agreements leave considerable wiggle room on other forms of trade distortion, including the ability of wealthy nations to dump subsidized crops on the world market well below the cost of production-an economic weapon that can squash local food production by driving prices down and actually worsen poverty among those who depend on agriculture for their income. Michael Widfuhr of FIAN, an international hunger rights group, argues that trade agreements must create some space for nations to pursue domestic goals of eradicating hunger, maintaining a base of family farmers, or striving for some level of self-sufficiency"a trading system where food sovereignty is the priority and fair trade prevails."65 Ethical Eating "Eating is an agricultural act" is how farmer-poet Wendell Berry explains the fact that how we eat determines to a large extent how we farm. For the average eater, this implies a new identity-from a relatively apathetic purchaser to an active critic of the food system, ever curious about the ori- gins and history of food. The depths of consumer preference have often been limited to subtleties of packaging, color, or flavor, but a new generation of eaters seems to hold much higher expectations for their food system. As one small example of emerging consumer power, the recent decision by Monsanto to permanently discontinue its genetically engineered Bt-potatoes was not prompted by a corporate change of heart, but rather by consumer and environmentalist pressure put on McDonald's and Frito-Lay, the major U.S. purchasers of p~tatoes.~" Interest in taking an active role in the food system will grow as consumers begin to understand their personal stakes in various types of farming. A series of well-publicized food safety crises-from the on-going mad cow crisis to t he recent foot-andmouth outbreak-has made this abundantly clear to Europeans in recent years. By undermining consumer confidence, these events opened the door to greater support for organic farming, regional food self-sufficiency, and pressure to shift the massive Common Agricultural Policy budget toward ecological goals. In Germany, the detection of the first mad cows in the nation's herd prompted the prime minister to replace the agriculture minister with an environmentalist, who quickly set a goal for increasing Germany's organic area from the current 2 .6 percent to 20 percent by 2010 and declared "the end of intensive farming as we know it." Perhaps the most promising element of this U-turn on farm policy is the sense that politicians as well as consumers view the recent food scares not as isolated incidents but as symptoms of an agricultural system gone wrong.67 T he self-interest component of food activism, however, runs much deeper than food safety. Greater freshness, nutritional value, and food quality are all potential payoffs. The argument for average citizens to take a more active role in their food system is also strengthened by the fact that in many industrial nations, farmers now get nearly half of their income fiom government payments. Consumers have a right to demand that farmers better serve the public interest.68 For instance, the public pays for the prevailing dysfunctional food system through increased medical costs associated with poor food choices. Don Wyse, an agronomist at the University of Minnesota, thinks that these health impacts offer an opportunity to enlist the urban majority as a political base for redirecting the food system. He notes that the prevailing corn-and-soybean system in the U.S. Midwest basically provides society with inexpensive meat and sugar-two products that contribute to the national obesity crisis. (Seventy percent of the corn and nearly all soybeans are used in industrial meat production, while highfructose corn syrup has become the primary sweetener in the American diet.) The range of public health concerns associated with U.S. farm practices also includes the rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant microbes due to the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed as well as other health risks associated with unhygienic animal farms.69 I n some cases, farmers are already beginning to operate in more of a public service function-and the public is paying accordingly. For example, German water supply companies in Munich, Osnabriick, and Leipzig now pay neighboring farmers to go organic-a cheaper investment than removing farm chemicals from the water. In Washington State, a coalition of farmers, a consumer food cooperative, a local Indian tribe, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife are purchasing sections of farmland that border salmon breeding grounds and switching them to organic production in an effort to reduce water contamination in the spawning and nursery habitat. Australia's Landcare movement involves rural communities, both farmers and nonfarmers, in projects to reclaim soil, plant trees, clean rivers, and reconcile farming practices with local ecological health. The movement has grown from 200 community Landcare groups in 1990 to 4,250 today; one third of Australia's farmers now belong to a Such efforts are not restricted to wealthy nations. Coffee growers around San Salvador, El Salvador's capital, are being encouraged to reintroduce trees into their farm landscape in an effort to boost the city's water supply, which went into steep decline in recent years as farmers in the surrounding hillsides cut down trees. In one proposal, a share of residential waterbills in San Salvador will be earmarked for a farmer fund.7' Consumers can nurture a particular food system by seeking out foods produced with care to ecological and social consequences. Since people in the First World exercise power by virtue of their money, they can drive the market for organic produce or shade-grown coffee; for people in the Third World, the ethical choice might simply be how to get enough to eat. William Vorley of the International Institute for Environment and Development argues that the virtual monopoly in many national retail markets "makes retailers very sensitive to campaigns designed around ethics, safety or environment." He points to Christian Aid's Global Supermarket Campaign as a model of farmer and consumer groups joining forces to publicize corporate commitment to animal rights, family farms, or fair trade. Such "food activism" can often have a profound impact on the lives of farmers halfway around the Consider the growing fair trade move- ment, a partnership between First World consumers and Third World food producers that seeks to improve the often unfavorable conditions of trade. The typical fair trade arrangement guarantees that farmers receive a fair share of the retail profit (often several times more than they would receive from mainstream distributors) and that agricultural workers receive fair wages and enjoy labor rights. The product label also generally carries more information about the people and process involved in production than is typical, reinforcing consumers' interest in having an impact with their purchase. Worldwide, an estimated $400 million worth of fair-traded products are bought each year.73 In a global food market, one of the most significant selections a consumer can make i s t o buy locally grown food. Perhaps more significant for the wellbeing of food producers in developing nations, fair trade standards often overlap with organic farming standards to demand that farmers use no pesticides. Although most of the world's pesticide use today occurs in the North, a lack of safety equipment or proper instructions means that most pesticide poisonings occur in the developing world. The World Health Organization estimates that every year 3 million people suffer from severe pesticide poisoning, matched by a greater number of unreported, mild cases that result in acute conditions such as skin irritation, nausea, diarrhea, and breathing problems. These poisonings result in as many as 20,000 unintentional deaths, in addition to an estimated 200,000 "pesticide suicides." (Suicides are more visible and therefore reported more frequently than unintended poisonings.) Many of the most popular export crops, from cut flowers to miniature vegetables, are also the most pesticideintensive, reinforcing the potential benefits of fair trade.74 Globalization in some ways threatens to obscure this story behind our food, because of the inevitable breakdown in the crop's identity as it is processed and moved great distances, but also because prevailing trade agreements tend to emphasize the product rather than the process used to make it. Such agreements even threaten local sovereignty over public health or ecological standards, ceding many food quality decisions to international bodies that are nondemocratic and dominated by industry representatives. O r consider the World Trade Organization's ruling that Europe must import hormone-treated beef from the United States and Canada or face retaliatory sanctions, even though European countries ban such practices on their own farms. Consumers have good reason to be skeptical of claims that they are among the primary beneficiaries of the trade agreements-seven years into NAFTA, for instance, inflation-adjusted prices for foods at the checkout counter in the United States, Canada, and Mexico are considerably higher, even as commodity prices bottomed Food policy expert Tim Lang doubts, however, that citizens around the world will allow the global integration of the food system to threaten their ability to know about their food. "At its apparent moment of triumph, the globalisation of the food supply is engendering a worldwide political opposition," Lang notes, "characterized by a set of countertrends that celebrates the local over the global, fresh over processed foods, and diversity over homogeneity." A Slow Food movement was founded in 1989 t o celebrate the wisdom and pleasures of local cuisines-and, as its name implies, to retain alternatives to the proliferation of fast food-and now includes 65,000 members in 45 countries.76 I n an increasingly global food market, one of the most significant selections a consumer can make is to buy locally grown food. In much of the world, farmers no longer sell food to their neighbors. Instead they sell it into a long and complex food chain of which they are a tiny part-and are paid accordingly. Apples in Boise's supermarkets are from China, even though there are apple farmers in Iowa; potatoes in Lima's supermarkets are from the United States, even though Peru boasts more varieties of potato than any other country. Buying food produced locally will help take some of the profits of food traders, brokers, shippers, and processors and put them back in the pocket of the farmer and the rural community. An additional benefit of reconnecting farmers with consumers will be to take some of the distance out of the modern food chain, whose sprawl now means that transportation is one of the food system's biggest energy uses and sources of greenhouse gas emissions. Food eaten in the United Kingdom travels 50 percent more on average than two decades ago. The average distance traveled by food to reach one Chicago, Illinois, wholesale market has increased by 22 percent in the last two decades. While this might mean greater variety for the global eater, it also requires large amounts of energy, generates excess packaging and pollution, and can reduce food quality. In the United States, refrigerating, transporting, and storing food uses eight times as much energy as is provided by the food itself.77 "Eating local" can go a long way toward reducing this toll. In the Iowa Food System Project, a given basket of Iowa-grown foods traveled an average of 74 kilometers to reach its destination, compared with 2,577 kilometers if these foods had arrived from conventional national sources. The conventionally sourced meals also used 4-17 times more fuel than the local meals and released 5-17 times more carbon dioxide. Eating locally generally also means eating more fresh, whole foods, since many of the additives and processing that go into our food are the consequence of the time that commercial food spends in transit and storage. Shorter trips can have food safety advantages as well, since opportunities for contamination proliferate over long-distance hauls and long-term tor age.'^ Farmers markets, shopping in season, local-food labels, and other direct buying schemes are just some of the ways to support local food systems. Concerted efforts to get schools, hospitals, government agencies, and other institutions to set food procurement standards that favor local or regional farmers can also have powerful impacts. The benefits are often not just financial, but social and psychological, as the wider community begins to understand what it takes to produce the food it eats, and as relationships develop between food growers and food eaters.T9 Finding as much of this common ground as possible will build the coalition for transforming our food system. Once stable farm communities are seen as beautiful landscapes that arrest the invasion of asphalt, then people who are sick of urban sprawl become an ally of farmers. When city folk realize that the cleanliness of their drinking water depends on the practices of the farmers in their watershed, then support for farmers no longer seems an unreasonable drain on public coffers. And when governments and aid agencies understand that alleviating poverty in the countryside assures more prosperity for the whole nation, then redistributing land or shoring up rural banks become urban priorities. The agricultural sector has operated alone in the political sphere for too long. Food is too essential to keep other parties away fiorn the table. I W O R L D S U M M I T PRIORITIES O N A G R I C U L T U R E I * * * * Shift agricultural subsidies to support for ecological farming practices. Tax pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and factory farms. Redistribute land and guarantee secure ownership rights to both women and men. Eliminate export subsidies and food dumping. Assure women equal rights and support in agriculture. - Chapter 3. Farming in the P uMu Irrtemst 1. Roland Bunch, COSECHA, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, discussion with author, 5 May 2001. 2. Roland Bunch, "Increasing Productivity Through Agroecological Approaches: Experiences from Hillside Agriculture in Central America," in Norman Uphoff, ed., Agroecological Innovations: Increasing Food Prodwction with Participatory Development (London: Earthscan, forthcoming); Roland Bunch and Gabinci Mpez, Soil Recuperation in Central America: I Sustaining Innovation After Intervention, G atekeeper Series No. 55 (London: International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), 1 995), p. 12. 3. Bunch, op. cit. n ote 2. 4. Ibid. and Human Values, J une 1999, pp. 169-85; Green Revolution from Lori Ann Thrupp, Cultivating Diversity: Apobiodiversity and Food Security (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, 1 998), p. 2 1. 5 . Ibid.; Zelaya quote from Jules Pretty, University of Essex, Colchester, U.K., discussion with author, 2 4 September 2001. 6. World Neighbors, Lessons from the Field, Reasons for Resiliency: Toward a Sustainable Recovery after Hurricane Mitch ( Oklahoma City, OK: 2000). 7. Agriculture is the focus of chapters 1 4 and 3 2 of &enda 21, the blueprint for change adopted at the U.N. Conference on Environment and Development, though issues related to agriculture are mentioned throughout the document; synergies between agricultural policies in Jules Pretty and Rachel Hine, Reducing Food Poverty with Sustainable Agriculture: A Summary of New Evidence, Executive Summary ( Colchester, U.K.: SAFE-World Research Project, University of Essex, February 2 001), p . 8. 8. Figure 3-1 from U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), FAOSTAT Statistics Database, a t <apps.fao.org>, updated 2 May 2001; food prices from International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Financial Statistics Yearbooks (Washington, DC: various years). 9. J. N. Pretty et al., "An Assessment of the & Total External Costs of UK Agriculture," Acultural Systems, August 2000, pp. 113-36; health care costs associated with poor diets in the United Kingdom are conservatively estimated at over $3 billion, according to Mike Rayner, Department of Public Health, Oxford University, e-mail to author, 5 October 2001. 10. C heap food policies from Tim Lang, u The Complexities of Globalization: The UK as a Case Study of Tensions Within the Food System and the Challenge to Food Policy," Apiculture 1 1. Jeffrey A. McNeely a nd Sara J. Scherr, Common Ground, Common Future: How Ecoagriculture Can Help Feed the World and Save Wild Biodiversity ( Gland, Switzerland: World Conservation Union-IUCN, May 2001); David Tilmen et al., "Forecasting Agriculturally Driven Global Environmental Change," Science, 13 April 2001, p. 281. 12. Calorie intake provided by 3 0 plants from FAO, The State of the World's Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture ( Rome: 1 997), p . 14; China from ibid., p. 34, with present-day update from Z honghu H e, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, e-mail to author, 1 0 October 2001. 13. Landscape structures from Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Environmental Indicators for Agriculture: Methods and Results, Executive Summary (Paris: 2 000), p. 4 2; farmland birds from Pretty et al., op. cit. n ote 9, p. 125. 1 4. C ropland in just two species from U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Agricultural Statistics Service, 1997 Census of Agriculture (Washington, DC: February 1999). 15. Nitrate and pesticide levels in groundwater from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), The B a l i t y of Our Nation's Waters-Nutrients and Pesticides (Reston, VA: 1999); soil quality from Phil Barak, University of Wisconsin-Madison, "Acidification from Fertilizer Use Linked to Soil Aging," press release, 3 March 1999; share of our crop lost t o pests from Montague Yudelman e t al., Pest Management and Food Production, F ood, Agriculture, and the Environment Discussion Paper 2 5 (Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), September 1 998), p p. 7, 1 3; Figure 3-2 from FAO, Fertilizer Yearbook ( Rome: various years) and from K.G. Soh and M. Prud'homme, Fertilizer Consumption Report: World and Regional Overview and Country Reports (Paris: International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA), December 2000); Figure 3-3 from Rob Bryant, Agranova, letter to author, 1 7 July 2001, adjusted for inflation using U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. Implicit GNP Price Dejlator, cwww.bea.doc. gov>. 16. R. Alexander et al., "Effect of Stream Channel Size on the Delivery of Nitrogen to the Gulf of Mexico," Nature, 2 4 February 2000, pp. 7 58-60. 17. McNeely and Scherr, op. cit. n ote 11, p. 7; Robert J. Diaz, "Hypoxia: A Global Perspective" (manuscript), Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA, sent to author, 22 August 2000. 18. Irrigated land for 1950 and share of world's grain provided by irrigated land from Sandra Postel, Pillar of Sand ( New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1 999), pp. 4 1 4 2 ; irrigated land for 1999 from FAO, op. cit. n ote 8, updated 10 July 2001; continued expansion of irrigated area from Postel, op. cit. this note. 19. Water table drop from Liu Yonggong and John B. Penson, Jr., "China's Sustainable Agriculture and Regional Implications," paper presented to the symposium on Agriculture, Trade and Sustainable Development in Pacific Asia: China and Its Trading Partners, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 12-14 February 1998, and from.Michael Ma, "Northern Cities Sinking as Water Table Falls," South China Morning Post, 1 1 August 2001; 10 percent of the world's grain harvest from Postel, op. cit. n ote 18, p. 80; wetlands from McNeely and Scherr, op. cit. n ote 11, p. 7. 20. Share of poor in rural areas and higher rural rates of poverty from International Fund for Agricultural Development ( IFAD), Rural Poverty Report 2001 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2 001), pp. 15, 21; U.S. rural poverty from "Farm Families Flock to Food Banks," M ournal, 2 9 July 2001; rural indicators and hunger concentrated in the countryside from IFAD, op. cit. this note, pp. 72, 91, 106, 107; 800 million estimate based on calculating available food supplies from FAO, The State of Food Insecurity in the World (Rome: 2001); Gary Gardner and Brian Halweil, in Underfid and Overfed: The Global Epidemic of Malnutrition, Worldwatch Paper 150 (Washington, DC: Worldwatch Institute, March 2 000), provide an estimate of 1.1 billion based on surveys of body weight around the world; number and levels of hunger in sub-Saharan Africa from United Nations, Administrative Committee on Coordination, Sub-committee on Nutrition, Fourth Report on the World Nutrition Situation ( Geneva: January 2000). 21. Share of food dollar going to farmer from Stewart Smith, University of Maine, letter to author, 20 August 2000. 22. Goal for 1996 and 2001 declaration from FAO, op. cit. n ote 20; 1974 declaration from FAO, at <www.fao.org/wfs/index-en. h tm>. 23. Norman Uphoff, "Challenges Facing World Agriculture in Our New Century," in Uphoff, op. cit. n ote 2; 1.8 billion from John Pender and Peter Hazell, "Promoting Sustainable Development in Less-Favored Areas, Overview," in John Pender and Peter Hazell, eds., Promoting Sustainable Development in Less-Favored Areas, 2 020 Vision, Focus 4, Brief 1 (Washington, DC: IFPRI, November 2 000), a nd from Peter Hazell, IFPRI, discussion with author, 19 June 2001. 24. Bunch, op. cit. n ote 1; Uphoff, op. cit. n ote 23. Box 3-1 based on the following: 100-140 million children from World Health Organization (WHO), "Micronutrient Deficiencies: Combating Vitamin A Deficiency," <www.who. int/nut/vad.htm>, viewed 10 October 2001; amount of Golden Rice needed for necessary vitamins from Greenpeace, "Genetically Engineered 'Golden Rice' is Fool's Gold," press release (Manila/Amsterdam, 9 February 2001); Richard Lewontin, "Genes in the Food!" The New York Review, 2 1 June 2001; concentration of transgenic crops from Clive James, Global Review of Commercialized Transgenic Crops: 2000, ISAAA Brief No. 21 (Ithaca, NY: Interna- tional Service for the Acquisition of AgriBiotech Applications, 2000); U.N. Development Programme, "Although Controversial, GMOs Could Be Breakthrough Technology for Developing Countries," press release for Human Development Report 2001 (New York: 1 0 July 2001). 25. Uphoff, op. cit. note 23. 26. Pretty and Hine, op. cit. note 7, pp. 1 0,48; Jules Pretty, University of Essex, Colchester, U.K., e-mail to author, 26 September 2001. 27. Nutrient depletion rates from Julio Henao D and Carlos Baanante, Numment epletion in the &cultural Soils of Afrtca (Washington, DC: IFPRI, October 1 999), and from Stanley Wood et al., Apoecoytems: Pilot Analysis of Global Ecoystems (Washington, DC: IFPRI and World Resources Institute, 2 000), p. 52; improved fallow from Pedro Sanchez, "Benefits from Agroforestry in Africa, with Examples from Kenya and Zambia," in Uphoff, op. cit. note 2, and from Pedro Sanchez, International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF), discussion with author, 16 February 2001. 28. Norman Uphoff, "Opportunities for Raising Yields by Changing Management Practices: The System of Rice Intensification in Madagascar," in Uphoff, op. cit. note 2. 29. Arie Kuyvenhoven and Ruerd Ruben, "Economic Considerations for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification," in Uphoff, op. cit. note 2; SRI from Norman Uphoff, Cornell University, discussion with author, 23 March 2001. 30. Sahelian project described in Pretty and Hine, op. cit. note 7, pp. 124-25, and in Arnadou Makhtar Diop, KOrganic I nput Management to Increase Food Production in Senegal," in Uphoff, op. cit. note 2; more than half the children malnourished from FAO, op. cit. note 20; more stable levels of productivity from Arie Kuyvenhoven and Ruerd Ruben, "Economic Considerations for Sustainable Agricul- tural Intensification," in Uphoff, op. u t. note 2, and from Rick Welsh, The Economics of Organic Grain and Soybean Production in the Midwestern United States, Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, Policy Studies Report No. 1 3 (Greenbelt, MD: May 1999). 31. Neglect of arid areas and advantages of smaller schemes fiom IFAD, op. cit. note 20, pp. 92, 94, and fiom Sandra Postel, Global Water Policy Project, discussion with author, 23 August 2001; focus on irrigated areas from Peter Hazel], IFPRI, discussion with author, 19 June 2001; t mas example from Pretty and Hine, op. cit. note 7, pp. 123-24. 32. Gal Oya from C. M. Wijayaratna and Norman Uphoff, "Farmer Organization in Gala Oya: Improving Irrigation Management in Sri Lanka," in Anirudh Krishna e t al., eds., Reasons for Hope: Instructive Experiences in Rural Development (Bloomfield, CT: Kumarian Press, 1997), pp. 166-83; Norman Uphoff and C. M. Wijayaratna, "Demonstrated Benefits from Social Capital: The Productivity of Farmer Organizations in Gal Oya, Sri Lanka," Wwld Development, November 2000. 33. Uphoff and Wijayaratna, op. cit. note 32; Postel, op. cit. note 18, p. 11. 34. Underappreciation of women in agriculture from Jules Pretty, Ruerd Ruben, and Lori Ann Thrupp, "Policies and Institutional Changes," in Uphoff, op. cit. note 2; female-headed households in India and migration from Bina Agarwal, "Disinherited Peasants, Disadvantaged Workers: A Gender Perspective on Land and Livelihood," Economic and Political Weekly, March 1998, pp. 2-14, and from Ruth Meinzen-Dick et al., Gender, Property Rights, and Natural Resources, FCND Discussion Paper No. 29 (Washington, DC: IFPRI, May 1997), p. 27; 2 percent of land worldwide fiom Katherine Spengler, "Expansion of Third World Women's Empowerment: The Emergence of Sustainable Development and the Evolution of International Economic Strategy," Colorado Journal of International Environmental Law and Policy, summer 2001, p. 320; biases against women from ibid., and from IFAD, o p. cit. n ote 21, p. 87; five African nations from FAO, "Women Feed the World," prepared for World Food Day, 16 October 1998 (Rome: 1998). 35. Liz Alden Wily, Land Tenure Reform and the Balance of Power in Eastern and Southern Afvica, O D1 Natural Resource Perspectives 58 (London: Overseas Development Institute, June 2000); Liz Alden Wily, Overseas Development Institute, e-mail to author, 7 J une 2001; yield increases of 20 percent from A. Quisumbing, "Male-Female Differences in Agricultural Productivity," World Development, O ctober 1996, pp. 1579-95; weeding technique from D. Elson, " Gender Awareness in Modeling Structural Adjustment," World Development, November 1995, pp. 1 851-68. 36. Families without land ownership rights from Roy L. Prosterman and Tim Hanstad, Land Reform: A Revised a e n d a for the 21st Century, Rural Development Institute, RDI R eports on Foreign Aid and Development No. 108 (Seattle, WA: Rural Development Institute, July 2 000), p. 1; effects of lack of ownership from ibid., from IFAD, o p. cit. n ote 20, p. 7 1, and from Arie Kuyvenhoven and Ruerd Ruben, "Economic Considerations for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification," in Uphoff, op. cit. n ote 2; improved fallow from F. Ksweige et al., "The Effect of Short Rotation Sesbania sesban Planted Fallows on Maize Yield," Forest Ecology and Manadement, April 1994, pp. 199-208. Table 3-1 from the following: Zimbabwe from Jon Jeter, "Africa's Racial Land Divide," Washington Post, 2 1 February 2001; South Africa and Namibia from Rachel L. Swarns, "The West Sees One Mugabe, but M i c a Sees Another," New York Times, 6 August 2000; Stephen Buckley, "Brazil Unveils Agrarian Reform Program," Washington Post, 5 July 2000; Department of Agriculture and Co-operation, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, "Agricultural Statistics at a Glance," <agricoop.nic.in/statistics/ h oldl.htm>, viewed 4 September 2001; U.S. data are for 1998 from USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, U.S. and State Data, "Farm Numbers and Land in Farms," at <www.nass.usda.gov:8l/ipedb>, viewed 4 Sep- tember 2001; worldwide from International Labour Organisation, Sustainable Agriculture in a Globalized Economy, R eport for discussion at the Tripartite Meeting on Moving to Sustainable Agricultural Development through the Modernization of Agriculture and Employment in a Globalized Economy (Geneva: 2 000), p . 22. 37. Uphoff, op. cit. n ote 29; Chris Reij and Ann Waters-Bayer, eds., Farmer Innovation in Afkica: A Source of Inspiration for A picultural Development ( London: Earthscan, October 2001); Ann Waters Bayer, ETC Ecoculture Netherlands, discussion with author, 5 April 2001; Jules Pretty, "Social and Human Capital for Sustainable Agriculture," in Uphoff, op. cit. n ote 2. 38. San Martin from Bunch, op. cit. n ote 2; farmer field schools in Latin America and general importance of this approach to farmer learning from Pretty and ~ & e o p. cit. n ote 7, p p. , 1 5,65. 39. FAO, op. cit. n ote 8; nearly 4 0 percent includes cropland and rangeland. 4 0. Youyung Z hu et al., "Genetic Diversity and Disease Control in Rice," Nature, 17 August 2000, pp. 718-21; rye and nitrogen from Paul Porter, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, "Precipitation and Runoff in the Cottonwood River Watershed: an Historical Perspective with a Future Vision of a Cropping System Involving a Cereal Rye Cover Crop," at <www.rrcnet.org/ - porterp/CO?TON.htm>. 41. "Algeria t o Convert Large Cereal Land t o Tree-Planting," Reuters, 8 December 2000. 42. Jeffrey A. McNeely, I UCN, Gland, Switzerland, discussion with author, 4 J une 2001; McNeely a nd Scherr, op. cit. n ote 11, pp. 10, 13. 43. Ademir Calegari, "The Spread and Benefits of No-Till Agriculture in P arani State, Brazil," in Uphoff, op. cit. n ote 2; half of state in no-till from Pretty and Hine, op. cit. n ote 7, p. 67. Box 3-2 from the following: Michael Janofsky, "Plague of Crickets Does $25 Million Damage to Crops in Utah," N w York Times, June 18, e 2001; "China Suffers Worst Locust Attack in Years," Agence France Presse, 1 8 June 2001; FAO, Committee on Agriculture, 16th Session, "Climate Variability and Change: A Challenge for Sustainable Agricultural Production," Rome, 26-30 March 2001, p. 3; amounts of carbon stored in temperate and tropical soils and trees from Pretty and Hine, op. cit. note 7, p. 16, and from John 0 . Niles et al., "Potential Carbon Mitigation and Income in Developing Countries from Changes in Use and Management of Agricultural and Forest Lands," Centre for Environment and Society Occasional Paper 2001-04, University of Essex, U.K., July 2001; three times from Pedro A. Sanchez, "Linking Climate Change Research with Food Security and Poverty Reduction in the Tropics," Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, December 2000, p. 378; Chiapas example from McNelly and Scherr, op. cit. note 11, p. 20. 44. Soil Association, The Biodiversity Benefits of Organic Farming (Bristol, U.K.: May 2000). 45. Ibid. 46. Pretty and Hine, op. cit. note 7, p. 75; Dave Brubaker from "Global Resource Center for the Environment (GRACE) Calls for a Tax on Factory Farm Meat," press release, at <www.factoryfarm.org>, 1 4 June 2001; fastest growing form of meat production from Cees de Haan e t al., "Livestock & the Environment: Finding a Balance," report of a study coordinated by FAO, U.S. Agency for International Development, and World Bank (Brussels: 1 997), p. 53. 47. Pretty and Hine, op. cit. note 7, p. 131. 48. Ibid., p. 74; OECD, Agricultural Policies in OECD Countries: Monitoring and Evaluation 2001 (Paris: 2 001), pp. 25, 178, 183-84; barriers to diversifying from Thomas L. Dobbs and Jules N. Pretty, The United Kingdom's Experience with Agri-environmental Stewardship Schemes: Lessons and Issues for the United States and Europe (Colchester, U.K.: South Dakota State University Economics Staff Paper 2001 - 1 and University of Essex Centre for Environment and Society Occasional Paper 200 1- 1 , March 2 001), p. 7. 49. Pretty et al., op. cit. note 9, p. 131; food safety connection from Dan Bilefsky, "EU's Women Farm Ministers Espouse 'Green' Agriculture," Financial Times, 7 March 2001, and from Renate Kiinast, "The Magic Hexagon," The Ecologist, April 2001; distribution of farm payments from OECD, Agricultural Policies in OECD Countries: Monitoring. and Evaluation 2000 (Paris: 2 000), p. 47. 50. O ECD, op. cit. note 13, p. 15; 85 percent from Dave Serfling, Land Stewardship Project, testimony to Hearing on Conservation on Working Lands, Agriculture Committee, U.S. Senate, Washington, DC, 2 August 2001. 51. "Greening the edges" is an expression used by Dobbs and Pretty, op. cit. note 48, p. 6 ; r oom for change under existing laws from Franz Fischler, European Commissioner for Agriculture, "A Three-Pronged Reform: The Common Agricultural Policy Should be Adapted t o Changing Consumer Needs-But Not Scraped," Financial Times, 8 May 2001; h n d ing for U.S. conservation fiom Jules Pretty et al., "Policy Challenges and Priorities for Internalising the Externalities of Modern Agriculture," Journal of Environmental Planning and ManagL.ment, forthcoming; details on France from Dobbs and Pretty, op. cit. note 48, pp. 1, 17. 52. Nicolas Lampkin, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, U.K., "Organic Farming in the European Union-Overview, Policies and Perspectives," paper presented at the EU conference Organic Farming in the European Union-Perspectives for the 21st Century, Vienna, 27-28 May 1999; Figure 3 4 from University of Wales, Aberystwyth, European Organic Farming Statistics, at <www.organic.aber.ac. uk/stats.shtml>, viewed 18 September 2001. 53. Pretty and Hine, op. cit. note 7, p. 74; Kristen Corselius et al., Sustainable Agriculture: Making Money, Making Sense (Minneapolis, MN: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, March 2 001), pp. 9 ,32; Welsh, op. cit. note 30, p. 41. tem," Report to the National Farmers Union, 5 February 1999; Hong Kong retail from Tim Lang, Thames Valley University, London, discussion with author, 14 June 2001. 5 4. Michael Lipton, University of Sussex, "Rural Poverty Reductions: Are We Winning the War?" presentation at the World Bank, Washington, DC, 3 1 October 2000; aid to agflcu~ture from IFAD, op. cit. note 20, pp. 1-2, 229; World Bank commitments from IFAD, Annual Report (Rome: 2001), p. 9. 57. Lipton, op. cit. note 54; West Africa from Christopher Delgado et a]., "Agricultural Growth Linkages in Sub-Saharan Africa," IFPRI Research Report 107 (Washington, DC: IFPRI, December 1998), p. xii; Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan from Peter Rosset, "The Multiple Functions and Benefits of Small Farm Agriculture," Policy Brief No. 4 (Oakland, CA: Foodfirst/Institute for Food and Development Policy, September 1 999), pp. 12-13. 55. Reduction of services from Deborah Bryceson, ed., Disappearing Peasantries? Rural Labour in Afrtca, Asia, and Latin America (London: Intermediate Technology Publications, 2000), pp. 54, 3 0 4 4 5 ; Rafael Mariano, Peasant Movement of the Philippines, e-mail to author, 5 August 1999. 56. National Farmers Union (Canada), "The Farm Crisis, EU Subsidies, and Agribusiness Market Power," presentation t o the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and Forestry, Ottawa, ON, Canada, 17 February 2000. Table 3-2 from the following: pesticide and seed market from "Globalization, Inc., Concentration in Corporate Power: The Unmentioned Agenda," Communique (Winnipeg, MN, Canada: ETC Group (formerly RAFI), 5 September 2001); vegetable seeds from "The Gene Giants: Update on Consolidation in the Life Industry," Communique (Winnipeg, MN, Canada: Rural Advancement Foundation International, 30 March 1999); trade statistics and retailers in Europe from Fileman Torres et d . , "Agriculture in the Early XXI Century: Agrodiversity and Pluralism as a Contribution to Address Issues on Food Security, Poverty, and Natural Resource Conservation" (draft) (Rome: Global Forum on Agricultural Research, April 2000), p. 14; chicken purchases in Central America and retail sector in Brazil from William Vorley and Julio Berdegut, "The Chains of Agriculture," World Summit on Sustainable Development Opinion (London: IIED, May 2001); beef and pork packing from William Heffernan, University of Missouri, Columbia, "Consolidation in the Food and Agriculture Sys- 58. IFAD, op. cit. n ote 20, p. 2; Brazil from Rosset, o p, cit. note 57, pp. 11-12. 5 9. Higher labor requirements of ecological agriculture from Corselius e t al., op. cit. note 53, p. 33, and from Arie Kuyvenhoven and Ruerd Ruben, "Economic Considerations for Sustainable Agricultural Intensification," in Uphoff, op. cit. note 2; India examples from Pretty and Hine, op. cit. note 7, p. 61. 6 0. Prosterman and Hanstad, op. cit. note 36, pp. 8, 11; general discussion of land rights included in Klaus Deininger, "Land Tenure, Investment, and Land Values: Evidence from Uganda," World Bank, 5 March 2001, unpublished paper, pp. 2-3; India and China from IFAD, op. cit. note 20, pp. 74-76. 61. Bina Agarwal, A Field of One3 Own: Gender and Land Rights in South Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994), see especially p. 487; IFAD, op. cit. note 20, p. 171. 62. Pretty and Hine, op. cit. note 7, pp. 10, 17; Jules Pretty et al., "Policies and Institutional Changes," in Uphoff, op. cit. note 2; Jim Cheatle, Director, Association for Better Land Husbandry, Nairobi, Kenya, discussion with author, 12 February 2001; IFAD, op. cit. note 20, pp. vi, 161-73. 63. Diane Carney, Approaches to Sustainable Livelihoods for the Rural Poor, OD1 Poverty Brief (London: Overseas Development Institute, 2 January 1999); gap between rural and urban areas and greater impact of extra investment in rural areas from IFAD, o p. cit. note 20, pp. 6, 101-02, 105-06; Xiabo Zhang and Shenggen Fan, Public Investment and Regional Inequality in Rural China, Environment and Production Technology Division (Washington, DC: IFPRI, December 2000), p. 23. 7he Living Land (London: Earthscan, 1 998), p. 283; "PCC Farmland Fund Rescues Its First Farm: Fund Created by PCC Natural Markets Saves Strategic Growing Area for Organics," press release (Seattle, WA: PCC Farmland Fund, 11 April 2000); Scott Hayes, Landcare Policy and Program Section, Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Australia, e-mail to author, 1 7 July 2001. 64. Peter Uvin, 7he International Organiza- 71. Ernesto Mendez, Agroecology Program, University of California, Santa Cruz, discussion with author, 20 June 2001. tion of Hunger (London: Kegan Paul International, 1994); FAO, "Issues and Options in the Forthcoming W TO Negotiations from the Perspective of Developing Countries, Paper No 3: Synthesis of Country Case Studies," F A 0 Symposium on Agriculture, Trade and Food Security, Geneva, 23-24 September 1999, p. 4; Global Trade Watch, Down on the Farm: NRFTA's Seven-Tears War on Farmers and Ranchers in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico (Washington, DC: Public Citizen, June 2001). 65. Sophia Murphy, Trade and Food Security: An Assessment of the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agn'culttrre (London: Catholic Institute for International Relations, 1999); increased barriers in industrial nations from OECD, op. cit. note 48, p. 11; Michael W indhhr, FIAN, discussion with author, 11 February 2001. 66. "The Pleasures of Eating," in Wendell Berry, What Are People For? (New York: North Point Press, 1990); Scott Kilman, "Monsanto Co. Shelves Seed That Turned Out To Be A Dud O f A Spud," Wall Street Journal, 2 1 March 2001. 67. Renate Kiinast, "The Magic Hexagon," 7he Ecologist, April 2001, p. 48; Dan Bilefsky, "EU's Women Farm Ministers Espouse 'Green' Agriculture," Financial Times, 7 March 2001. 68. O ECD, op. cit. note 49, pp. 11, 165-66. 69. Don Wyse, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, discussion with author, 23 May 2001. 7 0. German water companies from Jules Pretty, 7 . William Vorley, Agribusiness and Power 2 Relations in the Agri-Food Chain (draft), background paper (London: IIED, June 2 000), p. 21. 73. Based on a statement developed at the International Federation for Alternative Trade Annual General Meeting in May 1999, at cwww.ifat.org/fairtrade-defin.html>; 400 mil$ lion from Fair Trade Federation, "Fair Trade Facts," at <www.fairtradefederation.com/abfacts.html>, viewed 1 October 2001. 7 4. WHO in collaboration with U.N. Environment Programme, Public Health Impact of Pesticides Used in Agriculture (Geneva: 1990); pesticide-intensive nature of export crops from Lori Ann Thrupp, Bittersweet Harvest for Global Supermarkets: Challenges i n Latin America's [email protected] Export Boom (Washington, DC: World Resources Institute, 1995). 7 . Lang, op. cit. note 10; hormone dispute 5 from "EU and US Claim Beef 'Victory,"' Financial Times, 1 6 January 1998, and from "Beef Hormones: E U Pushes for Compensation Deal with US," Wall Street Journal, 1 4 September 2000. 76. Lang, o p. cit. note 10; Slow Food statistics from <w&.%lowfood.com>, viewed 2 1 August 2001. 77. Transportation and storage as big energy users and sources of greenhouse gas emissions from Andrew Jones, Sustain, London, e-mail to author, 23 J une 2001; United Kingdom from Food Miles--Still on the Road to Ruin? ( London: Sustain-The Alliance for Better Food and Farming, October 1999), p. 6; distance to Chicago a market from Rich Pirog et al., Food, F ~el, nd Freeways: An Iowa Perspective on Hmv Far Food Travels, Fuel Usage, and d eenhot~eGas Emissions (Ames, IA: Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University, 2001), p. 1 ; eight times as much energy from Daniel B. Wood, "Coming Soon to City Near You: A Farm," Christian Science Monitor, 3 January 2001. 78. Iowa Project from Pirog et al., op. cit. n ote 77, pp. 1-2 ( the ranges depend on the system and truck type used to move the food). 79. USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service, Innovative Marketing Opportunities for Small Farmers: Local Schools as Customers (Washington, DC: February 2000); Rich Pirog, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, discussion with author, 20 June 200 1 . -- - -- ~ - - -~ ...
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