International Farmers Rethink Techniques

Farmers across the globe are rethinking traditional farming techniques, thanks in part to efforts by international organization like the United Nations, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, and the U.S. State Department. Motivated by reports by a variety of organizations, including the United Nations and the National Research Council, farmers in the U.S. and across the world are facing changing economic, demographic, and climatological conditions that require new approaches in agriculture.

Given the increasing rise in the world population, many scientific organizations are afraid that current agricultural production will not be able to keep pace with an increasing global population. Reports by both the UN and the National Research Council worry that current practice in both the developing and developed world are not sustainable and will ultimately result in global hunger.

In light of these gloomy reports, many farmers are abandoning traditional farming practices. Porfirio Bastida, a Mexican farmer who has been in the agricultural industry for more than thirty years, recently embraced conservation-focused agricultural techniques, abandoning field tilling and employing crop rotations. Practices such as these increased production and reduce resource use.

These practices are being encouraged across the world. The U.S. government’s $3 billion Feed the Future Initiative works with 20 nations in Africa, Latin America, and Asia to encourage sustainable agricultural practices. The United Nations recently called on developed nations to invest $2 trillion to help encourage small-scale, sustainable agriculture.

In addition to improving environmental conditions worldwide and combating hunger, embracing sustainable agriculture could also help combat political instability across the globe. Food insecurity often contributes to political problems in many nations. The recent Egyptian Revolution, for example, was caused in part by high food prices and food insecurity as a result of crop failures in Egypt and Russia.

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer