What kind of agriculture do we need to feed the world? World leaders have come up with yet another target: halving (not ending) hunger by the year 2015. But is this any more likely to be achieved than previous targets? And what about animal diseases like BSE, foot and mouth disease and salmonella; declining food variety and quality; and disappearing topsoil, hedgerows and biodiversity in the rural areas? Better access to land and a more equitable income distribution are part of the solution. The other is to move away from a monoculture production system monopolized by a handful of giant corporations. John Madeley argues for the spread of a low-external input approach, a reintegration of traditional farming techniques, new farming practices like organic agriculture and permaculture, and a range of 'green' technologies to offer a viable livelihood to farmers, food for the hungry, and safe and good tasting food for the rest of us.
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