- Food security through seed saving in the African diaspora.
- Food security through breadfruit in Hawaii.
- Food security through the dietary diversity of women.
- Food security through preserving fruits and veggies in Azerbaijan.
- Food security through tomato wild relatives.
- Food security through Native American farming practices.
- Food security through agroecology.
One Reply to “Nibbles: Seed saving, Ulu, Diet diversity, Azeri fruit/veg, Tomato breeding, Indigenous farming, AGRA-ecology”
It is difficult to know what Dr Wise is complaining about as he tries to promote agroecology for Africa. For example, maize productivity in Rwanda went up by 66% over 13 years: good by any standards. Total maize production went up 300% as area expanded. In contrast, millet yields fell 45%, so of, course, farmers switched to maize: who wouldn’t?
The University of Essex study cited by Wise surveyed was not for `ecological agriculture projects’, as he claims, but for agricultural sustainability – including `ecological management’: but then all agriculture is `ecological, isn’t it. But it also accepted GM crops –not agroecological at all.
The biggest problem for Wise pushing agroecology for Africa is that his fox was shot 14 years ago by the infamous IAASTD Report (a World Bank initiative at a cost of $15million with 500 experts). The consolidated report heavily promoted agroecology but the Devil is in the Detail. The five regional IAASTD reports differed quite remarkably in mentions of `agroecology’: for Sub-Saharan Africa, 2 mentions; Central and West Asia and North Africa, 2; North America and Europe, 2; East and South Asia and the Pacific, 8; Latin America and the Caribbean, 151 mentions. So agroecology is 75 times more important to LAC than to SSA? Not believable, of course, and, anyway, why were the World Bank editorial team expecting us to believe it – we are not that stupid?
And Wise’s attempt to promote agroecology for Africa also fails. What happened was that indigenous crops of sorghum and millet face indigenous African pests and pathogens which farmers (and agroecologists) can’t control, whereas modern Green Revolution introduced maize varieties are (relatively) free of co-evolved pests and pathogens. This is something the Green Revolution is good at – crop introduction – and something of highest importance that agroecologists will never get their heads round.
As Wise attempts to trash the Green Revolution in Africa in favour of agroecology he forgets the role in central Africa of CIAT (a Green Revolution Institute) with a programme of introducing climbing beans (Phaseolus) with 300% higher yields and a major source of dietary protein