Simply growing more with less

Local conservation biologist Pamela Zevit recommends an Ecologist article about “A simple agricultural technique [that] could release farmers from the grip of agrochemical corporations.” It begins:

There is an agricultural revolution taking place in the global South that is confounding scientists and frustrating the business plans of corporations like Monsanto and Bayer, because this emerging System of Rice Intensification (SRI) uses no chemicals, no pesticides, no GM seeds or specific hybrids and needs no extra financial input.

According to the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development, SRI has been shown to increase yields by 20–100%, reduce the amount of seed needed by 90%, and use up to 50% less water than current methods of cultivation. These miraculous results have been replicated time and again in India, Africa, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Latin America, and not just with rice, but also with wheat, sugar cane, teff, yams, millet and many other crops.

The article, “Farming Freedom,” is short and easy to read. For more, you can also go to the SRI site, which includes this illustrated version of the method. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI)

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Pamela Zevit, conservation biologist with the South Coast Conservation ProgramPamela Zevit, who brought this to our attention, is active with the South Coast Conservation Program, “Conserving and restoring at-risk species and ecosystems on the BC south coast.” When Pamela came on a Garden City Conservation ecotour of the Garden City Lands, we all learned from her dialogue with tour guide Michael Wolfe. It is important to realize that there are people like Pamela and Michael, not starting with all the answers but bringing the knowledge and respect for nature that enables them to reach the answers.

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