World’s System of Food Production Has Serious Ecological Effects, Report Concludes

A new report published yesterday calls for radical changes in world farming, to avoid food shortages and serious ecological effects. The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), led by Professor Robert Watson, Chief Scientist at DEFRA, states that governments focus too narrowly on increasing food production, with little regard for natural resources or food security. 400 scientists from 40 countries worked on the report, the first of its kind to involve governments, industry and NGOs from rich and poor nations.

Science and technology should be targeted towards raining yields but also protecting soils, water and forests. Professor Watson commented that “incentives for science to address the issues that matter to the poor are weak”. Professor Watson yesterday also commented that GM technology as currently practised does not offer the solution to food shortages, but can contribute in part. The authors also warned that the global rush to biofuels was not sustainable, with biofuels contributing to deforestation and degradation of land and soils.

See full article in the Guardian: Change in farming can feed world – report, 15 April 2008