Thursday, December 12, 2019

NFU issues Luddite report

The National Farmers Union has issued a report that fits well with its history, but is woefully out of step with reality.

In the report, it calls for an end to intensive agriculture and a return to smaller, family-run, diversified farms.

It reminds me of the iconic stern couple, pitchfork in hand, that once graced boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.

It says this would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farming and would support more farmers.

But the NFU also questions the Green Revolution because it requires nitrogen fertilizer to boost yields.

This ignores the fact that the Green Revolution provided food for millions of people who were hungry and many of them starving.

It ignores the fact that there are many rural communities in Third World countries that have significantly fewer poor families because of the Green Revolution.

There is a very good reason why Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. What achievements can the National Farmers Union claim?

Like the iconic picture on the Corn Flakes boxes, the NFU report ought to be relegated to history.