[P2P-F] barriers to the agro-ecological switch

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Wed Aug 31 10:35:33 CEST 2011

Dear Eli,

this is a very important article, but needs some effort in excerpting and

see http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/08/01/who-will-feed-the-people/


That chemical-based farming is a failing experiment has been well-documented
elsewhere; numerous books and articles have explored declining soil
fertility, chemically-resistant weeds and pests, the tainting and depletion
of irrigation water, the shrinking diversity of seeds, the dangers of
genetically modified crops, and the plummeting nutritional value of fruit,
vegetables, and grains. I will not reiterate these issues here, except
through examples that address my points, which concern the future of

The “need” for a smaller-scale, non-chemical-based agriculture is clear. So
are the attributes that it must have. This agriculture will be
regionally-based, because the means for shipping produce around the world
will no longer be profitable. This agriculture will be based more on animal
power (two-legged and four-legged), because machines will be few, and the
fuel for them too expensive or unavailable. This agriculture will focus on
soil-building rather than chemicals, because the chemicals are sourced from
the same raw materials that make the fuel. This agriculture will break with
monocropping over hundreds of acres and instead utilize small parcels
intercropped. And, this agriculture will have to involve much more than 2%
of the population, even if that population is in decline."

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