MODENA, Italy - Small-scale, not industrial farming, is the answer to food shortages and climate change, organic farmers argued this week.
Meeting at the Organic World Congress this week, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements IFOAM -- www.ifoam.org -- criticized a recent U.N. food summit for touting chemical fertilizers and genetically modified (GM) crops rather than organic solutions to tackle world hunger.
The World Bank says an extra 100 million people worldwide could go hungry as a result of the sharp rise in the price of food staples in the last year.
At the U.N. food summit in Rome this month, the World Bank pledged $1.2 billion in grants to help with the food crisis.
"The $1.2 billion the World Bank says will solve the food crisis in Africa is a $1.2 billion subsidy to the chemical industry," said Vandana Shiva, an Indian physics professor and environmental activist speaking at the forum in Modena.
"Countries are made dependent on chemical fertilizers when their prices have tripled in the last year due to rising oil prices," she said. "I say to governments: spend a quarter of that on organic farming and you've solved your problems."
©Reuters and The Organic Consumers Association, 7/2/2008
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