1. New Zealand Farmers clearly favour organic over GM
2. IRDAP project for eco-friendly organic farming
1. New Zealand Farmers clearly favour organic over GM
Press Release: 11 September 2000
NEW RESEARCH SHOWS NEW ZEALAND FARMERS CLEARLY FAVOUR ORGANIC OVER GM
Recent research conducted by the Agribusiness and Economics Research Unit at Lincoln University has revealed a strong lack of support for GM technologies among primary producers. Many more farmers and growers showed an inclination towards organic production rather than GM. The researchers Andrew Cook (Lincoln), John Fairweather (Lincoln) and Hugh Campbell (Otago University) analysed the intentions of 656 farmers and growers across all the major agricultural and horticultural sectors about whether they would adopt GM technologies or organic production.
The survey measured strength of farmer intentions to use new technologies in the next ten years. The results showed that only 21% of growers had a positive intention to use GM technologies, while 44% had a negative intention. Conversely, 37% had a positive intention towards organic production, while 19% had a negative intention. In a more direct question, 49% of farmers and growers thought that New Zealand should try to become GM-free, while 32% disagreed with such a strategy. Dr Hugh Campbell (Otago University) commented that while the results may surprise some people, the survey involved a lot of respondents and deployed sophisticated methods to enable an accurate understanding of farmer and grower intentions to be understood. Further, the results are in line with other recent surveys on farmer and grower opinions on GM and organics. One recent Australian survey showed that 26% of Australian primary producers were supportive of using GM technologies, while a recent survey in New Zealand by Affco suggested that 15% of growers supported GM technologies.
The same Affco study suggested that 70% of farmers and growers supported organics. Dr Campbell suggested that this result was overly influenced by the use of an ‘either/or’ option in the survey method, but the Lincoln University findings were not incompatible with this figure. ‘We have provided a more accurate finding for the true level of support for organics (37%) and GM (21%) among farmers and the results are still very surprising. There is clearly strong latent support for organic production, and the level of farmer antipathy to organics evident a few years ago appears to have dramatically decreased’. ‘In contrast, the GM fad among farm industry leaders and agricultural scientists is not catching on with the grassroots industry. Farmers are basically sceptical about the prospects for GM technologies’.
For Comment: _Dr Hugh Campbell, Otago University._
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IRDAP project for eco-friendly organic farming
Bangladesh Independent - Metropolitan
CIRDAP project for eco-friendly organic farming
Now it is time to rethink whether we will use chemical fertilisers and pesticides for better output at the expense of the environment or use eco-friendly organic farming, a key to sustainable agriculture, reports UNB.
According to a video documentary, chemicals and pesticides not only kill the pests but also their predators. Vegetables, fruits, foodgrains, animal products, aquatic animals areas observed to carry the residues at menacing level due to use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.
The Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific (CIRDAP) yesterday showed the video documentary on organic farming through vermiculture in its efforts to find substitute practices for hazardous chemicals and pesticides.
In a bid to disseminate the indigenous and innovative techniques for sustainable agriculture for replication and adaptation, CIRDAP has taken up a project entitled, "Sustainable Development of Agriculture through Organic Farming Using Vermiculture Practices."
The project will be implemented in Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Pakistan within next three years.
The documentary highlighted that a switchover to organic agriculture can be done without any loss of production with the help of earthworms. CIRDAP Director General Dr Mya Mung inaugurated the show while director of the pilot project division Dr P Subrahmayam focused on various aspects of the project.
Till the mid-60s of the 20th century, farming practices were sustainable and eco-friendly. Though the Green Revolution succeeded in augmenting food production over the last few decades, it caused many ecological problems.
Over exploitation of water resources for irrigation, high consumption of chemical fertiliser, pesticides and farm machinery, inadequate attention to maintaining the soil health and other factors have accelerated the process of environmental degradation, the documentary showed.
"Sustainable agriculture through organic farming offers a viable route for the countries of the region and it provides chemical-free food helping people maintain a robust health," Dr Mung said.
A major advantage of promoting organic agriculture is its contributions to generating on-farm diversity in place of monocropping of uniform plant varieties.
The cropping patterns under the system include inter-cropping, mixed cropping and other combinations in addition to tree-based cropping and farming systems in which agricultural crops are grown in combination with compatible tree species or livestock components. It not only consumes less water, but also arrests the wastage of water and soil as it can absorb six inches of rainfall in one hour.