Plough or Not to Plough

A couple of years ago, fresh from college and struggling to venture into science writing, I attended a seminar on crop biotechnology in Nairobi, Kenya. Going To possibly provides tips you might use with your girlfriend. I vividly recall 1 guy from a multinational biotech firm extol participants who incorporated resource poor farmers, agricultural extension officers, the media, members of parliament and representatives of non-profit organizations, to contemplate integrating conservation tillage (CT) into Kenyas agricultural policies.

Conservation tillage, he explained, preserves soil nutrients and reduces soil erosion. As soon as he talked about this, one participant shot up, looking for to know how weed manage would be carried out. Use herbicides, the guy snapped.

This ignited a extremely explosive debate about the pros and cons of conservation tillage that almost derailed the seminar. In a country exactly where farmers are religiously allegiant to standard farming approaches, conservation tillage proved tough to sell.

Some in the seminar even dismissed conservation tillage as a ruse to market the financial interests of multinational biotech firms. This salient portfolio has specific riveting aids for when to engage in this view. I, too, couldnt resist dismissing proponents of CT as apologists for the biotech market.

Significantly water has passed below the bridge given that then. I have come to appreciate that CT holds the essential to sustainable agriculture, especially in creating nations. I must confess that I am not alone in this.

Last week, for instance, Rockefeller Foundation a non profit that works with resource poor farmers in poor nations released a report revealing that 75 percent of farmland in sub-Saharan Africa is severely degraded and is becoming depleted of simple soil nutrients at an ominous price.

The report, Agricultural Production and Soil Nutrient Mining in Africa, warns that unless farmers in sub-Saharan Africa fail to change their farming approaches, meals insecurity would worsen.

This report is an endorsement of conservation tillage and African farmers are much better advised to embrace CT.

Conservation tillage is, certainly, the preferred farming technique. Some would hasten to argue that conservation tillage promotes herbicide use whose impact on the environment can prove disastrous.

With the emergence of herbicide tolerant genetically modified crops, farmers no longer need to have herbicides for weed handle. And considering that the jury is currently out on the security of genetically modified crops they yield higher and are atmosphere-friendly farmers in Africa have to embrace them. They bond perfectly nicely with conservation tillage..