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Agriculture needs research and wise management, not the dreams and utopias

The report, which we referenced in our article shows the possibility to produce enough food and reduce agriculture's contribution to emissions of greenhouse gases, without having to take additional landutrymme in the claims. The goal is to stop what it calls matklyftan, landklyftan and växthusgasklyftan up to 2050.

Based on the official agricultural statistics, showing the authors of the report to agriculture during the period 1961-2010 have increased their productivity by approximately 2 percent per year. Based on the models that form the basis for the report, also shows that the single most important measure to achieve the objectives is to maintain and further increase the growth in productivity. If not it is so will not the objectives to be achieved.

. Failure to do so, we run the risk of sacrificing large parts of the world's remaining forests, wetlands and savannahs. We agree with the authors of the report in this finding.

There are two boundary conditions in the report, and it is there that we perceive to David van der Spoel (DvdS) have reacted. It is not realistic to believe that the entire world's population can move to a vegetarian diet by 2050, partly due to an increasing share of the world's population then lifted out of absolute poverty, and rightfully will demand a more diversified diet. It is also not realistic to believe that all the world's food should be distributed fairly so that the whole population of the earth allotted a fair share and no more. Even if the opposite would be a desirable utopia, should thoughts about such a dream world not to guide the agriculture development.

Then it can happen, for example, to the monocultures, as DvdS, from its ”essential” point of view, that is reprehensible, turns out to be the best combination of productivity, sustainability and efficient land use. In a similar way, it can show that both the pesticides, the genetically-value-added crops, and other life with which the critics of the system tend to throw out with the bathwater, helps us to achieve a sustainable agriculture.

in general, we are surprised that so many of our colleagues in the agricultural sector, do not themselves seem to rely on existing knowledge or the development resources and förändringspotential that science offers. Instead, the slogans and the activism to replace the knowledge and reflection. In the criticism of intensive production methods, which seems to lie in the aktivismens DNA suppressed, for example, always the research shows that intensive production on a given area combined with protection of adjacent areas, in total, may provide the best protection for biological diversity.

This will conclude, therefore, by three examples of how research can contribute to a sustainable agriculture, without the revolution, or even particularly disruptive system changes:

researchers at SLU have shown that by producing a variation of rice that is not leaking as much carbon to the microorganisms that thrive in risodlingarnas hypoxic markmiljö. In field trials, it has been shown that this rice may reduce the release of greenhouse gas methane from the rice fields, with 90 per cent.

By creating an alternative route in kloroplasten (the part in the cell where photosynthesis takes place) for the remaining compounds of carbon which is released if the plants are exposed to too much heat and drought, these can be utilized rather than lost. In field trials, it has been shown to be able to provide up to 40 percent higher yields.

The microorganisms to which the ruminants have in the digestive system produces large amounts of methane, which the animals then release. Man has long sought different methods (including the vaccination of animals) in order to influence the micro-organisms. Recently, it has been found a compound – called 3-NOP – that reduces the metanproduktionen with 30 per cent and at the same time increases the growth of the animals. This seems to be a very promising opportunity to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from livestock production.

through wise stewardship, research and business – without the winks to the enlightened despotism or of other more or less totalitarian ideas that have begun to show their ugly snouts on lately. We think this is worth all due respect.

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