Eco-farming to bootstrap poor economies

A major study has shown that green farming methods such as crop rotation and organic farming increased crop yields by an average of 79%, without risking future harvests.

“Most people think it is bad news from the south,” Professor Pretty said, “but in many ways farmers in developing country are leading the way.”

The researchers found methods that did not have an adverse effect on local biodiversity allowed farmers to reap the rewards of growing crops in healthy soil.

“People are using a variety of integrated pest management techniques; making the best of biodiversity like predators, parasites and multiple cropping,” Professor Pretty told the BBC News website.

“In essence, it allows the ecosystem to deliver the pest management services.”

This approach paid dividends, he said, because it not only cut the use of pesticides but also resulted in farmers having to spend less of their income on chemicals.

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