Agroecology vs Agribusiness in the Solar- Digital Age

Author:  Butler-Hookes, Johanna
Almanac: Evolution:Evolutionary Trends, Aspects, and Patterns


This paper addresses the following question: can the world's nutritional needs be met from a sustainable food system, i.e., one that simultaneously protects the environment from pollution, prevents loss of bio-diversity and reduces carbon emissions, so as to stabilize the climate?

The present agribusiness food production is highly dependent on external inputs of fossil fuel, artificial herbicides, pesticides, fertilizers and genetically modified seeds (GMS) to keep yields maintained. Environmental scientists, social scientists and development agencies consider them as big polluters and major contributors to loss of biodiversity and destabilization of climate.

The paper considers agroecology, working with nature, agroecologists and local knowledge, practiced by millions of smaller farm units, presently providing 70 % of the world food needs. This approach is analyzed and compared with the commercial system through the use of various case studies.

Conclusions are drawn on which system is the most likely to succeed in meeting the urgent need for a Sane (S), Humane (H) and Ecologically (E)(SHE) sustaining food system that will both care for the planet and contain the increase in temperature to within the 2 % above pre-industrial levels with the assistance of solar renewable energy.

Keywords: agribusiness, agroecological, artificial fertilizers, biodiversity, certification, chemical pest controllers, commodification of food production, contaminate, conventional production, decommissioned, decomposition, ecological catastrophe, farming conglomerate, food security, food sovereignty, genetically modified hybrid organisms, growth in resistance, holistic, Hyper-Expansionist, Sane, Humane, Ecological, land-grabbing, monoculture, monopolization, Monsanto, neoliberal, pesticides, resilient, subsistence farmers, sustainable future, unsustainable.