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Open access to science eprints
TheSparc provides both scientists and the general public free open access to scientific papers that are important for the survival of people and planet

Sustainable Agriculture

Beware the Corporate Takeover of Seed under Many Guises
New and existing legislations and treaties are increasingly restricting people’s food rights and eroding agricultural biodiversity in favour of a handful of big seed corporations that are already monopolizing the world’s seeds
Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji 22nd October 2014

Genetic Modification Trails Conventional Breeding By Far
Researchers have created conventionally bred varieties tolerant to drought and low nitrogen soils that can reduce poverty in 13 African countries by up to 9 %, far outperforming anything that genetic modification has achieved
Prof Peter Saunders 15th October 2014

Agriculture beyond the Green Revolution: Shaping the Future We Want
Hans Herren, President of Millennium Institute, takes on the challenges in shifting from brown to green agriculture
Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji 22nd September 2014

How Roundup® Poisoned my Nature Reserve
A personal witness to the devastating demise of wild pollinators and other species as glyphosate herbicides increase in the environment
Rosemary Mason MB ChB FRCA 17th September 2014

New European Seed Legislation: Winners and Losers
Stakeholders urge the EU to establish a political and legal framework that will maintain and promote diversity in the seed sector
Stephan Doeblin 5th February 2014

Post-2015 Development: Africans Show the Way
Time to move on from redefining the problems and concentrate on solutions already seeded on the ground
Prof Roger Leakey 30th October 2013

Nitrogen-fixing for All Crops Not the Answer
The contribution to sustainable food production in substituting for chemical fertilizer is trivial compared with organic agroecological managements that enhance natural biological nitrogen fixation in soils, and at the same time, increase the availability of numerous other essential nutrients as well as water retention capacity
Dr Mae-Wan Ho 23rd September 2013

Paradigm Shift Urgently Needed In Agriculture
UN Agencies Call for an End to Industrial Agriculture & Food System. A rising chorus from UN agencies on how food security, poverty, gender inequality and climate change can all be addressed by a radical transformation of our agriculture and food system
Dr Mae-Wan Ho 17th September 2013

How Non-GM Cassava Can Help Feed the World
Great strides are being made in improving this important staple through conventional breeding
Prof Peter Saunders 1st July 2013

Stop the loss of plant biodiversity and protect the gardeners' right to exhange seeds and grow their heritage plants now!
In November 2012, DG SANCO (the EU Directorate responsible for health and consumer affairs) issued an updated draft proposal for a new Plant Reproductive Material (PRM) Regulation which will replace numerous directives in favour of the large seed houses preventing gardeners and farmers from exchanging seeds and growing heritage varieties
gardenorganic.org.uk 1st May 2013

Plant Immune System Spawns New Biopesticides
Monsanto’s Harpin a potential health hazard but natural extract from giant knotweed is best for ‘man and beasties’
Prof. Joe Cummins 19th December 2011

Biogas Plant for Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia Showcased by Award-Winning Team for Sustainable Development
Biogas plants provide organic fertilizer and sustainable energy to increase crop yield and supply households with clean safe energy
Sue Edwards with Fentaw Ejigu and Hailu Araya 7th December 2011

African Union to Support Organic Farming
An important milestone in sustainable agriculture for Africa was reached in a little-publicized decision made on organic farming by the African Union's Executive Council in January 2011
Lim Li Ching 9th May 2011

Sustainable Agriculture Urgently Needed, UN Agencies Say
There is now widespread recognition that a rapid shift from industrial monoculture to sustainable farming is needed to save the climate and guarantee food security for all
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 4th April 2011

Organic Agriculture for Biodiversity and Pest Control
Scientists find organic fields have more even distribution of natural enemy species, thereby providing significantly better pest control than conventional fields and promoting plant growth
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 5th July 2010

UK Food Standards Agency Study Proves Organic Food Is Better
The results in its recent study appears to prove organic food is likely to be better than conventional food by a probability of 99.95 percent
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 26th August 2009

An Urban Dream Farm for London?
The first community project in the metropolis to recycle food wastes into energy and fertilizer by anaerobic digestion
Sam Burcher 1st April 2009

Cooperative for Health, Food Security and Environment Against the Credit Crunch
An institution thriving in the midst of the credit crunch could show us how to exit the food, fuel, and financial crisis
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 25th March 2009

To Bee Organic or not to Bee
Prof. Joe Cummins explains why bees are especially susceptible to pesticides
Prof. Joe Cummins 11th June 2008

Emergency Pesticide Ban for Saving the Honeybee
Prof. Joe Cummins’ warning against neonicotinoid pesticides in the killing of honeybees was dramatically confirmed, resulting in swift action on the part of the German Government
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 9th June 2008

Saving the Honeybee Through Organic Farming
The decline of the honeybee attracted worldwide attention in 2007. Investigations carried out by the Institute of Science in Society implicated a synergistic interaction between the recent widespread use of new pesticides (including Bt toxin from GM crops) and fungal infections
Prof. Joe Cummins 25th April 2008

“GM-Free Organic Agriculture to Feed the World”
International Panel of 400 Agricultural Scientists Call for Fundamental Change in Farming Practice
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 18th April 2008

Food Without Fossil Fuels Now
Invited Keynote Lecture, 2nd Mediterranean Conference on Organic Agriculture in Croatia, Organic Agriculture – Contribution to Sustainable Ecosystem, 2-6 April 2008, Dubrovnik University. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 7th April 2008

Non-GM Breakthroughs Leave GM Behind
Non-GM breakthroughs keep coming thick and fast for problems that GM proponents claim require GM, but GM solutions, if any, are years away
GM Watch 27th February 2008

Food Futures Now *Organic *Sustainable *Fossil Fuel Free
How organic agriculture and localised food (and energy) systems can potentially compensate for all greenhouse gas emissions due to human activities and free us from fossil fuels
ISIS 25th February 2008

Greening Ethiopia for Food Security & End to Poverty
A remarkable project reversing the ecological and social damages of the past 100 years that have locked the country in poverty. The world's largest single study of its kind now shows that composting increases yields two to three-fold and outperforms chemical fertilizers by more than 30 percent
Sue Edwards 18th February 2008

Mitigating Climate Change through Organic Agriculture
There is much scope for mitigating climate change through sustainable agriculture and localising the food supply chain
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Lim Li Ching 31st January 2008

Organic Cuba without Fossil Fuels
Cuba's experience has opened our eyes to agriculture without fossil fuels, a possibility rapidly turning into a necessity for mitigating climate change as world production of petroleum has also peaked.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 21st January 2008

Thermodynamics of Organisms and Sustainable Systems
Invited lecture for conference on Environment, Agriculture, Food, Health and Economy, World Food Day, 17 October 2007, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 21st September 2007

FAO Promotes Organic Agriculture
FAO Report says organic farming fights hunger, tackles climate change, good for farmers, consumers and the environment.
Sam Burcher 10th September 2007

Scientists Find Organic Agriculture Can Feed the World and More
Comprehensive study gives the lie to claims that organic agriculture cannot feed the world because it gives low yields and there is insufficient organic fertilizer.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 6th September 2007

Circular Economy of the Dyke-Pond System
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho finds strong allies for her idea on sustainable systems as closed cycles modelled on the organism during her recent visit to China , especially in a land-water farming system developed over the past two thousand years
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 9th October 2006

Organic Strawberries Stop Cancer Cells
Latest evidence on why organic foods are good for health
Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 7th September 2006

Organic Farms Make Healthy Plants Make Healthy People
Organic foods are richer in minerals and vitamins and relatively free from harmful chemicals and additives
Dr. Eva Novotny 4th September 2006

Organic Waste-Powered Cars
Fuel-efficient super-clean cars are at our doorstep and they run on methane produced by cleaning up wastes.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 20th March 2006

Ethanol from Cellulose Biomass Not Sustainable nor Environmentally Benign
Major technical and economic hurdles remain in getting ethanol from plant wastes, while burning ethanol produces carcinogens and increases ozone levels in the atmosphere.
Dr.Mae-Wan Ho 15th March 2006

How to Beat Climate Change & Post Fossil Fuel Economy
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho tables a proposal around a zero-emission, zero-waste farm after a highly successful workshop with living legend George Chan, who created dozens such farms to eradicate poverty in third world countries
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 30th January 2006

Dream Farm 2nd Announcement
How to turn "wastes" into energy and resources for local self-sufficiency in a post-fossil fuel economy
ISIS 10th January 2006

Message from Andra Predesh:Return to organic cotton & avoid the Bt cotton trap
No more debt, pesticides and suicides for Indian cotton farmers who avoid Bt-cotton and regain livelihood, health, independence and peace of mind with organic methods
Rhea Gala 5th January 2006

Br. Paul's Organic Cotton and Vegetable Farm
Jesuit brother breaks all the rules he learned in agricultural college, and shows how to bring food security to the world
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 16th November 2005

Organic Farmer Who Values His Freedom Above All
Moses and Mary Mulenga work hard on their organic farm and is richly rewarded in ways other than simply financial
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 4th November 2005

Less is More for Nepali Rice
A low input rice system has more than doubled yield in Nepal
Rhea Gala 6th October 2005

Organic Boom Around the World
The challenges of certification and the threats of corporate makeover
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 13th September 2005

Organic Agriculture Enters Mainstream
But by far the greatest gains are due to savings on damages to public health and the environment estimated at more than US$59 billion a year
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 12th September 2005

Agriculture without Farmers
The WTO and EU agricultural policies are sweeping farmers off the land in droves and threatening world food security
Rhea Gala 6th July 2005

Making the World Sustainable
Decades of an "environmental bubble economy" built on the over-exploitation of natural resources has accelerated global warming, environmental degradation, depletion of water and oil, and brought falling crop yields, precipitating a crisis in world food security with no prospects for improvement under the business as usual scenario
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 29th June 2005

Biogas Bonanza for Third World Development
Biogas, a by-product of farmyard waste-treatment, has emerged as a major boon for Third World countries, bringing health, social, environmental, and financial benefits
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 20th June 2005

Multiple Uses of Forests
A global trend away from monoculture tree plantations towards multiple uses of native forests is good for conserving forest ecosystems, but progress is hampered by a dominant paradigm that treats forests like cornfields
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 3rd March 2005

Increased Mycotoxins in Organic Produce?
Prof. Joe Cummins exposes the propaganda campaign against organic food that has little or no scientific basis; and genetic modification is not the answer to reducing aflatoxin contamination
Prof. Joe Cummins 23rd November 2004

Food for Thought
Toby Risk visits a small, diverse and self-sufficient farm in Britain that means to set an example for the rest of the country
Toby Risk 12th October 2004

Restoring Degraded Soils a Matter of Urgency
Research has shown that declining crops yields are, in most cases, exponentially linked to loss of soil quality. Soils are threatened by water and wind erosion, nutrient depletion and salinisation, among other things.
Lim Li Ching 9th October 2004

Sustainable Agriculture: Critical Ecological, Social & Economic Issues
Various ecological, social and economic challenges must be addressed if agriculture is to be truly sustainable. Martin Khor, Director of the Third World Network, discusses the choices facing developing countries and policy makers, and suggests some ways forward.
Martin Khor 7th October 2004

New Rice for Africa
A new rice variety developed by plant breeders is boosting rice yields for farmers all over Africa
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 28th July 2004

One Bird - Ten Thousand Treasures
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho reports on how ducklings in the paddy fields turned weeds to resources and increases yield and leisure for farmers
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 14th July 2004

Two Rice Better than One
Lim Li Ching reports on remarkable results from a simple experiment in China that combats rice disease and increases yields
Lim Li Ching 12th July 2004

Promises & Perils of GM Rice
Rice, the food crop for half the world's population is the current target of genetic modification. What are the health and environmental consequences?
Prof. Joe Cummins 9th July 2004

Corporate Patents vs People in GM Rice
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Lim Li Ching get to the bottom of current attempts by corporations to usurp rice varieties through genetic modification
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho and Lim Li Ching 8th July 2004

Does SRI Work?
The first reality check of a low-input rice-growing system took place two years ago and more successes documented since
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 6th July 2004

Top Indian Rice Geneticist Rebuts SRI Critics
Dr. A Satyanarayana responds to criticisms of SRI as someone responsible for introducing the practice to the Andhra Pradesh state of India
A Satyanarayana 5th July 2004

Fantastic Rice Yields Fact or Fallacy?
A low-input rice cultivation system invented in Madagascar and spreading all over the world is apparently exposed as without scientific basis
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 2nd July 2004

Organic Production for Ethiopia
The success of the Tigray Project will now be consolidated by government policy.
Sue Edwards 25th June 2004

The Tigray Project
Sue Edwards reports on a project that could launch Ethiopia on her way to self-sufficiency
Sue Edwards 24th June 2004

Greening Ethiopia
Sue Edwards reports on the challenges and opportunities facing Ethiopia as steps are taken to reverse the ecological and social damages that have locked the country in poverty
Sue Edwards 23rd June 2004

ISP to FAO: GM Crops Not the Answer
The Independent Science Panel (ISP) has criticised the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations for its qualified backing of genetically modified (GM) crops in the global fight against hunger.
Lim Li Ching 27th May 2004

The Answer Lies in the Soil
Traditional farming practices in the South are playing a major role in preserving tropical soils and enhancing food security. Lim Li Ching reports on some ingenious strategies used by the farmers
Lim Li Ching 17th February 2004

Organic Outperforms Conventional in Climate Extremes
Long-term research has shown that organic cropping systems give higher yields than conventional during periods of drought or torrential rains
Lim Li Ching 6th January 2004

Food Quality? What's That? / Do Animals Like Good Food?
As the global war over genetically modified food intensifies, so has the urgency to assess food quality. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho reports on some promising approaches
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 31st December 2003

The Case for A GM-Free Sustainable World
Hear the real evidence from the newly constituted
Independent Science Panel 10th May 2003

Organic Agriculture Helps Fight Cancer
Organic agriculture largely excludes synthetic inputs - pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers - and focuses instead on long-term ecological health. The health benefits of organic foods have now been highlighted by new research: they are richer in anti-cancer chemicals
Prof. Joe Cummins 27th March 2003

Another Agriculture is Possible
Ethiopia has been hit by more droughts and is facing famine in parts of the country. Nevertheless, the long-term solutions to the challenge of ensuring food security for all lie with Ethiopian farmers themselves, who are practicing many forms of sustainable agriculture
Lim Li Ching 30th December 2002

Zambia Will Feed Herself From Now On
Zambia Will Feed Herself From Now On In the strongest message yet delivered to the world, Zambia's Minister of Agriculture, reaffirms his country's rejection of GM food, and spells out his ambitious plans to make Zambia self-sufficient
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 29th November 2002

Atrazine Poisoning Worse Than Suspected
Controversy erupted over new findings that atrazine may be linked to global demise of frogs. Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho review the evidence on the endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic effects of atrazine, especially in the light of the non-linearity of biological activities, and call for a global ban of the herbicide
Prof. Joe Cummins and Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 9th November 2002

Organic Agriculture Fights Back
Critics of organic agriculture claim that it is based more on ideology than on environmental or economic merit. Lim Li Ching reviews the evidence and turns the table on the critics.
Lim Li Ching 2nd October 2002

Launching Convention on Knowledge at Earth Summit
The conference "Linking Traditional and Scientific Knowledge" at the Earth Summit provided the perfect setting to launch our "Convention on Knowledge", which calls for diverse knowledge to be developed and used ethically, responsibly and for the good of all
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 9th September 2002

Ethiopia to Feed Herself
Ethiopia and famine have become synonymous ever since Bob Geldorfs Live Aid Concert 17 years ago brought the plight of starving Ethiopians to the world stage. Not anymore; Ethiopia is on her way to self-sufficiency through sustainable agriculture practiced by small farmers
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 8th September 2002

Canadian Farmers Against Corporate Serfdom
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho caught up with Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser at the Earth Summit. He tells her why hes fighting Monsanto and other corporate giants for his right to plant crops of his choice and to protect the future of agriculture
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 7th September 2002

Green Revolution Pioneer Supports Small Farmers
Dr. M. S. Swaminathan, distinguished plant geneticist and father of the Green Revolution in India, astonished and delighted his audience by turning his back on big agribusiness in favour of small farmers during his speech to the plenary session on agriculture at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 6th September 2002

Africa Unites Against GM to Opt for Self-sufficiency
Zambia has ignited a fuse for African solidarity that could launch the continent on the road to sustainability and self-sufficiency. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho reports on the real happenings in Johannesburg
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 5th September 2002

Sustainable Agriculture Pushing Back the Desert
Desertification – land degrading into desert – is often blamed on mismanagement and misuse of land. Local people are allegedly guilty of over-farming, over-grazing and allowing their populations to exceed the environment’s capacity.
Lim Li Ching 24th March 2002

Biodiverse Systems are More Productive
Sustainable farming across the world relies on cultivating a diversity of crops and livestock to maximise internal input, and this is in marked contrast to the high external input monoculture of industrial farming, which is proving unsustainable in many respects. Indirect support for the sustainability of agricultural diversity is coming from an unexpected quarter. Academic ecologists are discovering that biodiverse systems are more productive.
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho 6th November 2001

One Bird - Ten Thousand Treasures
How the Duck in the Paddy Field Can Feed the World
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

The Need for Another Research Paradigm
International and national agricultural research is entrenched in a culture of top-down and often insensitive approaches to realities on the farm. This article highlights the mismatch between the transfer of technology model of agricultural research and the needs and livelihood strategies of the poor.
Michel Pimbert

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