Scr Agri Edu HR Safety Causes4US

By pjain      Published Oct. 15, 2019, 11:03 p.m. in blog Invest   

EduV

STEM-CS in K12

  • Good idea to have Algebra 2+PreCalc(sem)+Stats(sem), taken in K12 to save 1 year in college
  • Calculus I,II vital for admission into Colleges

Even for those who plan to study computer science, taking Algebra 2 and above is highly recommended. Algebra 2 and other advanced math courses are also important for engineering. Some studies estimate that a remarkable 40% of college freshmen in the U.S. require remedial math courses. That portion could go up if fewer students are taking a traditional math sequence in high school.

Coding skills essential - 100% of College Freshman should take

In 2013, billionaires of the tech world like Gates and Zuckerberg came together to launch a new nonprofit called Code.org. The purpose of the organization was to get more computer science into schools. One of the unfortunate side effects of its lobbying has been the near universal replacement of one year of math with a CS course.

Is Foreign Language only a bottleneck for under-class or really necessary for college?

HRV

SafetyV

Agri Innovation - Policies for Whom?

1930s+ Developed Conventional AgTech - Univ R&D for small farmers

1950s-70s BigFood Agronomy owns the US FDA, Ag Dept

  • Conventional plant breeding. Conventional plant breeding is generally carried out by ‎‎trained breeders in laboratory or controlled environments, often under favourable farming conditions. The main objectives of conventional breeding programmes tend to focus on 'broad adaptability' or the capacity of a variety to produce high yields over a range of environments and years.

1960s+ Green Revolution - Brought Fertilizers and Bred Plants Open sees for Developing

80s Accelerated Commercial Agri Technology at ANY economic or energy cost

The ‘conventional’ method for varietal improvement until the process was ‘sped-up’ under the direction of large-scale breeding programmes primarily in developed countries during the 20th century.

Crop improvement during the Green Revolution invested in varietal development and packages of inputs that were considered economically optimal.

90s Seed-focussed Mainly Hybrids - Monsanto

  • After the government/university era, most developement since 1970s has been taken over and accelerated by Commercial Seed Technology corporations.

This has been seen in tens of thousands of farmer suicides caused by the invasive impact of mainly patented hybrids enforced very repressively by eg Monsanto.

2000+ CRISPr tech for Rapid GMOs

Worsening Global Soils

In 1983, Dr. Bunch began investigating the use of plants for regenerating the soil, which he calls “green manure/cover crops.” One of his most recent books,“Restoring the Soil: A Guide for Using Green Manure/Cover Crops to Improve the Food Security of Smallholder Farmers”, synthesizes his extensive field-based research in this area gathered from smallholder farmers around the world. Bunch earned his degree in International Agricultural Development from the California State Polytechnic University. He has been honored for his work with nominations for the Global 500 Award, the End the Hunger Prize of the President of the United States, and the World Food Prize.

Over-populating the Earth - Malthus’ Ghost Returns!

Malthus warned that rising populations would exhaust resources, especially those needed for food production. Exponential population growth would outstrip food output. The number of hungry in the world was said to have risen to over a billion, feeding a resurgence of neo-Malthusianism.

Humanity now faces a major challenge as global warming is expected to frustrate the production of enough food as the world population rises to 9.7 billion by 2050.

Big Agri-Chem-Industrial Complex brainwashes and bleeds Developing world

  • Big Agribusiness pushes for food production to double by 2050. But they want high-input, high-yielding industrial agriculture as the only solution.

  • Unfortunately, most Developing national governments and international institutions with western-brainwashed elites still favour large-scale, high-input, industrial agriculture.

  • Political, philanthropic and corporate leaders have promised to help struggling African and other countries grow more food, by offering to improve farming practices. New seed and other technologies would modernize those left behind.

While, malnutrition of various types affects well over two billion people in the world, the problem is that industrial agriculture contributes about 30% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Small Family Farmers Produce 65% of all food, but Lack Political Power

The key questions are: Why doesn’t rising global food production feed the hungry? How can we “feed the world” of rising populations and unsustainable pressure on land, water and other natural resources that farmers need to grow food?

  1. Small Family Farmers Produce 65% of all food
  2. Appropriate SmallAgri dominates. In fact, the world is mainly fed by hundreds of millions of small-scale, often called family farmers who produce over two-thirds of developing countries’ food.

  3. High-Input Brainwashing by big Agri, AgroChemicals, Politicians The realpolitik book Eating Tomorrow argues that most solutions currently put forward by government, philanthropic and private sector luminaries are misleading. This is typically at the expense of ‘family’ farmers, who grow most of the world’s food, but also involves putting consumers and others at risk, e.g., due to agrochemical use.

  4. Small Family Farmers Lack Political Power Drawing on five years of extensive fieldwork in Southern Africa, Mexico, India and the US Mid-West, Wise concludes that the problem is essentially one of power. He shows how powerful business interests influence government food and agricultural policies to favour large farms.

  5. While, governments are neglecting more sustainable solutions offered by family farmers, and the need to improve the wellbeing of poor farmers.

Positive Smart, Labor Intensive processes

Hungry farmers are nourishing their life-giving soils using more ecologically sound practices to plant a diversity of native crops, instead of using costly chemicals for export-oriented monocultures.

Many new agricultural techniques offer the prospect of improving the welfare of farmers, not only by increasing productivity and output, but also by limiting costs, using scarce resources more effectively, and reducing the drudgery of farm work.

They ARE growing more and better food, and are capable of feeding the hungry.

The world CAN feed the hungry, many of whom are family farmers. Despite the challenges they face, many family farmers are finding innovative and effective ways to grow more and better food. He advocates support for farmers’ efforts to improve their soil, output and wellbeing.

Examples of Big Agri-Chem-Industrial Complex

  • Timothy Wise’s new book Eating Tomorrow: Agribusiness, Family Farmers, and the Battle for the Future of Food, 2019 is based on research from 2008 Bush era food price crisis to Obama years of 2014-15. The book tells a story of US big business’ influence on policies enabling more aggressive transnational expansion.

• In Mexico, trade liberalization following the 1993 North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) agreement swamped the country with cheap, subsidized US maize and pork, accelerating migration from the countryside. Apparently, this was actively encouraged by transnational pork producers employing ‘undocumented’ and un-unionised Mexican workers willing to accept low wages and poor working conditions. • In Malawi, large government subsidies encouraged farmers to buy commercial fertilizers and seeds from US agribusinesses such as now Bayer-owned Monsanto, but to little effect, as their productivity and food security stagnated or even deteriorated. Meanwhile, Monsanto took over the government seed company, favouring its own patented seeds at the expense of productive local varieties, while a former senior Monsanto official co-authored the national seed policy that threatens to criminalize farmers who save, exchange and sell seeds instead! • In Zambia, greater use of seeds and fertilizers from agribusiness tripled maize production without reducing the country’s very high rates of poverty and malnutrition. Meanwhile, as the government provides 250,000-acre ‘farm blocks’ to foreign investors, family farmers struggle for title to farm land. • In Mozambique too, the government gives away vast tracts of farm land to foreign investors. Meanwhile, women-led cooperatives successfully run their own native maize seed banks. • Meanwhile, Iowa promotes vast monocultures of maize and soybean to feed hogs and bioethanol rather than ‘feed the world’. • A large Mexican farmer cooperative launched an ‘agro-ecological revolution’, while the old government kept trying to legalize Monsanto’s controversial genetically modified maize. Farmers have thus far halted the Monsanto plan, arguing that GM corn threatens the rich diversity of native Mexican varieties.

Food Agriculture production and Storage practices Waste 30%+

Contrary to conventional wisdom, neither food scarcity nor poor physical access are the main causes of food insecurity and hunger. Instead, Reuters has observed a ‘global grain glut’, with surplus cereal stocks piling up.

  1. Poor production, processing and storage facilities cause food losses of an average of about a third of developing countries’ output.

  2. A similar share is believed lost in rich countries due to wasteful food storage, marketing and consumption behaviour.

  3. Nevertheless, despite grain abundance, rising chronic and severe hunger or undernourishment involving more than 800 million. - the 2018 State of Food Insecurity FAO report

Developed world goes Fake Meat-Vegan, while Meat massive imports by China/Koreas

Problems: Serious Drought, Water Zero Days common

  1. Serious Drought, Water Zero Days common

    There is a serious drought in Africa, one in which more than 20 million people from Yemen to Tanzania are at risk of starvation. Water Zero Days common eg Chennai went from devastating floods in 2015 to total lack of water in 2019 till monsoons came.

  2. Climate Change - Less predictable. Surprisingly, although global warming has made rainfall less predictable, lack of of rain is not the cause for drought eg in Africa.

  3. Soil losing Organic matter and Fertility is a real problem. In this Chico State seminar of 2017, Dr. Bunch states that this drought is being caused primarily by soils that can no longer infiltrate water because they have lost all of their organic matter. Farmers have such a small amount of land that they cannot set aside some of it to lay fallow. Year by year the land has lost its fertility and in wide areas is just eroding away. Dr. Bunch believes Regenerative Agriculture in general, and the use of green manure and multi-species cover crops in particular, is the solution.

Problems emerging for Water, High Cost inputs, Mono-cultures

The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is the poster child for the promotion of input-intensive agriculture in Africa. At its outset 13 years ago, AGRA and its main sponsor, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, set the goals of doubling the productivity and incomes of 30 million smallholder households on the continent.

The journal Food Policy surveyed the evidence from seven countries with input subsidy programs and found little evidence of sustained—or sustainable—success. “The empirical record is increasingly clear that improved seed and fertilizer are not sufficient to achieve profitable, productive, and sustainable farming systems in most parts of Africa,” wrote the authors in the conclusion. - SRC

There is no evidence that approach will come anywhere near meeting those worthy objectives, even with many African governments spending large portions of their agricultural budgets to subsidize the purchase of green revolution inputs of commercial seeds and synthetic fertilizers. National-level data, summarized in the conclusion to my book Eating Tomorrow, attests to this failure:

  • Smallholders mostly cannot afford the inputs, and the added production they see does not cover their costs.

  • Rural poverty has barely improved since AGRA’s launch; neither has rural food insecurity. Global Hunger Index scores remained in the “serious” to “alarming” category for 12 of the 13 AGRA countries.

  • Even in priority crops like maize and rice, few of AGRA’s 13 priority countries have seen sustained productivity increases.

  • Production increases for maize in Zambia have come as much from shifting land into subsidized maize production as from raising productivity from commercial seeds and fertilizers.

  • There is no evidence of improved soil fertility; in fact, many farmers have experienced a decline as mono-cropping and synthetic fertilizers have increased acidification and reduced much-needed organic matter.

  • Costly input subsidies have shifted land out of drought-tolerant, nutritious crops such as sorghum and millet in favor of commercial alternatives. Crop diversity and diet diversity have decreased as a result.

Promises of Appropriate Agri-Innovation

Arid and Wasteland Agriculture

He says, “On at least 75% of the developing world's wastelands (basically those that have a pH of at least 4.5 and have not been polluted or salinized), we can have farmers growing crops within one to two years at the national average for most smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan African nations. Within four to six years, they can be producing two or three times the national averages. And all this is being done while farmers make more net profit and produce more food than ever before. “ He bases this belief on the fact that he has already achieved such results working with farmers in a dozen nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

2020s Need for Appropriate - Participatory plant breeding

  • Participatory plant breeding -- Agronomists work with farmers to identify the most productive and desirable seed varieties and improve them through careful seed selection and farm management. PPB involves breeders, farmers and other ‘consumers’ or end users such as rural farm associations or cooperatives in plant breeding research. This enables breeders to better understand the local farming conditions, the farmers’ traditional ways for managing plant diversity as well as their specific needs and preferences. Farmer’s involvement in PPB can include defining breeding goals and priorities, selecting or providing germplasm, hosting trials in their own fields, selecting superior plants for further breeding, engagement in the research design and administration processes as well as the commercialisation of selected lines. In the process, degraded local varieties can be improved or replaced with locally adapted alternatives.

Biological pest control

  • Biological pest control -- Scientist Hans Herren won a World Food Prize for halting the spread of a cassava pest in Africa by introducing a wasp that naturally controlled the infestation.

  • Push-pull technology to attract insects away from crops -- Using a scientifically proven mix of crops to push pests away from food crops and pull them out of the field, farmers have been able to reduce pesticide use while increasing productivity.

Arid Water management

Agro-forestry innovation

  • Agro-forestry -- A wide range of scientists has demonstrated the soil-building potential of incorporating trees and cover crops onto small-scale farms. Carefully selected tree varieties can fix nitrogen in the soil, reduce erosion, and give farmers a much-needed cash crop while restoring degraded land.

Coastal Forests like Mangroves

Livestock and Animal diseases control

Small livestock like Goats are better for developing world than Beef an Pigs

  • Small livestock -- Reintroducing goats or other small livestock onto farms has been shown to provide farmers with a sustainable source of manure while adding needed protein to local diets. Science-driven production of compost can dramatically improve soil quality.

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