Farm Industrial farming is responsible for one third of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by civilization and 70 percent of fresh water consumption. Monocultures are contributing to a decline in the biodiversity that is essential for sustainable agriculture. According to the World Agricultural Report, 75 percent of all the world’s foods come today from only twelve plants and five species of animal. Factory farming of livestock and high-performance breeds place a high burden on the eco-system, as does the overfishing of the oceans.

The World Agriculture Report comes to the conclusion that industrial agriculture as practiced today exploits the Earth’s natural resources to an unacceptable degree. Despite overproduction, billions of people are suffering either from hunger or malnourishment, while others are facing the health consequences of overeating.

In recognition of this failure to feed the world, experts are calling for a new model of farming, one that is actually a time-tested tradition: small-scale, labor-intensive farming focusing on diversity as a guarantee for an environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable food supply – with resilient cultivation practices and local distribution systems.

Dunne & Raby, Designs for an overpopulated planet: FORAGERS, © photo: Jason Evans