By Taylor Dolven
Cross-posted from Vice News
Originally posted on May 8, 2015
Photo Credit: Vice News
The world's population is projected to reach nine billion by 2050 — and that's putting extraordinary pressures on the agricultural sector, especially as climate change is expected to wither many productive areas around the world, while submerging others during increasingly frequent floods.
Echoing the mantra of the 1960s Green Revolution, many nations — and big agricultural interests — say chemical fertilizers and high-yield, industrial-scale farming operations are the logical response to this daunting task of producing more food under increasingly harsh environmental conditions.
Going against grain, though, are proponents of agroecology, which emphasizes growing many crops simultaneously, on smaller plots of land, without expensive chemistry. Rather than fertilizers, proponents of the practice use cover crops, such as arugula, buckwheat, and rye, to enrich their fields. And, instead of pesticides, they cultivate flowers and trees in order to attract insects that prey upon the bugs that might jeopardize their harvests.