10 Feb '15, 7pm

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Many people worry that giving poor farmers industrial technology will lock them into an industrial path. There’s no doubt that is true, as far as it goes. If it’s easy to get nitrogen, you may not want to do all the work, and develop the skills needed, to nurture nitrogen-fixing trees to maturity. But as I’ve argued here, small farmers are already taking a middle path — it’s not as if use of some modern technology will forever corrupt them. When I looked at path-dependency in agriculture , I found that it exists in many small forms, but can be overcome with government assistance and regulation. It’s also worth noting that many small farmers already suffer from path-dependency: They are locked into generational poverty. For me at least, the most important goal is breaking out of poverty, even if that leaves people short of true sustainability. How can I demand perfect susta...

Full article: http://grist.org/food/so-can-we-really-feed-the-world-yes...

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