sábado, outubro 31, 2015

Agricultura e o futuro

Dois artigos relacionados:

Do primeiro:
"There is a potential farmer shortage looming on the horizon. If you’re in the food business, naturally, you can see why this could give you indigestion.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture , the average age of the American farmer is 58.3 years old, and only 6 percent of farmers are under 35. In the next quarter century, more than one-fourth of American farmers will likely retire. More than 700,000 new farmers are going to be needed to replace them."
Como a Natureza tem horror ao vazio ele acabará por ser ocupado:

  • por gigantes agro-industriais; ou
  • por uma nova geração de agricultores com formação superior
Do segundo:
"we’re going to have to make some large-scale changes to how we farm.
Fruits and vegetables grown indoors tend to have far greater yields per area than comparable produce grown outside. Put a roof and walls around produce, and most problems caused by weeds, pests and inclement weather vanish. Add technology like hydroponics—growing plants so the roots sit in a customized nutrient slurry instead of in plain old dirt—to the equation, and yields increase even more. Better yet, build a hydroponic rig that is modular, rotates and stacks—which means you can have several “stories” of produce growing atop the same ground (assuming the stacks all get sufficient light), where an outdoor farmer would be stuck with only one.
Aeroponics, a companion technology to hydroponics, has taken off in Japan and is helping high-tech greenhouses produce remarkable yields remarkably quickly: Unlike hydroponic systems, where plants dip their roots in nutrient slurry, aeroponic systems spray the plants’ deliberately exposed roots with a nutrient-laden mist. “The root systems grow much longer because they have to increase their surface area to absorb the same amount of nutrients,” explains Despommier. That, in turn, makes the plants grow much faster.
the plants grown in these pinkhouses grow 20 percent faster than their outdoor cousins, and need 91 percent less water, negligible fertilizer and no treatment with herbicides or pesticides.
perhaps we ought to be preparing for a future where the majority of our produce is grown industrially in LED-lined skyscrapers made of steel and poured concrete.
Chew on this stat: In the U.S., as much as 40 percent of produce grown is never sold or eaten. The reason? It’s too ugly.
Consumers won’t buy imperfect fruit and vegetables, and grocery stores refuse to stock them. The demand for “pretty” produce means fruit and vegetable farmers need to make up for the cost of all that food they can’t sell. As a result, the produce currently sold in groceries is just what can make for fat profit margins.
with produce, freshness fetches a premium; the shorter a distance a piece of produce has to travel before it reaches your plate, the tastier it’ll be and the more you’ll pay for it. And controlled environments allow farmers to grow their produce right next door to where it’s sold."

Ainda em relação ao segundo um reparo. O conselho estratégico que dou aos agricultores portugueses-tipo, os que não podem apostar na quantidade, é que fujam de raciocínios como o do título. Um agricultor não tem como obrigação alimentar o mundo, tem como obrigação fazer da sua exploração um negócio rentável, um negócio sustentável para o poder legar aos filhos, e um negócio agradável para viver. Tudo o resto é treta de quem está de fora e tem é de rachar lenha.

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