Monday, May 19, 2014

Does the new green revolution need GMOs?

A clear yes can be found in the latest economist on the new green revolution. A pretty interesting article based on IRRI information. It contains a very interesting pro-GMO discourse, to which i can to some extend agree up on :  the new green revolution will not be a silver bullet, but it will be a mosaic of context specific solutions. It is true that GMOs could be an answer to some specific contexts, such as marginal areas, for which it makes sense today to do some research to develop these context specific solution. However, concluding from this very true statement that one should introduce the golden rice, a rice enhanced by vitamin A in the Philippines, does not appear logical to me. Indeed, there are today only very few people who lack in vitamin A (unlike some decades ago). The context definition is just outdated. See my post about his issue.

Where i really started laughing is when i read the second article on the new green revolution, that shows that most of the productivity gain in Asia has to do with rental markets of machinery. Indeed, it is economically interesting if you can rent machinery, i.e. you don't need capital, yet you gain a lot of time to do other economic activities as you do not have all this labor requiring work on your farm anymore .
So i am wondering, why don't we first try to set the renting markets right and then check if in the new context there is really a need for GMOs before introducing them? 

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