The impact of high oil prices has begun to affect agriculture in a fundamental way. Fertilizer, on which much of the intensive agriculture of the world has come to depend, is now both scarce and more expensive for many farmers.
Combined with the decline in production of grains in some countries, this is very bad news for global food availability and prices.
Riots have begun to erupt in several parts, as farmers are at their wits end. The after-effects of oil addiction of Governments, and neglect of organic, water-saving methods in agriculture are all beginning to show. With organic farming, the need for fertilizer and water would have been greatly reduced. This is proven in an experimental context, and The Hindu Survey of the Environment 2008 (160 pages, Rs. 55) carries an article on beneficiation of agricultural land with city compost, written by Almitra Patel. Get a copy from your nearest major news outlet.
The story above is from the latest edition of Pasumai Vikatan, the agriculture magazine of the Vikatan group.
Here are some of the reports appearing in today’s newspapers on the fertilizer crisis.