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世界野生动物基金可持续性工作

更多的食物,更少的水

  • 日期2013年10月9日
  • 作者多尔食品公司Roberto Vega

Roberto Vega是Dole食品公司的可持续发展总监

农业占人类使用的取水量的近70%。世界上种植的所有作物中有40%是使用灌溉生产的。到2050年,世界将需要找到一种方法来应对需要用相同数量的土地和更少的水供应的额外20亿人口。

我们需要为威胁可持续粮食生产的大量挑战找到解决方案。水是这个等式中的关键因素,它与土壤和其他农业投入的相关性需要得到可理解的解决。

我想谈谈我非常熟悉的产品:香蕉,顺便说一下是80%的水。多年来,国际贸易香蕉主要来自拉丁美洲。厄瓜多尔,哥斯达黎加,危地马拉,哥伦比亚和洪都拉斯已成为欧洲和北美常规香蕉的主要来源。另一方面,秘鲁和多米尼加共和国是有机香蕉的大型生产国。所有这些国家都有不同的特征,包括土壤类型,降雨模式和病虫害。

+$Costa Rica has intensive precipitation almost year round with few but very well defined dry periods. The combination of high humidity with very high temperatures results in the perfect environment for the development of funguses, including “black sigatoka”, one of the major threats to growing bananas. In order to control this fungus, farmers in Costa Rica require almost-weekly applications of fungicides, applied through spraying planes. Aerial spraying is highly questioned in some markets, particularly in Europe where it is basically banned. However, high technology and precision agriculture certainly allow banana producers to control the risk of contamination (including water contamination) while protecting crops adequately.

+$Organic banana plantations in Perú enjoy opposite conditions. Grown in dry areas to avoid the presence of funguses (and nematodes), organic bananas require intensive irrigation. In many cases grown by smallholders without the technical or economical resources to invest in modern irrigation systems, organic bananas rely on flooding irrigation, clearly a non-sustainable method. Flooding stresses the plants by not providing the water when needed and over irrigating it during short periods, with direct impacts on productivity. In addition, flooding can also lead to runoffs of fertilizers, soil amendments and pesticides, provoking serious pollution problems. Soil erosion, which affects all types of farming systems, also contributes to increase water pollution.

+$Water supply is a constraint for irrigated agriculture. In many regions renewable water supplies have been overused and water depletion is a real threat to farmers. Too much or too little are both undesirable when we talk about irrigation. It is important to understand the real water needs of the plants. Most farmers do not have the know-how or technology to measure soil moisture or identify the water capacity intake of the plants.

+$Like for most of the challenges in this world, the solution relies on the cooperation of the different players. Large plantations usually have resources and capacity to identify the most efficient agricultural practices which can be in many cases replicated by smallholders. However, the participation of other players such as academia and the manufacturers of crop protection products and fertilizers could close the circle by sharing -- for each crop and production system -- responsible and efficient methods which optimize the use of natural resources, including water.

+$Funding is also critical, as smallholders may not have the resources to adapt their production systems to the new challenges. To this end, the support from governmental and non-governmental organizations, including developing agencies, is extremely important.

+$Finally, consumers need to understand the supply-demand model. Producers will have less access to water and other inputs (synthetic fertilizers will also be limited in the future as oil becomes more and more expensive and rare), so we may need to agree on recognizing the real value of food.

+$The views expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or positions of WWF.

您也可以阅读此博客文章可口可乐的Unbottled

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