The world’s food supply based on only 4 cereals: what’s wrong with this picture?
Following the ‘Green Revolution’ global agricultural policies has oriented agriculture towards mainly 4 cereals: rice, wheat, maize and soya. This results in major environmental problems:
RICE is : a huge producer of methane…
Rice fields flooded with water are one of the worldwide biggest producers of methane.
… and a huge water consumer (3500 to 5000 L of water for 1 kg of rice).
In the world, more than 1/3rd of irrigated water is exclusively for rice… and do not think that only green countries and well watered ones are cultivating rice: with a good value in the market, farmers are ready to ransack their water reserves to produce it.
Considering their current willingness to pump inconsiderately, we are witnessing a real environmental suicide.
It is often said that an increase in production of rice is necessary to face the growing demand for food. (to Increase rice production by 60 % in 30 years) with such a pressure on natural resources, isn’t this pure craziness?
In the light of what has been just said, wouldn’t it be better to consider a diversification of cereals, and include more millet?
Fragile when faced with heat stress during the flowering period. Due to global warming, worldwide production of wheat will be subject to huge variations, prices will fluctuate in the market, further weakening importing countries that depend on them for their food supply. This is the case in Africa, while the millets produced here are increasingly abandoned.
Well known for being irrigated and input intensive (in the way by which it is currently produced, with hybrid seeds).
In France, irrigation of cereals in summer amounts to 80 % of water consumption. Maize is very water-intensive just when there is very little available. Subsidies today are being directed towards costly ‘substitute reserves’ to be able to continue irrigating in spite of the decrease in water resource… while reintroducing millets in our farms would cost taxpayer nothing!
We just point out that the cultivation of soya quite often leads to deforestation and the use of GMO seeds.