Sustaining Future

Friday, February 08, 2008

GM rice, choice between 2 evils?

From TreeHugger;
Chinese government to allow Chinese farmers to get carbon credits when they use their [GM] rice [which reportedly requires less nitrogen fertilizer]. The reasoning is, less nitrogen fertilizer equals less nitrous oxide emissions (a greenhouse gas 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide). Under the Kyoto Treaty, the credits gained from that reduction can then be sold on the global market, bringing extra money to farmers. "Swapping global rice supply to the GM version, the company says, would save the equivalent of 50m tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, and generate £750m in carbon credits for farmers.


Some readers of TreeHugger commented:
seems like switching one evil for another. Which of the two evils worse though?


Chinese farmers have been using natural fertilizers for centuries before the modern fertizers were introduced. A lot of research (see permaculture and other more progressive form of agriculture) points out a simple method of letting mother nature to generate the necessary nutrients. Let micro-organisms active in our earth again! Another great promise would be a large co-production of fish and rice, similar to aquaponics. Build some fish farm near the rice fields and use the water from the fish farm for the rice! Protein and carbo at the same time, why not?

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