Functional Diversity, Part II
From SDG Academy on 20 August, 2019
This chapter things about agricultural diversity in different scenarios, from traditional cropping systems that are often very diverse, to modern industrial systems that are quite simplified. The example of the Mexican maize system is given to give an example of how diversity can be used in the traditional system. The famous mills system of the three sisters—beans, maize, and squash—along with green, leafy vegetables provide the diverse nutrients for the Mexican people. Modern petrochemically-based inputs of the Green Revolution-era have worked wonderfully in many circumstances, but are facing issues with pollution and excessive input use. The issue of heterogeneity presents itself for sustainable agriculture. The oil era gave us the Green Revolution; the information era, which focuses on diversity, on contextualization, on more efficient use of resources, and a shift to local, healthy food, will give us a different solution to solve the pressing issues of agriculture. Integrated farming presents new opportunities, but poses risks for new disease. Agroforestry involves bringing trees into the agricultural system. Kitchen gardens improve human nutrition. Diversity is important at many levels, from the plot to the household to the agricultural system as a whole.