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Film at 11: Oil-based agriculture won't end world hunger

But small farms can:

The United Nations released a whopper of a report today. In the midst of soaring global food and oil prices, the agency let loose a public stunner: World hunger and climate change cannot be solved with industrial farming. So much for seed-giant Pioneer Hi-Bred's "We Feed The World" slogan. Yowch.

The U.N. study makes it clear -- small-scale farmers can double food production in 10-years by using simple farming methods. According the The Guardian, insect-trapping plants in Kenya or weed-eating ducks in Bangladesh's rice paddies may be the way to feed the world's burgeoning population.

"To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available. Today's scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production in regions where the hungry live," says Olivier De Schutter, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food and author of the report.

De Schutter told the Wall Street Journal that promoting natural farming techniques is the only sustainable way to guard against future food crisis.

"We set up our farming techniques in the 1920s when we thought there would be a never-ending supply of cheap oil," he said. "Developing farming in a way which makes it less addicted to fossil energy is much more promising."

Rather like small plots when another sclerotic empire, the Soviet Union, was collapsing.