Leader The image is often gloomy – human use of the earth is hard against ecosystems. Species die out and even more threatened.
One of the latest warnings comes from European Parliamentarian Jytte Guteland (S), who recently presented a report stating that the use of pesticides in agriculture has increased in Europe. Therefore, Guteland demands that agriculture in the EU now has to change (SvD 5/11). Guteland also has a score. If not all countries comply with the directive on a sustainable use of pesticides, it should be addressed.
But in this way it is easy to require a conversion in this mode – because it is already in progress. However, it is not the politicians who lead the change, instead, it is technology development and private companies that operate.
An example of the conversion is precisely how the use of fertilizers and pesticides is changing. Using too much of the funds does not only affect nature but also against the farmer's economy, because the funds are expensive to buy. Therefore, more and more farmers equip their machines with sensors, which can read exactly what needs a crop of, for example, fertilizer.
This makes the picture of agriculture not as clear as it can easily be produced. Certainly, some may be better – but we are already heading for that. The development is also driven by the fact that all farmers compete with the same product, which means that operators need to be quick to adopt new technology.
Likewise, the picture of the bleak development of the environment is not entirely given. Although there are problems, especially globally, goes a long way. Major efforts are being made to preserve biodiversity. To generally blame the agricultural industry – which in Sweden returns great environmental values and complies with all the heavier environmental regulations – to destroy nature becomes misleading.
The starting point for the discussion about future agriculture deserves to be nuanced. Today's positive development in agriculture also points to a direction where technology in the future enables the use of plant protection products and fertilizers to be minimized. It seems that the organic farming's understanding of biology in the long term can be merged with the wider agricultural tools to increase crops. Thus, the old conflict between different forms of production – organic and conventional – would decrease. In that case, it is an important step for a nutrition that meets the great difficulty of producing food for a growing world population.
But unfortunately, the politeness of politics for controlling development can make the conflict stay alive. For example, the Swedish government sets concrete targets for increasing organic production.
The fact that politics will take the power to recycle agriculture in the EU is thus likely to be counterproductive, if the pointers become too many. (SNB)