Wild Perennial Crops

Submitted by admin on Tue, 11/29/2011 - 19:31

The December 2011 issue’s cover of Scientific American presented 10 world changing ideas.

Scientific American 201112 Cover - Perennial Crops: A world Changing Idea
Scientific American 201112 Cover - Perennial Crops: A world Changing Idea

Up in the left hand corner it says Perennial Crops.
The title of the article is “Crops That Don’t Need Replanting” and it states some of the benefits with perennial crops:

  • Deep roots prevent erosion, which helps soil hold onto critical minerals such as phosphorus, and they require less fertilizer and water than annuals do.
  • Whereas conventionally grown monocrops are a source of atmospheric carbon, land planted with perennials does not require tilling, turning it into a carbon sink.
  • Converting all of the planet’s farmland to perennials would pull the concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases back to preindustrial levels.

We started to promote Wild Perennial Crops (WPC) in 1983. When we talked about it then people would ask that if this was so good, why had it not been done before? We can ask ourselves the same question today: why do we still read about this as a headline in 2011?

The answer is that there is so much money in annual crops. Making us dependent on the yearly purchases of seeds that needs fertilizer and pesticide is a dream for the industry and we are subjected to a massive propaganda. One of the wild perennial grains we worked with in Africa became vital for food security as it would produce when the annual crops failed. In the end the farmers started to ask themselves why they worked with annuals in the first place.