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Do Global, Physical Limits Hem in Farming?


In the Garden of Eden, the factors for abundant crops may have been favorably in conjunction. Today, we would say there were no constraints in the Garden. In the eons since, however, smart farmers have known that abundance requires that they water crops in many climates and fertilize them on many soils. Farmers have known they must choose fruitful species and varieties. They routinely remove constraints and presently crop five times the area of unconstrained soils of India--but have raised production spectacularly.gif And the incentives of food for their families and of profit to buy other things made them willing to employ their skill. Later I shall examine whether, realistically, farmers will spare land while feeding more people.

Ten billion looms as so many more people than ever before, however, that I first examine whether global, physical limits will defeat even smart and willing farmers.

Yasuko Kitajima
Thu Jun 19 16:20:56 PDT 1997