Group Title: Olasee Davis articles
Title: Stop depending on the world to grow the food we need
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 Material Information
Title: Stop depending on the world to grow the food we need
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: Davis, Olasee
Publication Date: February 17, 1995
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA01300919
Volume ID: VID00145
Source Institution: University of the Virgin Islands
Holding Location: University of the Virgin Islands
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.

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18 The Daly News, Friday Febuary 1995 island lfe

Stop depending on the world

to grow the food we need here

As we enter the mid '90s, the
Virgin Islands has liale to celebrate
in e area of food production.
Sincm e se 1800, agriculre
in the Virgin I ds ha declined.
Prior toe eanripamon of slaves,
SL Croix was cultivated from the
beaches to e hilltops, and in addi
tion to sugar cane, coton was an
important crop.
In 1966 the sugar can industry
on St Croix phased out of prodc-
tion. Today we import practically
everything we need. In addition,
land that was oce used for agricul-
tural production is now being uti-
lized for urban development, corn-
mercial industrial uses.
On a global scale, from the
beginning of agriculture until the
midcentury. growth in world ari-
cultural production has kept op pace
with population growth.
Between 1950 and 1984. world
farmers raised grain harvest 2.6-
fold compared to the beginning of
the century. This r ie gain pro-
duction came about because of
modem technology.
Since then. little progress has



been made even though other ech-
nologies in agriculture, such as
biotechnology, have taken d lead
to improve plants, animals and
micro-organism This technology
has produced virus-esistant vari-
eties of tomatoes, cucumbers and
potatoes beater vaccines and diag-
nosic kits used for chickens, bres
and swine; and new and improved
varieties of commercial powers.
However, anger still remin a
global problem. In such places a
parts of Afica, Latin America and
Asia malnurishment has ineased.
Meanwhile, the world is losing top-
soil frm farmland and tropical and
temperate rain forests and aens of
thoua.ds of plant and animal
Throughout modern history eco-

omic treads ha shaped evio-
mental trends, thus altering the
erth moral resources and ecosys
ms in ways not obvious to a at
the time. Now a we er b '90s.
we ae beginning to see that envi-
ro mentl ed are haping eco-
nomic trends. The cumulative
effects of topsoil lost in ajor pro-
docing countries are being feh.
Leste R. Brown describes the
world ooditios this way: A lily
pond, so the Preach riddle goes,
coamins a single le. Each day the
number of leaves doubles two
leaves the second day, four the
third, eight the forth. and so on.
Question If te pond is completely
ful o the 13th day. when s it half
ful Answer O the 29th day."
You see. tm global lily pod in
which about 4 billion of live may
arady be dose to half-fulL Within
our children's time the lily pond
could fi up completely. In nue,
cluster of lily leaves are already
owding against one other, sig-
auling he day when the pond will
V See HUNL peWl9

Island life

flMDdlyNKR"%dday, FebuyllM 19

HUNGER amoinoFoM s M

Hunger remains a disturbing problem throughout the world

be copletely filled
The micocepon many of us
often lave, especially policians, is
tht we often mired esials of
the lily and fil to adjust our
lifestyles to live within a means.
Acarefulstudyofhe globalecono.
my would indiate Ilt pTssrs o
Earth's biological systems and
energy a sources re msoumti,
Believe m, if an ter big eh-
quake had hit Japan, the whole
world would have been in chaos.
Japan is a economic supepower
andpractically the enire.wol eco-
nomic system is connected to the
Jap wesaebmru

At the same time, stress is
mounting in biological systems,
paw dsf fests, oeanic fines
and coplands dtha lms depends
o for food and indstl raw ma
The 4 billion people on Earth
with rising aspirations e putting
moe sure on Earth's eoures,
often ceeading nare's long-tena
carrying capacity. As I mentioned
earlier, agricultural production
worldwide has dropped because of
envirofmenml bfcto dal play into

economic development The pro-
ductivity of ocean fisheries is
falling's tches exceed what ie
ocan produce
While forests are shrinking,
grasses tat provide meat, mik,
better and cheese for h D beings
We here in the Virgi Islands
can make a difference In spite of
how thinp look gobally. As a peo
pie, we often look for economic
help outside instead of growing
from ith iide ot economiclly.

Ths wetd i is o 24t ual
Virgin lands Agriculture and
Food Fair. The theme, "From
Droght to Harvest" is a pefect
xanle of bow agrict e sives
despite eavimnmetl hadiship and
thedonfall of our n omy.
Yet as a people, we fail to real
ia d apgrickecan play a major
ole inhow we develop teVir
gin Islands economy. For temple,
an expanded agricuural industry
can complinea tourist industry
by providing local food to toIrist

and residents alike also ate
employment opportunities for ou
However, this year's fair wold
t be poible without or iam
Come on, let stop walking md
make gicltr a big prt of our
01tee Dais, who holt a mu-
t of sinc e degree in rme ma-
gae ai dfoWrey ecology, i a
St. Croix ecologist, activist ad

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