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Harald Jezek

Owner, Nuada beauty+wellness

TEDCRED 50+

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Is permaculture a feasible alternative to traditional agriculture?

Australians Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton created (or re-created) the concept of permaculture as alternative to traditional agriculture, but goes much beyond only agriculture. According to them "permaculture is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the stability, diversity and resilience of natural ecosystems." The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather against nature. It appears that systems based on permaculture can offer the same or even better yield than traditional production.

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    Feb 26 2011: From my point of view, the reason why we did not see Permaculture spread as much as one would hope are its requirements for the farmers:
    (a) after switching to Permaculture I assume it is a slow process of adaption of both the farm and the farmer until benefits exceed costs. This means significant risk for a family that has invested most of its assets in their farm.
    (b) Switching to Permaculture means leaving the system of clear instructed and science based agriculture and starting to learn individually how to work together with nature.

    I conclude that a government program could probably help a lot to start the transformation by reducing the risk for the individual farmer.

    PS. A great book on Permaculture (and also its founding document) is "The One Straw Revolution" by Masanobu Fukuoka

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