A year ago my colleague in Thailand told me that they had to change their strategies for farm development. Before they had propagated composting and other labour intensive methods to increase crop yields and income. But the population is now aging and the old peoples' bodies are tired.
Fred Pearce has written an interesting post about this:
"Making firm predictions is difficult. But I suggest that agriculture may face a new food security issue in coming decades. Never mind the land and water, will there be enough people to work on the farms?" Forget future land and water scarcity, will there be enough farmers?
Aditi Mukherji, a water professional from India just awarded the Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application
notes in an interesting post from Bihar that of 5006 households in three villages 40% do not report any income from agriculture at all. Of the rest 60% of villagers who reported some income from agriculture, only 25% reported it as their most important source of income. Another 35% households said that daily wage earning was their main income source. "it looks like these villages are indeed ‘villages without agriculture’ or more like, ‘villages without much of agriculture’." she says.
It would be ironic if we would run out of people to work the land, while we are worrying that land or water will run out...