Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I like the comment that was made, that there are not enough champions to help farmers change. I understand that for those who are going organic, they're very much swimming against the current. There's a paradigm that exists. Farming has been done in a certain way for so many decades. It has usually involved a lot of fertilizers and the intensive use of massive monocultures. As we've seen, that farming technique has not been very good for our soil and our water, and I think farmers are starting to realize that.
On Monday we had a representative from Fertilizer Canada here. I started off by saying that if we're looking at ways to lessen our impact on the environment, it seems our use of fertilizers is a good place to start. They require fossil fuels to be made, to be transported, and to be applied, and of course we've had dead zones created from too much runoff.
They have taken some steps to have more targeted use, but their contention is that you simply cannot get the same yield without the use of synthetic fertilizers with those kinds of inputs. I know that a lot of organic farmers are challenging that paradigm. I'm wondering, if we're looking for the research on the economies of scale where organic agriculture can work to.... We used Africa, for example, and the farmer who has two to three acres. He was saying that without fertilizers, they simply cannot make a profit.
Are there any specific examples you could point us to that challenge that existing way of thinking and say, “No, actually, we can do it”? I'll open it up to anyone who wants to start.