As this edition of New Agriculture goes online, weapons of mass destruction continue to elude investigators in Iraq, throwing doubt upon the credibility of those who spoke so emphatically of their threat. And how credible are the claims for the redevelopment of Iraqi agriculture? This is something we cover in the News. Public pronouncements, well meaning or manipulative, are an aspect of life we have to live with and learn to judge. The Canadian authorities spoke up loudly and clearly about their one case of BSE which has since proven to be isolated. Their credibility stands high. Not so the British government over its dealings with Foot and Mouth Disease. It is still suffering the consequences of loss of public trust, not least over GM crops. And yet, as conservationists battle for headlines, they too run the risk of letting their credibility seep away.
New Agriculturists resists such temptations and, to prove it, our Focus On this month is on the gentle and surely uncontentious subject of draught animal power. Crops, crop protection and fish join livestock as subjects in Developments, and our Points of View will be of particular interest to all those who have an interest in the future financing of agricultural research. Adolf Krauss makes a plea for potash in his Perspective on soil fertility and our Picture Feature illustrates small but effective projects in Uganda that are bringing real benefits to local people. In Print features recent publications including The Economist's Tale by Peter Griffiths, a highly readable and critical account of the effect of World Bank free market policies in Sierra Leone. It is a pity that the publishers overlooked the need to inform readers of the year in question. It is not until half way through the book that the reader discovers the answer - 1986. Another case of credibility seepage?
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