Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Agroecology and the Right to Food

This year the United Nations Human Rights Council received the report, Agroecology and the Right to Food from Olivier De Schutter, Special Rapporteur.
His conclusions are based on an extensive review of the scientific literature published in the last five years.
In it he says:
"We won't solve hunger and stop climate change with industrial farming on large plantations. The solution lies in supporting small-scale farmers' knowledge and experimentation, and in raising incomes of smallholders so as to contribute to rural development… If key stakeholders support the measures identified in the report, we can see a doubling of food production within 5 to 10 years in some regions where the hungry live…Most efforts in the past have focused on improving seeds and ensuring that farmers are provided with a set of inputs that can increase yields, replicating the model of industrial processes in which external inputs serve to produce outputs in a linear model of production. Instead, agroecology seeks to improve the sustainability of ecosystems by mimicking nature instead of industry. This report suggests that scaling up agroecological practices can simultaneously increase farm productivity and food security, improve incomes and rural livelihoods, and reverse the trend towards species loss and genetic erosion… However, in moving towards more sustainable farming systems, time is the greatest limiting factor. Whether or not we will succeed will depend on our ability to learn faster from recent innovations and to disseminate works more widely…"
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