This changes everything.
This April, an independent project involving over 400 full-time researchers and 58 countries published a report. The full scope of the report is enormous, but you can view the summary here:
Some excerpts, which may echo well with what I’ve been saying here. (In fact the same thing that I observed from the farm 3 years ago, and have since dedicated my life to preaching…)
“The main challenge of Agricultural Knowledge Science and Technology (AKST) is to increase the productivity of agriculture in a sustainable manner.
AKST must address the needs of small-scale farms in diverse ecosystems and to create realistic
opportunities for their development where the potential for improved area productivity is low and
where climate change may have its most adverse consequences.”
• How to improve social welfare and personal livelihoods in the rural sector and enhance
multiplier effects of agriculture?
• How to empower marginalized stakeholders to sustain the diversity of agriculture and
food systems, including their cultural dimensions?
• How to provide safe water, maintain biodiversity, sustain the natural resource base and
minimize the adverse impacts of agricultural activities on people and the environment?
• How to maintain and enhance environmental and cultural services while increasing
sustainable productivity and diversity of food, fiber and biofuel production?
• How to manage effectively the collaborative generation of knowledge among increasingly
heterogeneous contributors and the flow of information among diverse public and private AKST
• How to link the outputs from marginalized, rain fed lands into local, national and global
Important options for enhancing rural livelihoods include increasing access by small-scale
farmers to land and economic resources and to remunerative local urban and export markets;
and increasing local value added and value captured by small-scale farmers and rural laborers. A
powerful tool for meeting development and sustainability goals resides in empowering farmers to
innovatively manage soils, water, biological resources, pests, disease vectors, genetic diversity,
and conserve natural resources in a culturally appropriate manner. CERTIFIED ORGANIC AGRICULTURE
Combining farmers’ and external knowledge would require new partnerships among farmers, scientists and other
stakeholders. My Business
Policy options for
addressing food security include … [my policy brief]
• Public investments in agricultural knowledge systems to promote interactive knowledge
networks (farmers, scientists, industry and actors in other knowledge areas); improved
access to ICT; ecological, evolutionary, food, nutrition, social and complex systems’ sciences;
effective interdisciplinarity; capacity in core agricultural sciences; and improving life-long
learning opportunities along the food system.
• Adequate incentives and rewards to encourage private and civil society investments in AKST
contributing to development and sustainability goals.
There is growing concern that opening national agricultural markets to international
competition before basic institutions and infrastructure are in place can undermine the agricultural
sector, with long term negative effects for poverty, food security and the environment. [My post]
If you’re still with me, you should read the entire summary.
Thanks for your support!