A HIGH-level panel of speakers, including country permanent representatives to the United Nations, scientists, and practitioners gathered for an event “Prospects for achieving equitable food systems through agroecology.” The event was organized by the Agroecology Coalition and the Transformative Partnership Platform on Agroecology and took place in New York.
More than 250 participants discussed evidence, metrics, equity and power issues around agroecology and how these can be effectively linked to science and policy.
Oliver Oliveros, the Agroecology Coalition Coordinator, said, “Agroecology provides sustainable solutions to issues of soil degradation, climate, biodiversity, food security and nutrition, including precarious livelihoods and social inequalities faced by farmers and food system workers. It is a powerful lever for the sustainable transformation of food systems, in a fully compatible way with the SDGs, the Paris Agreement, the Global Biodiversity Framework and Land Degradation Neutrality objectives.”
Irish Baguilat, Coordinator of the Asian Farmers Association, said, “To foster co-innovation and transformative research, it’s important for our governments, for research institutions and other mainstream actors to acknowledge and valorise our knowledge and experience as experts in our own field and recognize and accept that the realities in the ground differ from one locality to the other and also for enablers and actors to have a thorough understanding of our reality and recognize the solutions that we have already developed over the years.”
During the meeting, it was highlighted that:
- There is a lot of evidence supporting the feasibility of agroecology solutions
- Agroecology can also help in tackling many inequalities currently affecting food systems such as wealth disparity and unequal access to food and gender inequality
- It is unacceptable that farmers operate in a space in which the field is extremely imbalanced
- There is a need to incentivize farmers that are really adopting agroecological practices
- There is a need for serious reallocation of research and development resources, not only to researchers but also to practitioners and farmers to jointly understand what works where, why and under what conditions
- We need political support and concrete policy changes to make agroecology work
- We can’t assess progress in agroecology with the same metrics used for traditional agriculture, because of the several positive externalities that those can’t calculate
- The present climate crisis has added to the other challenges we already face that is why we must pay particular attention to agroecology, which is one of the fittest responses to climate change as it promotes more equitable food systems
- The event has been streamed online. The raw recording can be viewed here. Additional edited footage will also be made available shortly.
Mariana Wongtschowski, Sector Director Caring for the Earth, Porticus Foundation, said, “When you talk about the politics of knowledge, when you talk about understanding complexity, this means serious relocation of research and development resources, not only to researchers but also to practitioners and farmers to jointly understand what works where why and under what conditions.”
The Senegal Minister’s Counsellor, Diamane Diome, said, “The present climate crisis has added to the other challenges we already face […] that is why we must pay particular attention to agroecology which is one of the fittest responses to climate change […] as it promotes more equitable food systems[…] We need national policies in agroecology…[…]Africa is determined to be more self-dependent by encouraging the local processing of agriculture products so that the continent produces what it consumes and consumes what it produces. The continent is in demand of partnerships that are tailored to achieve such goals.”