On 03/11/2021 and 03/16/2021, the Director-General of the Zero Hunger Institute, José Graziano da Silva, discussed the importance of agroecology for the future of agriculture in “ Permanent Forum: Sustainable Development and Agroecology Goals ”at Unicamp and the“ World Organic Forum ”by Akademie Schloss Kirchberg.

Rio de Janeiro, March 25, 2021 – Between the 60s and 70s, the Green Revolution was instrumental in avoiding a deep global food shortage, by increasing the productivity of some of the main cereals by around 40 %. To this end, chemical and technological inputs were incorporated into the cultivation of the genera that formed the basis of human food and could be traded globally (such as soybeans, wheat, corn, and rice – even today the main agricultural commodities).

However, just increasing agricultural productivity without improving the distribution of resources that allow access to healthy and nutritious food is not enough to reduce food insecurity in a world that is moving towards 8 billion inhabitants.

The result of extending this model of the successful green revolution in the 1960s to the 2000s, with few changes adapted to the new context, brought a series of “side effects”, in particular on the planet’s biodiversity and climate. & nbsp; It can be said that today hunger is no longer a problem of food scarcity or low agricultural productivity: we produce more than enough to feed the entire world population, but in addition, we waste ⅓ of the total, while more & nbsp; 2 billion people face moderate or severe food insecurity (without considering the coronavirus pandemic, which is exponentially increasing this sad data).

Agroecology is a productive model that seeks to rescue traditional ways of dealing with natural resources, promoting a balance between agricultural activity and the ecosystem, in order to mitigate the impact of production on the climate (which currently represents 23% or more of emissions greenhouse gas emissions). Its main objective is to promote the sustainable development of rural communities and ensure a healthy diet for all.

During his tenure as Director-General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO recognized agroecology as a catalyst for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals. Several international symposia and meetings on the subject took place, until the approval by the FAO General Assembly and its Council in December 2019 of the Scaling up Agroecology Initiative and the FAO Ten Elements of Agroecology, a guide to support member countries in the approach to sustainable agriculture. In summary, agroecology is officially part of the work carried out by FAO to support the demands of member countries in search of more sustainable practices for their food systems.

It is also worth noting that the World Food Security Committee (CSA) requested a report to its High-Level Panel of Experts of the Committee on Agroecology and other forms of sustainable agriculture. This report was presented to the CFS plenary in October 2019 and accepted as a “technical contribution”, while recommending a multisectoral consultation before its adoption to be discussed at its next plenary meeting, scheduled for June 2021. A preliminary version of the document was distributed in June 2020 to receive comments and, once approved, it will be a policy recommendation document aimed at promoting agroecology among member countries. Currently, the report divides opinions between two main groups: on the one hand, some member countries such as Argentina, the United States, and Great Britain, who prefer to avoid discussing global issues such as world trade and promote the adoption of new biotechnologies as the main way to overcome the challenges the food system; and the group formed by representatives of civil society and academia (who hope that the report and the committee will address social issues such as access to land and water, among others).

(Check the full report and its comments).

The result of this clash should show whether the different actors have managed to reach a consensus on the theme of Agroecology that can be transformed into policies recommended to member countries.

Learn more about the “Permanent Forum: Sustainable Development Goals and Agroecology”.
Learn more about the “World Organic Forum”.
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Contact: Isabella Gomes – imprensa@institutofomezero.org