Agroecology as a Pathway towards Sustainable Food Systems (New Report)

In News by Agroecology Now

This report looks at Agroecology as a Pathway to Sustainable Food Systems. Food systems are at a critical juncture and a dramatic transition to agroecology is urgently needed. Alarming rates of food insecurity and malnutrition persist, manifested as  undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies (“hidden hunger”) and “overnutrition” (overweight and obesity), alongside the growing crises of biodiversity loss and climate change. 

Jahi Chappell and Annelie Bernhart from the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience published a report for MISEREOR in October 2018. 

Agroecology’s profile in the national and international arena, and amongst researchers, farmers, and movements, is growing. To fully realize its potential, it is thus all the more important for concerned actors, practitioners, and civil society to maintain pressure and support for agroecology’s full gender-sensitive, political, ecological, pro-small-scale food producer and pro-poor orientation, alongside food sovereignty and food justice. MISEREOR works with community-based organizations and researchers who share a vision for action and fundamental shifts to support a sustainable and just food future.

This work enables us to learn from and support development interventions aligned with a transformative approach to agroecology.Practically, this has already been demonstrated in previous research with MISEREOR-supported partners in Uganda and the Philippines (see pp.22-25), where agroecological processes have helped farmers increase incomes, resilience, diversity, autonomy, gender empowerment and food sovereignty.

Continuing and amplifying this line of work based on partnerships with local NGOs and networks to build capacity and provide a voice for small-scale farmers, this report compiles studies of work on transformative agroecology and rural development in India, Brazil, and Senegal. These studies provide further evidence that agroecology can help increase farmers’ economic viability and income, farm productivity and diversity, food and nutritional security, and promote social change and women’s empowerment.

To continue to realize agroecology’s potential, it will be important to promote and scale-up ongoing deliberative, inclusive, cross-sector policy dialogues; promote and secure sociopolitical equality across gender and marginalized groups; enable local institutions for horizontal learning and sharing; recognize and encourage diversified economies; increase participatory approaches for generating and maintaining crop and animal diversity; recognize women’s connections to improved nutrition, diversity, and diets; increase support for agroforestry in particular; and improve rural access to water, water quality, and other elements of basic infrastructure.To make these interventions more effective, governments and development agencies should substantially increase support for agroecological interventions and shift funds away from “conventional” approaches that are disempowering, synthetic input-intensive, and harmful to the environment. You can view the report by clicking here.
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