From Uniformity to Diversity – IPES Food Report

In News by LynneD

ipesfoodThe first major report of IPES- Food was released on June 2nd: ‘From Uniformity to Diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems’.

The report is a useful resource capturing a vast analysis of the research around agroecological farming practice around the world. The report concludes that a fundamental shift towards diversified agroecological farming can deliver simultaneous benefits for productivity, the environment and society.

Some of the key findings:

  • Average organic yields equivalent to conventional agriculture, and 30% higher in drought years (30-year study);
  • Total outputs in diversified grassland systems 15%-79% higher than in monocultures;
  • 2-4x higher resource efficiency on small-scale agroecological farms;
  • 30% more species and 50% higher abundance of biodiversity on organic farms;
  • Around 50% more beneficial omega-3 fatty acids in organic meat and milk.

“It is not a lack of evidence holding back the agroecological alternative. It is the mismatch between its huge potential to improve outcomes across food systems, and its much smaller potential to generate profits for agribusiness firms.” Oliver de Schutter

From the context of political agroecology the report touches only briefly on the role of social movements. Recommendation 5 of the report offers “a range of steps could help to facilitate the unification of social movements around diversified agroecological systems”.

There is little recognition of the work that has been ongoing for decades by international social movements. Similarly there is no concrete suggestion on mechanisms for furthering this work.

AgroecologyNow would like to invite farmers, social movements and practitioners of agroecology to comment on this report from their perspective. Please contact us if you would like to provide opinion or comment.