In IPES-Food's latest report, 'The Added Value(s) of #Agroecology', we focused on a series of obstacles that prevent the transition to agroecological #foodsystems.
🌱 One such obstacle is the *access to #seeds & #organic inputs*. Here's a quick thread on why this matters! 👇🏿
#Farmer seed systems - through which farmers select, multiply, conserve & exchange a wide range of reproducible varieties - are an essential component of #agroecology, which relies on diversity at all levels (including crop genetic diversity). 🌱🌿🌾
#DidYouKnow that these systems account for up to 90% of the seeds used in some African countries? And in #Mali, peasant seed systems make up 75% of the varieties grown in the country.
❗️ However, these systems are lacking in legal recognition and policy support ❗️
Calls for a "National Food Policy" have been made for decades - with quite some resurgence in the past few years.
So, rooted in existing efforts & movement building, IPES-Food’s #US team is gearing up for more discussions.
We're collectively developing a process through which policy makers, the private sector, researchers, tribal nations and civil society might align their efforts to make a sustainable US food system a reality. The aim? ...
After access to finance, another big obstacle to agroecology is *ACCESS TO #LAND & #WATER* 🌳🚰
📰This month we published 'The Added Value(s) of #Agroecology: Unlocking the potential for transition in West #Africa'
🔎 The research shows why land & water are fundamental 👇🏿
Rapid #population growth, urban sprawl, and land grabbing have created unprecedented pressures on #land and #water resources in West #Africa. Moreover, land laws, often rooted in the colonial era, have generally failed to protect customary tenure and land use.
In fact, between 2000 & 2012, some 3 million hectares of land were subject to large-scale #land acquisitions across nine West African countries.
🔎In #Senegal alone, 650,000+ ha were granted to investors between 2007 & 2016 – equivalent to 16% of the country's arable land❗️
"In the name of economic growth, we've sacrificed #ecosystems, and we've exhausted the women and men in the economy, by subjecting them to huge pressure from the #globalisation of competition and the deregulation of labour markets." - IPES-Food's Olivier De Schutter @DeSchutterO
So policies made at different levels of governance (e.g. municipal, state, tribal, federal) are often contradictory or disconnected from one another, leading to missed opportunities to support innovative local and regional #foodsystem initiatives already happening on the ground.
The report underlines the vast challenges facing West African @FoodSystems today: temperatures rising 1.5 times faster than global averages; 70-80% of the population living on less than $2 a day; & #COVID19 threatening to plunge millions more into poverty and #foodinsecurity.
#OPINION 📰 Reform of @CGIAR is long overdue. However, IPES-Food is concerned that the current reform process will fall short of the fundamental change that is required, and risks exacerbating major power imbalances in global agricultural #development. 👇
The process now underway to reform the @CGIAR is of major public interest. Since its inception at the height of the ‘Green Revolution’ in 1971, the #CGIAR has driven advances in crop breeding and agricultural mechanization and modernization across multiple continents.
The CGIAR's mission – to develop knowledge and innovation for #agriculture in the global South – is as relevant today as ever, in light of #climatechange, #COVID19 and a host of additional challenges.
"#Agroecology is transformative. It is different because it goes beyond resource efficiency and simply substituting the current system with alternative practices. Actually, agroecology includes #ecosystem, #community and global level transformation," says @Million_Belay.
"We need to emphasise #agroecology’s contribution to the #SDGs and also the #ParisAgreement. That way we can mainstream agroecology in policy, and in turn attract more investment in agroecological research."
.@DeSchutterO: "Our #food system as it is has been conceived & designed in order to be as efficient as possible. “Efficiency” - meaning uniformity, economies of scale and specialisation - was prioritised at the expense of #resilience."
"We need to re-shift our efforts from the search for efficiency to the search for resilience... #Resilience being the ability of a system to withstand a shock, whether it is climatic, sanitary or economic."
🔎 Why #foodsystems in crisis?
➡️ Industrial ag driving habitat loss > conditions for viruses to emerge & spread
➡️ Even before #COVID19, 820 million under-nourished & 2 billion w/ #foodinsecurity. Recession to hit them harder.
➡️ Global supply chains have big vulnerabilities.
"1. Turn the 'Food Systems Summit' into an inclusive 'World Food Congress'; 2. Use the process to re-center food systems governance on the @UN_CFS; 3. Put #agroecology & food sovereignty firmly on the table."
"In other words, we must press the reset button. The @FoodSystems Summit must choose democratic debate over back-room deals, substance over showcases, and systemic solutions over silver bullets."
1. #EUFarm2Fork targets not enough. #Pesticide & AB reduction targets won't be effective w/o viable alternative products/production systems. 2. Techno-fixes (gene editing, feed additives, #data-driven ag) reinforce current system & entail trade-offs! 3. Support for #agroecology?
"#CAP provides the tools to make #FarmtoFork successful, but also might allow for its tools & budget to make the #F2F a failure. We need to identify the main gaps & possible inconsistencies b/w CAP and F2F. We must address them early instead of waiting for the next CAP reform."
"In the #EU we need a truly integrated food policy, not an à la carte set of proposals. Proposals need to be mutually reinforcing. With objectives including production systems, food environments, food chains, #trade and access to and protection of #land and natural resources."
Why does IPES-Food take a #FoodSystems approach? "The food systems lens brings to light reinforcing and balancing feedback loops, tensions between the different components and flows of food systems, and interactions that are cyclical, multilayered and multi-scale."
For example, the decision by a supermarket to stock corn-fed chicken would typically be explained in terms of price signals: expanding selling opportunities due to consumer demand for this product line downstream,
and relatively low commodity prices upstream. These elements...
cannot be neatly separated from one another when a whole web of interactions and feedback loops are considered: consumer demand is affected by price incentives, and consumers are not encouraged to think about the impacts of their choices as taxpayers...