Posts tagged ‘organic farming’

How Can we Feed the 9 Billion?

Vandana Shiva at the Event

As you may have heard the world’s population is expected to increase to 9 billion by 2050.  This hás brought about a lot of debate regarding how the world can achieve food security for all its 9 billion citizens by 2050.  On Monday, June 18th 2012, IFOAM held a learning event at the Agriculture and Rural Development Day in Rio de Janeiro Brazil. The event focused mainly on achieving affordable, accessible, inclusive and resilient food and farming systems through Ecological and social intensification.

Among the panelists were Vandana Shiva (NAVDANYA India), Sue Edwards (Institute for Sustainable Development, Ethiopia), Andre Leu, President of IFOAM, Hans Herren of Biovision and Laercio Meirelles (Ecovida Association, Brazil).

In this event, ecological and social intensification of agriculture was presented as the solution to food insecurity now and in the future. Normally, when we think of agricultural intensification, we think of increasing chemical and technological inputs. However we should be looking at ecological intensification or rather biodiversity intensification: This basically refers to the diversification of farm systems with regards to crop varieties, animals, trees etc. Food security cannot be achieved through monoculture and thus farmers must diversify their farms. “Chemical and technological intensification of agriculture will never be sustainable,” says Vandana Shiva.

Currently, companies such as Monsanto are taking the native seed varieties from the farmers, engineering them genetically to achieve uniformity and selling them back to the farmers. This linear flow of agricultural biodiversity must be stopped if we are going to achieve food security. Moreover, diverse farms provide better nutrition than monocultural farms.

In addition to ecological intensification, we need social intensification in agriculture. Women have always been the custodians of seeds and especially herbs and spices in agriculture. In addition it is mainly women who control breeding programmes for livestock. Therefore, in order to conserve agricultural biodiversity, we must acknowledge and promote the role of women in agriculture.

Do your part in nourishing the 9 billion by signing Nourish9Billion’s petition and demanding that the European Union commit to sustainable agriculture.  Leave your comment below or comment on twitter using the hashtag #YORio20.

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June 20, 2012 at 12:55 am Leave a comment

Is Organic Farming the Future of Agriculture?

Do you think that organic farming is the future of agriculture? Watch the short video below to find out what Rose Akaki, a Ugandan farmer who we met at Rio+20, thinks about organic agriculture. Don’t forget to leave your comments below.

 

June 17, 2012 at 3:44 pm Leave a comment