The potential of agroecology: Reclaiming the food crisis
Nov 09, 2012
|Where||European Parliament, Room JAN 2Q2, Brussels, Belgium|
|Contact Name||Bart Staes|
Xavier Le Roux
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The aim of the conference is to explain the concept of agroecology to an audience of academics, students, farmers, policy makers, NGO's and other stakeholders, who have an interest in environmental studies, agriculture, and food production.
As we know, our current food and agricultural system isn't sustainable. Increasingly we get locked in a global production model with high social and environmental costs, mainly in the form of a rapid degradation of biodiversity. There is an urgent need to rethink the global food system. This is why Bart Staes, member of the European Parliament for the Greens, takes the initiative, together with a group of Belgian academics, to organise an international conference on transition towards a more sustainable agricultural and food model: agroecology.
Although we do know that agroecology isn't the silver bullet that will solve all problems, we also know that the potential of agroecology as a science, agricultural practice and social movement, is underestimated and is not seriously considered as an answer to the current food crisis.
The 'Take Home Message' of this conference has three main points:
- The worldwide challenge of producing enough food in a sustainable way, is not in the first place a problem of increasing productivity. The search for solutions for the food crisis should go beyond this. They should focus on a redefinition of the relationship between food production, access to land (More than 90 % of the fertile land is being used for non-food produce), employment and environment (the majority of those who suffer hunger are farmers) and also deal with the question on who will feed the big cities (85% of the population in 2050).
- The need to explore agroecology seriously (politically, scientifically and socially). It contains also a necessity of rebalance of the funds on the level of budgets and scientific programs.
- The challenge is to create a dynamic platform of transition, that considers:
- The issue of employment in the rural areas (revenues/production). We need a transformation and decentralisation of food production (50 % of hunger is in rural zones, which leads to the rural exodus) that also considers the role in and impact of all actors in the food chain on consumption and distribution. What is the role and effect of land grabbing, and the role of official authorities on the control of land. Which power balance is needed between different actors?
- The environmental issues, more particularly the loss of biodiversity and how this affects food production and livelihoods?
Simultaneous interpretation will be provided in French - English - Dutch