“Who Will Feed Us in a Planet in Crisis? The Agro-ecological Answer”
“Greening” the green revolution will not be sufficient to reduce hunger and poverty and conserve biodiversity. The increasing cost of oil and fertilizers, and the deterioration of the climate and global ecology are key factors that undermine the capacity of humankind to feed itself. This phenomenon became evident when the “perfect storm” occurred in 2008 with the alarming rise in the cost of food that sent an additional 75 million people to the world’s line of hungry people.
Disregarding the above issues the ruling international agricultural elite continues asserting that food production will have to be increased by 70% by the year 2050. The threat to global food security is the direct result of the industrial model of agriculture characterized by large-scale monocultures tailored for the export markets. We need an alternative agricultural development paradigm that encourages more ecologically biodiverse, sustainable and socially just forms of agriculture.
There is a need for strategies that lead to the revitalization of small and medium sized farms, and point the way towards the reshaping of the entire agricultural policy and food system in ways that are economically viable to farmers and consumers. Currently proposed “sustainable intensification” in agriculture is ideologically buttressed by intellectual projects to reframe and redefine agroecology by stripping it of its political and social content and promoting the wrong notion that agro-ecological methods can co-exist alongside the aggressive expansion of transgenic crops and agrofuels. Many environmental and advocacy groups privilege those with access to capital and perpetuate an “agriculture of the poor for the rich”. The technological determinism that the organic agriculture movement emphasizes, through development and dissemination of low-input or appropriate technologies, is not only naïve but also dangerous, as it assumes these technologies in themselves have the capability of initiating beneficial social changes.
The speaker will be Prof. Miguel A. Altieri, Professor, University of California, Berkeley and the commentator will be Prof. Clara I. Nicholls, Professor, Universidad de Antioquia (Colombia) and Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley.
For more information, or to register to attend, see the event announcement on the UNU-IAS website.
Meeting Room 1, UNU-IAS
Pacifico-Yokohama, 1-1-1 Minato Mirai