Agroecological Innovation to Transform Agriculture and Achieve Food Sovereignty



Dear Friends and Colleagues

Agroecological Innovation to Transform Agriculture and Achieve Food Sovereignty

Ágroecology, within the paradigm of food sovereignty, is gaining widespread recognition and is increasingly being promoted by States and international institutions as the indispensable approach to transform agriculture and food systems and address the challenges we face.

Innovation has been a key element FAO’s symposia and regional meetings on agroecology in recent years. The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) of the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS) is currently writing a report on Agroecological Approaches and Other Innovations for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems that Enhance Food Security and Nutrition, to be published in 2019.

This background paper entitled “Agroecology: innovating for sustainable food systems and agriculture” by Friends of the Earth International aims to i) generate dialogue at FAO and CFS processes where innovation is being discussed; and ii) provide guidance and recommendations for governmental and intergovernmental institutions on what and whose type of innovation should be promoted. Innovation should not be only about technology, but also have a holistic and multidisciplinary perspective and seek to make a positive impact on the lives of small-scale food providers, workers and their communities.

Agroecology offers multiple benefits including providing stable yields and tackling hunger; nutrition, health and sustainable livelihoods; preserving biodiversity; and harnessing food systems to stop climate change. Agroecology’s innovations and practices are technically feasible, affordable, politically, socially and culturally acceptable, locally-adapted and environmentally sound.

The paper provides recommendations to guide the formulation of sound public policies in order to create an enabling environment to unlock the transformative power of agroecology to achieve food sovereignty and sustainable agriculture and food systems. Some of these are:

  • Mainstream peasant, family farm-based and other small-scale food producers’ agroecology into regional and national agricultural policies and programs.
  • Ensure small-scale food producers’ collective rights, control over and access to the commons. Carry out integral land reforms, through a variety of legislative systems that fully recognize the laws, traditions, customs, tenure systems, and institutions of peoples in their respective territories.
  • Ensure women’s access to and control over land, territories, water and seeds; safe and dignified working conditions; control of income; access to training and information; and direct access to markets.
  • Support young people in accessing land and in taking over or establishing new farms; improve physical and social infrastructure, in particular access to information and communications technology.
  • Protect peasants’ seed systems from the privatization of resources through intellectual property rights; guarantee their collective right to save, select, breed and exchange their seeds.
  • Shift policies away from carbon offset schemes towards real smallholder agroecological practices, which support communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to mitigate to reduce the scale of the crisis, as well as strengthening their resiliency against future shocks.

The paper can be downloaded from:

With best wishes

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