Global agricultural practices must change if we are to reduce hunger, poverty and environmental degradation, say a set of comprehensive international reports released by the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) in April. These reports present a new paradigm for agriculture that represents an evolution of the concept of agriculture - focusing only on food production - to one that also enhances rural livelihoods while ensuring environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development.
Professor Roger Leakey, Australia's coordinating lead author of the global report, says the key actions identified in the global and regional reports can be summarised as:
*re-direction of agricultural science and technology - moving away from processes that have profited primarily large-scale enterprises, to processes that address the basic needs of the world's 900 million small farmers and lessen environmental impacts;
*innovation - initiatives that allow local communities to set the agenda alongside scientists and policy-makers;
*investment - in rural infrastructure, local governance and education.
'The overriding challenge is to revitalise farming processes and rehabilitate natural capital. To do this we need to even up the balance between "globalisation", which is the dominant paradigm now, and "localisation",' Professor Leakey says. Read more here.
The story was provided by CSIRO Publishing in Ecos Magazine.