Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion blog

The Future of Agriculture

The Future of Agriculture is a global online policy discussion forum, intended to explore four key issues:

  • farmers’ knowledge as the driver of innovation and investment;
  • women’s land ownership;
  • farming’s dependence on fossil fuels; and
  • effective risk management systems.

Rather than critique the current state of affairs, the discussion seeks to generate bold proposals to meet increasing world demand for food in a way that eradicates hunger and preserves the environment.

The online discussion runs December 10 - December 21. Each day, we post one or two essays by leading thinkers on agriculture and food justice. We invite you to join the discussion: read the essays, post comments and share with your networks!

Oxfam has sponsored this public discussion to promote public debate and invite feedback on key development policy issues relevant to our GROW campaign. All views and recommendations expressed here are those of their authors and not necessarily those of Oxfam.

16 December 2012 | Harold Poelma | 7 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
An agriculture that is resilient and sustainable, and provides sufficient safe, affordable food for all, will be built on four cornerstones: comparative advantage, open trade, markets that work for...
Woman filling a jerry can with water, Tanzania
13 December 2012 | Alexis Nicolás Ibáñez Blancas | 3 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
Indigenous farming could become a motor for conserving biodiversity, promoting ancestral knowledge crucial for climate adaptation, and building alternative development models based on local markets....
Milagros Villagas Nima, 17, picks corn in her back yard, Tambogrande, Peru. Photo: Gilvan Barreto/Oxfam
13 December 2012 | Susan Godwin | 3 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
Many and varied are the challenges we Nigerian women farmers face, from lack of land to uncertain markets to the daily burden of maintaining the household. Working as day labourers brings its own...
Two young students in Benin
13 December 2012 | Nicko Debenham | 5 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
The fundamental problem for both female and male smallholders is the size of their farms. They are simply too small to generate an acceptable livelihood. An incorporated farm model could overcome...
12 December 2012 | Sarojeni V. Rengam | 11 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
The challenges faced by biodiversity-based ecological agriculture are not primarily technical but political. Evidence from three countries shows farming without fossil fuels works. But such methods...
12 December 2012 | José Graziano da Silva | 13 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
Agriculture that uses less fossil fuel must be pursued actively. Renewable fuels, reduced waste and losses, and energy from farm by-products are all solutions that would allow for increased food...
11 December 2012 | Bill McKibben | 9 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
Low-input agriculture is hardly primitive. It is a highly skilled craft, utterly unlike the formulaic industry that “conventional” farming has become. Instead of continuing to pour oil on plants and...
11 December 2012 | Prem Bindraban | 13 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
We mustn’t allow emotions to cloud our understanding of fundamental natural laws. To feed a world of 9 billion people without chemical fertilizers would irreparably damage biodiversity. Let’s reduce...
11 December 2012 | Anna Lappé | 5 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
Anna Lappé argues we should feel a sense of urgency and a sense of hope in transitioning towards more ecological farming. We know how to farm without costly reliance on fossil fuels and we know the...
10 December 2012 | John Ambler | 6 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
In the world of 2050, healthy food is abundant and politicians view a sustainable agricultural system as non-negotiable. Looking back, it’s clear that institutional reform was the key to success in...

Coming soon

What if…? Imagining the future of agriculture

8 August 2013 | Filip Nohe | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
It's impossible to imagine a world without agriculture – virtually all of us depend on it for our food supply, billions of people depend on it to sustain at least part of their livelihoods, and it...
Photo: Farmers arrive by tractor at an onion field.
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