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.

20 December 2012 | Roger Thurow | 11 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
Let’s not be dogmatic about farming methods, many options are needed. Options are precisely what smallholders lack. At best these farmers live imprisoned in “either/or” lives filled with heart-...
Children in a classroom, Mali. Photo: Oxfam
20 December 2012 | Sonali Bisht | 7 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
The consumer is king in agriculture. Until aware consumers change their behaviour, the smallholder farmer will get good words, symbolic gestures, and little else. Consumers need to meet producers...
Child running through a rice paddy
19 December 2012 | Michael O’Gorman | 5 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
Every perceived ill of US farming boils down to too few farmers working to feed too many people. The challenge is to get more young people farming, and help them through the early years when they...
Empty classroom, Mali. Image: Oxfam
19 December 2012 | Pat Mooney | 8 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
If we are to survive climate change, we must adopt policies that let peasants diversify the plant and animal varieties on our menus. Only they have the know-how and patience to find out what plants...
18 December 2012 | Kavita Prakash-Mani | 9 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
The future has arrived, it’s just not at the scale required. The spread of bottom-up approaches to farmer innovation, coupled with breakthrough technology developed by input companies, will make...
18 December 2012 | Dr. Florence Wambugu | 6 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
Experts’ ideas about how resource-poor farmers could improve productivity ought to be guided by indigenous knowledge. Low-cost, micro-innovations that make use of local resources have great potential...
17 December 2012 | Rokeya Kabir | 3 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
Striving to produce ever more food is the wrong starting point for achieving food security. Instead, let’s focus on reducing inequalities by giving small-scale farmers’ more control, valuing their...
17 December 2012 | Dr. Julio A. Berdegué | 13 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
If poor farmers had more freedom to innovate and adequate access to public and private investments, they would likely disappoint us by getting out of farming altogether. But even if only one or two...
16 December 2012 | Tarcila Rivera Zea | 8 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
Nothing is as ironic as the fact that we indigenous peoples, who brought so many foods to the world, lack the means to escape poverty and malnutrition. Having control over what we produce, how and...
16 December 2012 | Dr. Madiodio Niasse | 6 | Blog channel: Future of Agriculture: Online Discussion
 
While farming is increasingly reliant on women’s labour, women’s lack of secure land tenure severely limits their influence over farming decisions. Closing the gender gap in land rights would...

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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