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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 both producers and consumers, and an African continent that contributes positively to food production.
By Harold Poelma, Managing Director of Cargill Refined Oils Europe
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. That is, if communities can hold the water-hogging mining companies at bay.
By Alexis Nicolás Ibáñez Blancas, Researcher at Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina
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 uncertainties. No wonder a future in agriculture is unattractive to Nigerian youth.
By Susan Godwin, Nigerian Farmer
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 many of the current obstacles and be the farming system of the future.
By Nicko Debenham, Director, Development & Sustainability at Armajaro Trading Ltd.
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 will only be adopted widely once we prevail over the political power of agribusiness.
By Sarojeni V. Rengam, Executive Director of the Pesticide Network Asia and the Pacific.
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 supplies, while addressing climate change.
By José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
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 hope for the best, let’s embrace an agriculture that requires more attention, more vigilance, and more knowledge
By Bill McKibben, Founder of 350.org
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 fertilizer overuse in China and shift that to Africa, where lack of fertilizer is a major cause of hunger.
By Prem Bindraban, Director of ISRIC (World Soil Information)
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 freedom it brings from corporations’ monopoly control.
by Anna Lappé, Founding Principal of the Small Planet Institute
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 the realms of innovation, production, and consumption.
By John Ambler, Vice-President for Strategy, Oxfam America