From uniformity to diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems.
This report (PDF) by IPES-Food is about the changes that the agricultural sector should make to move towards a diversified agroecological system. Today’s food and farming systems have succeeded in supplying large volumes of food to global markets, but are generating negative outcomes on multiple fronts: widespread degradation of land, water and ecosystems; high GHG emissions; biodiversity losses; persistent hunger and micro-nutrient deficiencies alongside the rapid rise of obesity and diet-related diseases; and livelihood stresses for farmers around the world. The uniformity at the heart of these systems, and their reliance on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and preventive use of antibiotics, leads systematically to negative outcomes and vulnerabilities. To change this type of agriculture, and the food system that goes with it, the agricultural sector needs a fundamentally different model of agriculture based on diversifying farms and farming landscapes. Changes are already happening but are not big and fast enough. Therefore, political incentives must be shifted in order for these alternatives to emerge beyond the margins. The authors conclude with 7 recommendations that can collectively shift the centre of gravity in food systems. Such as, more support for short supply chains & alternative retail infrastructures.