Sustainable agriculture: lively multi stakeholder debate facilitated by Agri-ProFocus
On September 12, 2014, Agri-ProFocus organized an expert meeting about the different approaches to promote sustainable agriculture (e.g. agro-ecology, climate-smart agriculture, the landscape approach, etc). This in order to inform the upcoming food and nutrition security policy note of Minister Ploumen and Secretary of State Dijksma, and the own practice of different stakeholders.
Agri-ProFocus had chosen for an open debate, in which there was room for input from different stakeholder groups of the so-called ‘Dutch diamond’ and for contributions from those working with approaches ranging from agro-ecology to climate-smart agriculture, to the landscape approach, to other ways of working without particular label. This was a deliberate choice and generated a lively debate in a good atmosphere, which confirmed the relevance of many of the existing practices of the Dutch organizations, institutions and Ministries present.
Among participants, there was a broadly felt sense of urgency to support the further greening of agriculture in the context of the combined global food, environmental and climate challenges. Participants ranging from innovative private sector representatives, microcredit agencies, to civil society organizations agreed that food systems need to become more sustainable in order to feed the world sustainably by 2030. Many of them confirmed the need to raise agricultural productivity and the efficiency of food systems, under the condition that how this is done is subject for further (democratic) debate.
During the meeting it became clear that the different approaches to greening agriculture all have their merits. Therefore, the upcoming food security policy note should create an enabling environment and financial means for these approaches to build complementarities and to work synergistically together, based on a number of principles of sustainable agriculture: addressing the social, ecological and economic dimensions of agriculture in an integrated, responsible and effective manner.
A preparatory briefing note is also available, clarifying key concepts used and including references to recent publications about various approaches to sustainable agriculture.