Developing and developed countries alike need a paradigm shift in agricultural development: from a “green revolution” to a “truly ecological intensification” approach.
This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high external-input-dependent industrial production towards mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers.
We need to see a move from a linear to a holistic approach in agricultural management, which recognizes that a farmer is not only a producer of agricultural goods, but also a manager of an agro-ecological system that provides quite a number of public goods and services (e.g. water, soil, landscape, energy, biodiversity, and recreation)
UNCTAD’s Trade and Environment Review 2013 (TER13) contends
(My emphasis) This is a global call up for permaculture and it is about time too. All over the World there is a huge groundswell of interest (and lack of funds for alternatives) in organic, diverse systems. Working with nature means copying its patterns, its chaos, its diversity. These kinds of practices tend to regenerate not just soils but the whole ecology surrounding and supporting productivity. Permaculture, holistic, bio-mimicry practices, often called agro-ecology also sequestrates carbon and builds stable and sustainable revenues from the land. Large corporate and global markets also need to be kept out of especially developing world subsistence food market. The economics had be right as well as the farming practices.
It is a very powerful report, I urge anyone with an understanding in food security to at least read the key abstracts and summaries.
Cuba leads the way in sustainable agriculture
Here is Cuban permaculturalist and agro ecologist Roberto Perez talking about sustainable agriculture in Cuba.
Roberto was a main voice on the successful and powerful documentary ‘The Power of Community’