“Nothing less than a paradigm shift in agriculture is required” UN report

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

perez

Click to hear the interview with Roberto Rerez

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’

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About admin

I lead on the Cwm Harry Skills and training enterprise, am a qualified teacher and permaculture design tutor and garden designer and project consultant. I write several blogs and am an avid networker and communicator on the subjects of sustainability, transition and co-operatives. I have written an occasional column for Channel4/green and have worked for Channel 4 on their 'Dumped' seriesworked as well as for BBC Wales as a green advisor on their Changing Lives- Going Green series, Nov-Dec 2009. I have been working in sustainable development, on project management and development, teaching, growing and small business development all my life really. I also grew up living and working on farms and have a broad experience working in Britain and Canada and Zimbabwe on sustainable agriculture, grass roots permaculture projects, micro business development and housing and worker co-ops. I have been based in Wales since 1994 and currently live in the Welsh borders.