“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’

Public growing space for Llanidloes

Cwm Harry have a reputation in Mid Wales for its passion about waste reduction and turning food waste into high nutrient compost for growers. What people know less perhaps is that Cwm Harry also has a passion for growing local food and the Get-Growing project, funded by the national lottery was a result of nearly three years of hard work developing a garden at the old compost factory on the Vastre estate.

Llani new garden site

So now we have established a public accessible space for growing in Newtown as part of our commitments via the Get-Growing project we are seeking to do the same for Llanidloes. Work is already underway clearing the site for the garden and Emma Maxwell have been leading a local team of volunteers over the last few weeks.

busy workers

clear site

The cleared site, ready for work to begin

Next stage is to come up with a design for the garden, and we are running the design process as a 5 day course which will mainly be based at the Pen Dinas garden in Newtown. Part of this includes a Public Consultation with local residents and potential garden stakeholders, which will take place on Wednesday 25th September.

Please Get In touch if you would like to contribute to this process. This is open to any one in the Llanidloes area who would like to help shape the garden design to better meet local needs.