UNCTAD's 2013 Trade and Environment Report: peasant farming and agro-ecology is the way to solve the food and climate crisis! Urgent action is needed
UNCTAD's 2013 Trade and Environment Report ("Wake up before it is too late: make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate") states that monoculture and industrial farming methods are not providing sufficient affordable food where it is needed, while causing mounting and unsustainable environmental damage.
Over the past few years, we have seen a steady flow of high level reports from the UN system and development agencies arguing in favour of small farmers and agroecology. International recognition that this is the way to solve the food and climate crisis is clearly building, but this has not been translated into real action on the ground where peasant farmers increasingly face marginalisation and oppression.
Evidence is mounting that the industrial food system is not only failing to feed the world, but also responsible for some of the planet's most pressing social and environmental crises. According to this latest Unctad’s Report, “The industrial food system is directly responsible for around half of all global greenhouse gas emissions.”
According to Pat Mooney of the ETC group, “The corporate food chain uses about 70-80% of the world's arable land to produce just 30-40% of the food we eat. In the process peasant farmers, the real food producers, get thrown off their land and tremendous environmental harm is done. This is clearly not the way to feed the world.”
It is time to translate policy documents into real action and governments at all levels (from local authorities to international bodies) are responsible for taking the right decisions in this regard.
From the United Nations