Prospects for a viable food future

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By Abisola Adekoya

A recent report entitled, “A Viable Food Future,” produced by The Development Fund of Norway, lays out recommendations for small-scale, ecological food production that, with the adequate support, promises to feed the world, without the damaging effects caused by industrial agriculture.

The Development Fund researchers advocate for a food system model that draws upon the advantages of both traditional and contemporary forms of agriculture. (Photo credit: Bernard Pollack)

In this, the first installment of a two-part report on how healthy food systems can potentially alleviate the social and the environmental problems that result from unsustainable agricultural practices, The Development Fund researchers advocate for a food system model that draws upon the advantages of both traditional and contemporary forms of agriculture. They claim that by combining the latest science on sustainable forms of production with traditional models of food production that have evolved and adapted for millennia, developing countries can obtain at least a double digit increase in production without using chemical inputs, including synthetic fertilizer and pesticides.

Many of the recommendations outlined in the report focus on improving farmers’ access to and control over:

•           resources, such as land, seeds, water and credit;

•           food storage facilities;

•           and local markets

Improving access to information that could help smallholders improve their production with ecological methods and enhance their management of natural resources, is another important policy recommendation outlined in the report. Small-scale food producers are responsible for at least 70 percent of the food consumed in the world today and supporting their efforts through local governments and international institutions, according to The Development Fund, is more important than ever, especially as the impacts of climate change become more pressing.

To learn more about small-scale, ecological food production, see: Instead of One Size Fits All, Many Innovations for Improving Small-Scale Agriculture, Large Scale Land Investments Do Not Benefit Local Communities, Creating Food Sovereignty for Small-Scale Farmers, and Restoring Biodiversity to Improve Food Security.

Abisola Adekoya is a research intern with the Nourishing the Planet project.

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