Feeding the World: UN Lauds Small-Scale, Sustainable Agriculture

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A recent publication from the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Trade and Environment Review 2013: Wake Up Before it is Too Late, includes contributions from more than 60 experts around the world. They are calling for transformative changes in food, agriculture and trade systems to increase diversity on farms, reduce use of fertilizer and other inputs, support small-scale farmers and create strong local food systems.

The report includes in-depth sections on the shift toward more sustainable, resilient agriculture; livestock production and climate change; the importance of research and extension; plus the roles of both land use and reform of global trade rules.

The report’s findings contrast starkly to the accelerated push for new free trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S./EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which will strengthen the hold of multinational corporate and financial firms on the global economy. Neither global climate talks nor other global food security forums reflect the urgency expressed in the UNCTAD report to transform agriculture.

Source: Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (iatp.org)

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