According to a new UN report, small scale, organic farming can create strong local food systems – the only viable, sustainable way to feed the word.
We are all aware at this point that we need to transform the way we think about farming. Our food system is broken, and the same paradigm that created its systemic problems will not fix them. According to a new publication from the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), small scale, organic farming can create strong local food systems – the only viable, sustainable way to feed the word.
The report calls for ‘ecological intensification,’ or a shift from conventional mono-culture planting to independent, small-scale production and permaculture, which can create a mosaic of sustainable regenerative systems which can feed all of us.
The UNCTAD report the following as needs to transform our food supply:Increase soil carbon content and better integration between crop and livestock productionIncrease incorporation of agroforestry and wild vegetationReduce greenhouse gas emissions of livestock productionReduce GHGs through sustainable peatland, forest, and grassland managementOptimize organic and inorganic fertilizer use, including through closed nutrient cycles in agricultureReduce waste throughout food chainsChange dietary patterns toward climate-friendly food consumptionReform the international trade regime for food and agriculture
Notice that nowhere in the report does it suggest the reduction of herbicide and pesticides or GMO foods. Instead, while offering some sound advice, it also focuses on trade negotiations with the WTO and North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). While these agreements undermined locally-based food trade, and they should be reconsidered, it does not address the support of Big Ag instead of the local farmer – in the US and elsewhere.