020 The Future of Farming

Innovation and Agroecology: A Path to Sustainability

Organizers

  • Private Sector Mechanism
  • Argentina
  • World Farmers Organization
  • Farming First

Abstract

Are innovation and agroecology capable of working hand-in-hand? Is the future dependent on integrated solutions to agriculture?  As CFS gears up for the HLPE report on Agroecology and Other Innovations, let's think about the ways they work together right from a soil microbe to a satellite. Join us for some of the best examples of innovations to advance the agroecological outcomes in areas the UN is calling for including: recycling, resource use efficiency, optimizing external inputs, diversification, integration, and soil health. Speakers will address solutions that apply to farms of all sizes and regions.  Then help us discuss how to design sustainable farming systems that strengthen the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment for food security and nutrition, enhance productivity, improve nutrition, conserve the natural resource base and attain more sustainable and innovative food systems using new technologies. (A/RES/72/215)     

Key speakers/presenters

  • Nancy Muchiri, Communications Lead, African Agricultural Technology Foundation
  • Otmane Bennani-Smires, Deputy General Counsel, OCP Group
  • Craige Mackenzie, Dairy and Cropping Farmer, Global Farmer Network
  • Agusdina Diaz Valdez, Veterinary Sciences Student, World Farmers’ Organisation
  • Chris Noble, Co-owner, Noblehurst Farms
  • Rick White, General Manager, Canadian Canola Growers Association

Main themes/issues discussed

How do we design sustainable farming systems that strengthen the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment for food security and nutrition, enhance productivity, improve nutrition, conserve the natural resource base and attain more sustainable and innovative food systems using new technologies?

Summary of key points

Each speaker at this side event addressed a specific area of innovation as defined by the UN General Assembly Resolution on Agricultural Technology for Sustainable Development’s statement on agroecological principles: recycling, resource use efficiency, optimizing inputs, diversification, integration, and soil health.

Key take away messages

 

Technology is an important tool to ensure that farmers can produce more food with less external resources. Farmers have successfully integrated innovation throughout the various stages of crop production to better use soil nutrients, to increase plant survival rates, to maximize crop inputs, to make informed decisions, and to reduce loss at harvest and storage.

South-South cooperation with fellow African countries is essential to contribute to Africa’s agricultural development. This development puts front and center the manufacturing of customized fertilizers, which are better for farmers in terms of yields and prices. These are the results of thorough research and development with local institutions to ensure that there is a lot of value-added production locally.

Appropriate fertilizer use is crucial for agricultural productivity. Customized fertilization, using data tools and land mapping, has incredible potential to increase yields while reducing the undesirable potential effects of fertilizer use.
Agroecology is all about helping farmers to be good environmental stewards in a way that makes sense in their context. Agroecological practices, when correctly interpreted and implemented, can be a true triple win: for farmers, for consumers of the goods they produce, and for the planet.

Precision nutrient management should not be seen as a technology that only farmers in the developed world can harness. There are many adaptations that make the benefits of precision nutrient management accessible and sustainable for all farmers.

Countries, the private sector, the public sector, and research organizations must collaborate to develop policies and practices that put agroecological practices within reach of all food producers.

CFS - Side Event 020 - The Future of Farming