Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition - HLPE e-consultation on the Report’s scope, proposed by the HLPE Steering Committee

until 1st December 2017
During its 44th Plenary Session (9-13 October 2017), the CFS requested the HLPE to produce a report on “Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition”, to be presented at CFS46 Plenary session in October 2019.
As part of its report elaboration process, the HLPE is launching an e-consultation to seek views and comments on the following scope and building blocks of the report, outlined below, as proposed by the HLPE Steering Committee.

Please note that in parallel to this scoping consultation, the HLPE is calling for interested experts to candidate to the Project Team for this report. The Project Team will be selected by the end of 2017 and will work until June 2019. The call for candidature is open until 15 November 2017; visit the HLPE website for more details

Proposed draft Scope of the HLPE Report
by the HLPE Steering Committee

Innovation has been a major engine for agriculture transformation in the past decades and will be pivotal to address the needs of a rapidly growing population and the increased pressure over natural resources (including biodiversity, land and water) in a context of climate change. Agroecology and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies can play a critical role to strengthen sustainable agriculture and food systems in order to successfully combat hunger, malnutrition and poverty and contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda.

Building sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition (FSN) will require not only to develop new knowledge and technologies but also: to fill the technology gaps; to facilitate the effective access and use of existing technologies; and to develop context-specific solutions, adapted to local food systems and local ecosystems.

Beyond technical issues, this report will assess the importance of bottom-up and people-centered approaches, building on different forms of knowledge, as well as the role of good governance and strong institutions. It will explore the enabling conditions needed to foster scientific, technical, financial, political and institutional innovations for enhanced FSN.

Agroecology, described simultaneously as a science, a set of practices and a social movement, will be studied in this report, as an example of such holistic innovative approaches combining science and traditional knowledge systems, technologies and ecological processes, and involving all the relevant stakeholders in inclusive, participative and innovative governance mechanisms.

This report will also examine the limitations and potential risks of innovative approaches for FSN, human health, livelihoods and the environment. Confronted by major environmental, economic and social challenges, policy-makers need to understand how to optimize and scale-up the contributions of agroecological and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies, while harnessing these potential associated risks.

The HLPE report shall address the following questions:

  • To what extent can agroecological and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies improve resource efficiency, minimize ecological footprint, strengthen resilience, secure social equity and responsibility, and create decent jobs, in particular for youth, in agriculture and food systems?
  • What are the controversies and uncertainties related to innovative technologies and practices? What are their associated risks? What are the barriers to the adoption of agroecology and other innovative approaches, technologies and practices and how to address them? What are their impacts on FSN in its four dimensions (availability, access, utilization and stability), human health and well-being, and the environment?
  • What regulations and standards, what instruments, processes and governance mechanisms are needed to create an enabling environment for the development and implementation of agroecology and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies that enhance food security and nutrition? What are the impacts of trade rules, and intellectual property rights on the development and implementation of such practices and technologies?
  • How to assess and monitor the potential impacts on FSN, whether positive or negative, of agroecology and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies? Which criteria, indicators, statistics and metrics are needed?

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Liz Carlisle School of Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, ...

Over a decade of work in the field of sustainable agriculture and food security, I have found agroecology not only the most promising approach, but perhaps the only one adequate to the complexity and scope of the challenge: meeting the sustainable development goal of ending world hunger without undermining the planet’s life support systems, in the context of climate change.

I want to echo the comments of others who have urged the HLPE to evaluate agroecology as an integrated approach, rather than attempting to break it down into discrete practices, technologies, or innovations. Meeting the objectives of the 2030 Agenda will require transformational change at scale, and it is my view that this scaling can only be achieved through the emergent properties of agroecology — the ecological and social outcomes achieved through the combination of and relationships among its constituent parts as a science, movement, and practice. In particular, I encourage the HLPE to consider the excellent work done by IPES-Food in their 2016 report, as I think this could provide a very helpful foundation for the HLPE process.

Finally, I want to echo another recommendation made by colleagues who have authored comments: the success of the HLPE process will hinge on whether it is perceived to be transparent and credible. It is critical that anyone participating in the process disclose all ties to private interests who stand to benefit from particular “innovations or “technologies.” Otherwise, scientific rigor will be comprised, and the very actors necessary to carry out the HLPE's recommendations will lose confidence in them.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment and for your efforts. I wish you all the best in this important work!

Stephen Adejoro Livestock Industry Foundation for Africa (LIFA) NGO, Nigeria

November 20, 2017




This contribution is a humble contribution from Livestock Industry Foundation for Africa, LIFA a livestock and capacity development NGO on how best livestock NGO can team up to create innovations that will enhance livestock food security, create viable employments to redundant youths and support to add value to the milk produced by herds women, who roamed their milk output daily in west Africa with much wastages and little cash returns

We shall equally share knowledge on how LIFA initiative intends to support other livestock investments, both small and large scale in minimizing the drastic effect of mycotoxin on capacity utilization, production, and health challenges of both ruminants, dairy and the Monogastric animals

Livestock Industry foundation founded by a group of Nigerians and expatriates is motivated by the love to put something back to the agricultural development of Africa for sustainability and grow the industry for better profitability

The NGO is founded by Dr. Stephen Adejoro the motivator, who initiates the idea to capitalize years of livestock research innovations and series of case studies knowledge, which this NGO can hold lien on, and make it available as charity for intending livestock farmers and the existing ones as well as research resources for universities undergraduates and post graduates intending to practice and give professional advice to practical livestock farmers in Africa

LIFA believes in the appropriateness of a syndicated multi-sectorial and professional approach in creating solutions to Agro-ecological risks or challenges affecting sustainable Livestock production of the global agricultural food system. Such synergy will produce innovations that will offer practical solutions to critical challenges facing man and his agricultural practices, of which climate change is the most pressing issue of concern world wide


Climate change is today the greatest risk facing livestock productivity, sustainability and livelihood for rural and urban livestock farmers and potential youths intending to embrace livestock as a means of livelihood

The aftermath of climate change,  characterized by persistent desertification, slow onslaught of draught and intermittent flood, are just  a few of  the climate change disasters of serious implications on livestock farming of the South Sahara Africa (SSA) ,however, more drastic climate change disasters like hurricanes ,tornados  were common occurrences in other regions of the world even in this year as recorded in the State of Texas in United States of America, and in the Caribbean Islands where the devastating effects of this climate change aftermath on livestock projects  is better imagined

The earlier identified impacts of climate change of desertification, draught and flood had posed serious challenges to Animal food industry of the West Africa and Central Africa of the SSA of which Nigeria and other West Africa countries had their share of these impacts

The above challenges informed the motive in creating LIFA as an NGO to collaborate with multistate holders in providing innovative solutions to these challenges and help alleviate them to sustain livestock food security in Africa, we believe even as we practice, that several innovations to minimize vulnerabilities and increase resilience’s to the aftermath of climate changes on livestock farming are mandatory  to sustain livestock food security and promote balanced nutrition in Africa ,and most especially among the pro-poor communities  of the third World Countries

 We in LIFA, believe in knowledge sharing, and feel motivated, to share some of our innovative approaches that can be better developed by collaborative integrations of like minds and interested participants


It is on record that over 30million pastoralist in Africa are in the pressing need for fodder and are in constant indiscriminate migration in search of pasture due to draught and desertification, 10 million of them are found to reside and roam Nigeria and the West Africa axis. The encroachment of the desert, and the adversities of climate change are pushing these livestock farmers further south for green pastures some of which are nothing but arable crops for human consumption and for other monogastric feed crops like cereals and legumes.

The effects of these on many communities of West Africa and in fact most countries of Africa are the causes of the recurrent clashes and conflicts between the pastoralists and the sedentary arable farmers of these regions, such clashes which has escalated to mini wars between communities and the herds men in Nigeria had led the the devastation of farming system and loses of many livestock holding both in large and small ruminants.

We do not underscore the effect of these situation of declining animal farming and loss of livelihood by many youths who now become  restless and engaging themselves in retrogressive devises inappropriate of the goal for youths feeding the future  a propaganda well preached by this forum

If these youths are to feed the future, and if persistent effect of climate change must be minimized LIFA believes in individual and multitasked holders collaboration in creating viable solutions, and it is in view of this that LIFA was created


These initiatives are in themselves creating innovations that can be multilaterally adapted with institution and multilateral agencies to improve resiliencies to these challenges and mitigate effectively the nine point initiatives advocacy of the NGO.The initiatives in themselves, are  advocacy awareness created by the challenges of climate change which today affect the livestock production sustainability and the livelihood of  pastoralism and residential livestock farmers ,as well as the livelihood of youth destined to feed the future( Youths between 15-17 years of age)


We shall use this opportunity to share our knowledge in LIFA which perhaps could be relevant in this discourse for adaption


We at LIFA believe, that this approach can help to minimize to some extent the persistent conflicts between herds men and their community if they feel the impact of government in  creating  pockets of  milk processing cubicles ,with appropriate HACCP ,that could  process their milk to cheese  or yoghurt ,which may also be channeled to the school feeding program me of some African countries, or enter directly into the National GDP through the emerging shopping Mores in many countries like in Nigeria

This approach which will reduce the roaming time for herds women with wastages of local cheese unsold, but can make them use their time to support the husbands in growing home use crops

The herds men on their parts could be supported in provision of safe water to animals and the home while efforts to allocate grazing reserves for ranching is been discussed, we believe that this will reinforce the confidence of the herds men in the local government of the community where they reside, and could in no small measure minimize further conflicts

LIFA in collaboration with Fulani herds and arable farmer’s conflict committee set up by the Governor of The State of Osun in Nigeria and in discussion with ADEPTA the Livestock chapters of the Agricultural Chambers of France held a b2b discussion on the way forward and technical support that France can give to this initiatives .LIFA under the leadership of Dr Stephen Adejoro  facilitated the B2B meeting of the committee with ADEPTA in 2014 in Nigeria, though the state initiative is ongoing but the State of Osun is one of the least  state that reported herdsmen and farmers clashes in Nigeria ,because of their awareness of the government program me to improve their livelihood


Mycotoxin and most especially Aflatoxins are secondary metabolites secreted by mucus and fungi that are detrimental to the health of animals and Man; they increase in secretions as the climate change increases stress on the fungi. These metabolites are the core problem of productivity to monogastrics and Dairy cattle leading to serious food contaminations, adverse effect on livestock health and productivity.

Mycotoxin is the greatest consumer of the farmer’s profit especially in the livestock industry, compromising high level mortalities and persistent vaccination problems in poultry production of this region.

LIFA creates more awareness among farmers of this region and assist in documenting case studies on the appropriate mitigation in flocks and recommend best tools to make and accept or reject decision at farm gate on contaminated feed raw materials. Such capacity development organized by LIFA is linked here at -on-mycotoxin-at-the-farners-hatchery -operators-forum-ogun-state/


Mixed Livestock Portfolio: An Empowerment Tool for Youths and Retirees with Gender Balance

This initiative is identified as very suitable in most rural and peri –urban communities of Africa to manage youths restlessness and shift them out of joblessness and poverty into prosperity. This innovation informed our effort to produce a comprehensive handbook with rich information so as to support the participants of this initiative.

Livestock Mixed Portfolio: A Cooperative Farming for Youth Empowerment.

The book is published by Lambert publishers of Germany and available on Amazon stores. The book is enriched with information that exposes youths to the wealth potential of cattle fattening and Layer egg production.

The concept of this livestock portfolio is to hold a stock of 2 -3 fatteners for 6 months with 100 layers as regular sources of inflow of revenue, while this cattle can be revolved twice in a 12 months laying span of the layers, and can stand as collaterals for more soft loans or sold off every 6 months to improve capital for the project expansion.The book is authored by Dr. Stephen Adejoro, who for many years practiced this portfolio on a 1.5 plot of fenced land and grew the stock intensively to a maximum capacuity of 25 heads of cattle  which are regularly sold and replaced.

4.       Advocacy to include LEGS (Livestock Emergency Guidelines and Standards) as a compulsory by disaster agencies to mitigate livestock disasters and improve livelihood of livestock farmers that sufferd disasters of their flocks.

We know as a matter of fact that livestock owners are least considered by disaster agents for prompt compensation even as their livelihood to continue sustainance of the business are not considered, we believe that syndicated collaboration to preach this advocacy to relevant government legislatures and agencies will go a long way to mitigate livestock disasters and improve livelihood of livestock farmers in Africa.

5.       Offer Solutions based on case studies to causes of vaccination problems in poultry to prevent future occurrences .

At LIFA, We conduct field research studies to common vaccination failures such as ND, IBD, and Mareks diseases and domiciled our solution in LIFA as charity for practicing farmres

6.       Education 

We conduct Education for Livestock farmers on biosecurity protocols and health tips aimed at minimizing risks of epizootics

7.       Research Analytics

We process and analyse livestock data and present them as structured format for skill improvement to farmers, researchers and students who register on our site to enjoy the informations on charity

8.       We advocate for safe water for domestic Animal as a way to minimize waterborn diseases to animals and prevent zoonotic challenges to man.

9.       We preach Advocacy for law in favour of Avian Influenza vaccination in Africa

Many countries in Africa run a NO Vaccination policy for Avian Influenza, and recommend only the stamping out and compensation policy, but unfortunately this compensatory policy failed to mitigate the disaster and the livelihood of many affected poultry farmers, because of Government dwindling revenue to back up the cost implications of this policy in Africa.

The last recorded AI outbreak in Nigeria recorded a destruction of over 3 million birds with no hope for compensation until the recent intervention of the President Mohammadu Buhari’s  Government under the supervision of  Professor Osibajo-the vice President

 We believe that AI vaccination should be regulated and all premium birds like the Grant parent Stocks and the Parents Stock must be compulsorily vaccinate, while Government should allow ring vaccination of the downstream birds in locations where the out break occur

Our NGO believe that a country risk map developed from serological screening of migratory birds and natural carriers of AI virus for circulating antibiotics can be transformed into an histograph showing the risk map of the countries, this we believe will facilitate decision making on a holistic prevention and export trade of our poultry products in West Africa.

Conclusion and Recommendations

All these initiatives and innovations are the needful in a syndicated expert meetings on Agro ecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable livestock food system that will enhance Animal food security and we in the LIfango NGO will be interested if invited to share our knowledge as imput to the emerging solutions and innovations

 We strongly recommend that issues of Animal food security, food safety, standard developments and creation of legislative environment must not be sidelined in a holistic farming system

We recommend the inclusions of Civil Societies and in particular livestock researched based NGO to participate and avail experts of their locked up native and academic knowledge capitalized for improved livestock production for Africa.

We recommend that NGO are most suitable and well positioned to collaborate in the management of controversies and dissolve barriers to the adoption of Agro ecological innovations by policy makers through consistent advocacy.

We recommend that standards must be advised to be readily set through multi stakeholders collaboration, and that impact assessment of such adopted innovations will be possible through the work of monitoring syndicates.


http:// us

http:// blog on mycotoxin advocacy lecture

Dr. Stephen Adejoro is the founder of the LIFA initiatives and the current chairman of the organization.

Krishna Rao Pinninti Climate and Development Strategies LLC, United States of America

The scope of the HLPE report is rather ambitius and can lead to transformative outcomes if these are derived in a pragmatic setting: institutional reforms that may be amenable for positive change while recognizing structural limitations, scope for legal reforms to enable desired outcomes, role for stakeholder participation at all levels of planning and implementation of policies and programs, clear undertstanding of cost-sharing aspects and equitable benefit sharing, provision of incentives for raising agricultural productivity, design and implementation of systems of revolving funds that are replenished largely out of internal resource mobilization systems, transparent and accountable implementing entities, and focus on judicious combination of process innovation and of product innovation. 

It is doubtful if sustainable food security can be ensured merley on the basis of sustainable agrocology from the production focus; an integrated approach that combines consumption and production systems is called for. Substantial awareness-raising (at producer consumer levels and at policy makers' levels)  on the win-win solutions to the reduction of ecological footprint and food intake for better nutrition and healthy living may be one of the important relevant approaches. The tasks remain rather comprehensive and the implications on relevant feasible time horizons may be clarified, possibly in relation to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, their objectives and indicators for performance assessment. 

Roger Leakey International Tree Foundation, Oxford, UK, United Kingdom

Your consultation may be interested in the following:

Leakey, R.R.B. 2014. The role of trees in agroecology and sustainable agriculture in the tropics. Annual Review of Phytopathology 52: 113-133.

Leakey, R.R.B. (2017). The role of trees in agroecology. In: Handbook of Agricultural Biodiversity, Hunter, D., Guarino, L., Spillane, C. and McKeown, P.C., 238-252, Routledge Publishers, London, UK.

Leakey, R.R.B. 2017a. Definition of agroforestry revisited. In: Multifunctional Agriculture – Achieving Sustainable Development in Africa, RRB Leakey, 5-6, Academic Press, San Diego, California, USA.

Leakey, R.R.B. 2017b. The role of trees in agroecology and sustainable agriculture in the tropics. In: Multifunctional Agriculture – Achieving Sustainable Development in Africa, RRB Leakey, 7-18, Academic Press, San Diego, California, USA.

Leakey, R.R.B. 2017. Multifunctional Agriculture: Achieving Sustainable Development in Africa. Academic Press, San Diego, California, USA, 480pp.

Leakey, R.R.B. 2017. Socially modified organisms in multifunctional agriculture – addressing the needs of smallholder farmers in Africa, Archives of Crop Science 1: 20-29.

Best wishes

Roger Leakey



See the attachment: 2. Trees in Agroecology.pdf
Stephen Adejoro Livestock Industry Foundation for Africa (LFA) NGO, Nigeria

We in Livesstock Industry Foundation For Africa,a non profit livestock food security  NGo, believes in the approprateness of a syndicated multi stake holders and institutional collaboration in creating solutions  to various agro ecological risks affecting sustainable livestock in the global agricultural food system

We believe that such synergistic collaboration  will create and identify innovations of practical solutions to critical challanges facing man and his agricultural practices by the current upsurge of climate change scenario

Climate change is today the World greatest challanges to global plant and animal  sustainable  food production

Iwill make my contribution from the angle of our experiences in Livesstock  industry foundation for Africa here in Ibadan Nigeria .The persistence  desertification,slow onslaught of draught,and the interrupted occurrences of flood are just a few of the disaster posed by climate change to sustainable livestock food production and livestock farmers livelihood in South Sahara Africa (SSA)

Several innovations to minimize  vulnerabilities and increase resiliency of livestock farmers to climate change effects of low yield, hunger and conflicts are mandatory for a reawakened sustainable livestock food production for Africa and help to promote a balance nutrition in pro poor communities of the third World countries most of who reside in the developing regions of the world

Over 30 million pastoralists are  at a constant rust of indiscriminate roaming looking for forage for their animals in Africa ,and about 10 million of this population  can be foundNigeria and along the West Africa axis experiencing the viagries  if climate change impact on their stock and their livelihood ,aside of other livestock farmers that keep intensive and wellbintegrsted small ruminants and monogastrics such as poultry and swine

All of then are seriously under the yoke of climate change wether sedentary or in migration.All these categories of farmers stock and their livelihood are of great concern to Lifango and should be to every dedicated livestock civil society

The core problem facing food scarcity and precipitating conflicts and political unrest ,created by youth restlessness in Africa today I'd advancing desert encroachment ,drying most of our river basins and especially the lake chard from providing secure of farming and grazing to arable farmers and grass for pastoralist .This situation now cause serious conflicts  in Nigeria  Chard Burkina Fasso and in deed most north Africa Livestock dominated regions 

The worst part of the conflicts are perhaps recorded in the souther regions of the countries where roaming herds men are constantly in gun and matcheting conflicts with arable farmers just for lack of forage for transboubdary livestock 

Complicating the above scenerio is the economic recession faced by most countries and particularly countries that are monolithic oil dependents 

The sequell9 of the above scenerio are poor agricultural yield oh animal foid be it large animals small ruminants or the monogastrics 


We in Livesstock Industry Foundation For Africa  believe even as we do practice that it is appropriate to harness native intelligence and m ordern scientific approaches and innovations in empowering our youths and encourage them to believe and have faith in settled or ranching livestovk farming

It is in view of this that we believe in sharing knowledge on the approaches and some solutions on which lifangobnine pillar initiatives was founded by a group of Nigerians and ecpertrites for which Dr .Stephen .Adejoro has the credit of the vision is the address of web site to view some activities of this NGO

The Nine point initiatives are designed to provide solutions to the challanges of the agro ecological adversity facing livestock and Livestock livelihood in Africa


The Solutions expected from the Nine pillar initiatives are capitalized into knowkedge for adoption by farmers and youths and arethis NGO hold lien of this solutions which are outcome of ice 40 decades intensive studies and case reports on livestock management on thefied by practitioners

I will briefly identify these initiatives/innovations for which interested reader can 're view in the NGO or at

1Social enterprises  developed to add value to the herds women milk turning them to yo6 and cheese that may be fact6into school feeding programme ,various shopping mores  and directly into the national G.DP

2Strong advocacy for mycotoxin mitigation especially for settled monogastric and dairy farmers to improve knowledge and produce safe meat egg and meat while sustaining better capacity utilization of their set objectives

2017/10/28/lecture -on-mycotoxin-at--on-mycotoxin-at-the-farmers-and-hatchery-operators-ycotoxin-at--on-mycotoxin-at-the-farmers-and-hatchery-operators-forum-ogun-state/  or http ://blog,


Livestock Mixed portfolio cooperative empowerment programmes 

This innovation is identified empiwerment initiative for restless youths as well as retirees in rural and peru urban locations in west Africa

A practical book published to improve the knowledge of youths in .africa titled livestock Mixed portfolio:A cooperative farming for youth is now internationally published by Lamark publishers of Germany  and in circulation by h

4 National inclusion of   LEGS Livestock  Emergency Guidelines and Standards as appropriate innovative tool by disaster agencies to mitigate livestovk disasters and livelihood of livestock farmers

5Avian Influenza vaccination advocacy in countries practicing NO vaccination Policy in Africa and who have declined resources to compensate farmers stock that are stamped out

6 Education and capacity development

We encourage formation of research based livestock NGO as we are to keep all documentation of field studies and case studies as solution for futureoccurences ,and such cases must be knowledge capitalised as synergy to academic research by universities

We have found such studies useful in the control  of vaccination failures to ND and Mareks  diseases of poultry in .Africa

7 Advocacy for safe water usages by livestock farmers as a sure approach to minimise water borne  diseases in animals and a complementbof One Health One Medicine approach

8  Agro ecological vaccination peculiarity ,as we discourage a broad based universal vaccination protocol for all agro ecological regions that differ in epixootioligy and climate 

9Analytical processing of data to structural far at of easy understanding to farmers


We propise these initiatives and approaches ,as roles We believe that civil society livestovk ..NGo can share with relevant stake holders  gathered together in the committee on Agro ecological approaches and otherinnovations for sustainable livestock agriculture  and animal food system that will enhance animal foid protein security :Arole that Livestock Industry Foundation For Africa  can play

Thank you for granting us this opportunity to contribute and share oyrcexperience in providing possible solution to this global issues

Dr Stephen Adejoro writes on behalf of Lifango  a registered Livestock NGO in Nigeria

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Durlave Roy Northern Agro Services Ltd, Bangladesh

             agriculture for nutrition platform Bangladesh  -Kbd  Durlave Roy

Purpose of the agriculture for nutrition  platform in bangladesh

- To inspire youth engaged learn to share.

- Cultivate leadership ,Create opportunity for leadership.

- Create a platform for nutrition based networking.

- Knowledge and technology dissemination.

- Knowledge sharing and networking.

- Raising awareness about food security and nutrition.

- To involved multi background young people.

- To disseminate what we have for Ag 4 N.

- To encourage young people engage.

- To promote nutrition sensitive knowledge to mass people.

- To incorporate civil society and political persons to the table.

- To promote WASH-Nutrition to mass people.

- To get small research funding from Ypard or associated institutions.

- Youth involvement an nutrition based agriculture.

- Creating awareness about food nutrition to the community.

- Sharing knowledge and resources to take initiative to future nutrition management in


- To share knowledge and exchange idea among widen audiences to achieves SDG through

sustainable agri intensification via climate smart crop production (a plant needs organic

fertilizer for it to grow in a balanced way).

- To build a network with involvement of stakeholders to ensure nutritional security.

- Engagement with GO,FAO,NGO,Private sector of professional for agriculture based nutrition

movement making knowledge sharing platform.  - Thinking and Talking, Change minds, new ways-- --

Lal Manavado Norway

Are We on a Holistic Way of Achieving Sustainable Adequate Nutrition and Food Security?

The purpose of the present discussion seems to centre on ascertaining the possibility of achieving on a global scale a more sustainable and adequate nutrition and food security by using agro-ecology and other not clearly defined methods. In this context, it desires to identify some consequences of using those tools, problems associated with their wider adaptation, etc. It concludes with some questions about what is needed to (indicators and other data) to evaluate the impact of the proposed tools should they be taken into wider use.

While appreciating the spirit of this effort, one cannot overlook certain important questions it raises.

How successful even the ideal tool/method can be, unless its operating environment is felicitous for the purpose? True, this aspect of the issue has been noted as ‘enabling environment’, but it may be taken as a given that it would be really pragmatic to talk about how to deal with the current ‘disabling environment’ prevailing today. Some contributors have made direct or indirect remarks on this. ‘Liberal trade laws’ extending into food production, storage, preservation, etc., followed by selling have managed to devalue  the value of food as a necessity for life by turning it into an item of commerce for profit. To add insult to injury, the ever-increasing number of intermediate steps between the real producer of food and the end-user are described as ‘value chain’. Do please note this is not ‘value to either the producer, or to the end-user.   So, dealing with this disabling environment has logico-pragmatic priority over the suitability of the methods one proposes to use for very obvious reasons.

  1. ‘Good reasons of force give place to better’, but when Julius Caesar said this, his hand was on the hilt of his sword. The moral is that it is paramount to undertake immediate action to counter the ill-effects of the current disabling environment. It would be unrealistic to expect quick results, but a sustained beneficial change in that environment is essential. As it changes, one can introduce the ‘better methods’ gradually. Thus, it is in this holistic context one must examine and then apply the new methods. This tandem approach is sorely missed in the current debate.
  2. It would be a great mistake to base one’s reasoning on Kuhn’s putative paradigm shift. This notion of scientific progress has been rejected more than a half century ago as it has nothing to do with scientific practice. Recalling reader’s mind to Kuhn’s claim that ‘Newtonian paradigm’ was dropped by the ‘scientific revolution’ that introduced ‘Einsteinian paradigm’, nothing can be farther from reality, for ballistics, guidance of space vehicles, satellites, etc., are still governed by the laws of Newtonian ‘paradigm’. The reason is quite simple, what Physics is appropriate for a job, depends on the context. In Particle Physics, Newtonian approach is inadequate, so we use a different one. Neither is rejected as Kuhn claims, but he was not a scientist and was not familiar with the fundamentals of the practice.
  3. Therefore, it would be reasonable to suggest that the formulators of the forthcoming report seriously consider its proposed format with a view to enhancing its relevance, practical usefulness (hunger and nutritional imbalance are serious and immediate problems), and not the least, its role as a guide to everybody whose contribution is essential to achieve our objective. This includes the powers that be at the top and the actual food producers and harvesters (fishermen etc.) at the most important level while all of us are end-users of food.
  4. Once this holistic view is adopted, it would be easy to see that each of us wittingly or unwittingly have contributed to creating the current disabling environment for sound methods of food production, storage, preservation, distribution and sale. True, the scope of the current discussion is limited to the merits or the demerits of methodology, but nevertheless, it makes a tangential reference to an ‘enabling environment’, which is well-taken, but it begs the question; how to create an enabling environment without clearly identifying the attributes of a disabling one?
  5. In conclusion, it would repay to opt for an evolutionary approach to achieve our goal wherein while attempting to identify a set of holistic and inclusive methods of attaining our objective, to recognize that those should include ways and means of making the current disabling environment more felicitous for the common good. It is not going to be an easy task, but it is timely to remember that one can devote great deal of time to design tools to reach an objective whose achievement is very urgent. Moreover, it will also repay to examine the hierarchy of power and responsibility distribution from the powers that be to field operatives (farmers, fishermen, etc.), each of whom will have to wield a tool/method/innovation best suited for the purpose he has to serve in order to achieve a common objective, viz., global FSN.

With best wishes,

Lal Manavado.

Teresa Maisano Civil Society Mechanism of the CFS

HLPE Scoping Consultation for the upcoming report on "Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition" - CSM Comments - November 2017

This document conveys the collective input of the Civil Society Mechanism of the CFS regarding the e- consultation by the HLPE Steering Committee with respect to the scope of the upcoming HLPE Report. The document is based on the ongoing work of the CSM Agroecology Working Group, which currently comprises 65 movements, organizations and networks from all CSM constituencies.

The Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) warmly welcomes the initiation of a CFS collective process to reflect on and engage with the critical issue of agroecology. As CSM, we have been the strongest advocates for the CFS to take on an agroecology workstream. We reaffirm our commitment to engage comprehensively, and with the full scope of our diverse constituencies, with this report process and the policy engagement that will follow.

“We call on our fellow peoples to join us in the collective task of collectively constructing Agroecology as part of our popular struggles to build a better world, a world based on mutual respect, social justice, equity, solidarity and harmony with our Mother Earth”
Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology, Nyéléni, Mali, 27 February 2015

1. A Rationale for Agroecology

In articulating the urgency to adopt agroecology, the report needs to outline ‘why’ the current industrial agri-food model is not viable. This would require the adoption of a holistic viewpoint that combines production, livelihoods, gender, socio-cultural, ecological and political perspectives rather than any narrow neo-productivist approach that does not fully acknowledge the interlinkages across all these dimensions while claiming to respond to calls for urgent production increases to cater for population growth. A similar holistic viewpoint should be used to assess the “other innovations” that the report aims to explore, avoiding to place at the same level such a comprehensive and integrated framework, such as that of agroecology, with singular technologies.

Furthermore, instead of evaluating the risks and uncertainties associated with agroecology, it would be more useful to examine the benefits and positive impacts of agroecological approaches and resilient food systems to address multiple development challenges. In this respect, one of agroecology’s strengths is its ability to spread and scale out according to the needs and capacities of each territory. The report should therefore also assess the political and economic obstacles that prevents agroecology to spread and scale out according to its full potential, moving beyond and challenging the notion that global/industrial and local food systems can easily coexist.

2. An Open and Inclusive Process
Learning from the lessons of the past, taking into account that the vital role that many of the social movements that are part of the CSM play in producing our food, and considering that agroecology is largely the practice of peasants, indigenous peoples and family farmers, the HLPE should ensure that the process will be fully mindful of their situations, languages and turnaround time for feedback. It is particularly important to recognize internet connection limitations within remote areas, and be cognizant that relying excessively on this kind of communications to gather information may exclude many critical constituencies and contributions.

3. A Different Methodology
Given the complexity and multifunctionality of agroecology, we feel that the methodology for collecting information and input for this report should be different, and more diverse and wide-ranging than those used for previous HLPE reports. It should be multidisciplinary, and include more practitioners (i.e. small-scale food producers and grassroots organisations working with them) and multidisciplinary scientists. It should employ more creative ways of gathering information, narratives and perspectives (including qualitative data such as personal testimonies, or visual material). Furthermore, the study of agroecology should investigate what are the gaps (either methodological, or in content) in our knowledge about agroecology.

4. Guiding principles
When determining the scope of the HLPE report, the following guiding principles must be considered:
• Agroecology is based on a holistic approach and system-thinking. It has technical, social, economic, cultural, spiritual and political dimensions. The scope of the report must be congruent with this understanding and discuss agroecology beyond sheer technical aspects in the broad circular context of agri-food systems, from production to consumption and including all related social and ecological foundations and implications;
• The report must be solidly grounded in the human rights framework and therefore use human rights lens, including the right to adequate food and nutrition, the rights of farmers, the rights of peasants and agricultural workers, the rights of women, the rights of indigenous peoples - including their right to self-determination, and the rights of local communities over their territories, lands, waters, ecosystems and genetic resources. Such human rights lens should also include an analysis of how agroecology is an important means to realize all human rights in their interdependence;
• A strong gender analysis and perspective should inspire, influence and permeate the entire report. Particular attention should be given to the gender dimensions of agroecology, to both recognize the role of women in agroecology as well analyze the potential of agroecology in fostering women’s rights and women’s full empowerment and autonomy;
• The report should pay special attention to the context of small-scale food producers, especially the most vulnerable, and their knowledge systems, especially young women and men in smallholder agriculture and relevant non-farm rural and urban sectors;
• The report should not attempt to redefine agroecology in terms which are different that those established by the movements that characterized it in the first place. In this respect, the characterization of agroecology must not be diluted nor undermined, and agroecology should not be equated, nor the term used interchangeably, with other concepts borne in completely different contexts, such as sustainable agriculture and/or Climate-Smart Agriculture;
• The interconnections between agroecology and food sovereignty should be appreciated and examined by the report;
• In addition to small-scale food producers and indigenous peoples as the primary agents of agroecology, the report should also include the perspectives and concerns of consumer organizations and agricultural workers, in order to take into full consideration the health, food safety and occupational dimensions, especially the hazardous nature of agricultural occupation (health and safety) and the elimination of child labour in agriculture.

5. Framing Agroecology in all its Dimensions
Agroecology is vast, diverse and multi-dimensional. In framing the report, it would also be necessary to set boundaries on what can be qualified as ‘agroecology’ and what can not. In this respect, the critical screening criteria to consider relate to what strengthens the rights and livelihoods of smallholder farmers/food producers (in terms of their agroecological practices, their resilience, their ecological foundations, their cultural heritage, among others) and sustainable local food systems, and what threatens or erodes them. Consistently with such multidimensional framing, the report should also focus also on consumers’ involvement in co-production, local direct food chains and farmers’ connection to territorial markets, as an integral part of agroecology.

Science, Practice, Movement

We support the HLPE’s approach of seeing agroecology as science, practice and movement. Each is essential, and each is an equal component of the whole. We recommend that the HLPE uses the scoping exercise to develop deeper questions that examine each of these aspects in greater depth, and propose to embed the following points in each of these three domains:

i. Agroecology as Science: What do we know and what do we need to explore?
• More than a science, agroecology represents ‘ways of knowing’. The broad understanding of knowledge vis-à-vis conventional science/knowledge should be clearly examined by report. How do we treat the role of diverse knowledge systems in agroecology and how can we build on this experience? What is the value of participatory research in agroecology, where practitioners themselves are the principal researchers? How to design research to unleash the potential of agroecology?
• The corollary of such broader understanding of knowledge is that the concept of innovation requires re-framing, including the methodologies and actual locus where innovation happens. Agroecology flourishes through practice, experimentation, innovation, which leads to adaptation, learning and the exchange and horizontal spread of knowledge and good practice through peers (e.g. dialogos de saberes, campesino a campesino methodologies). This should equally be captured by the report. What kinds of innovation drives and strengthens agroecology? How to design participatory innovation platforms that bring together small-scale food producers and scientists? How can agroecological innovation strengthen the often narrowly-framed scientific innovation and adaptation? How should the conventional scientific method be re-envisioned to ensure that the kind of innovations that spring from agroecology find their proper place and value within what is considered to be “scientific”? What are the technical, social, cultural and economic forms of innovation inherent to agroecology? Why has farmer innovation been more important for agroecology? How can it be supported by public policies and investments?

ii. Agroecology as Practice: What do we know and what do we need to explore?
• The report should expose the common principles that bind together a wide range of peoples and their organizations practising agroecology: -- peasants, farmers, fishers, pastoralists, indigenous peoples, agricultural workers, urban poor, youth, women – in the way they themselves articulate them. What can we learn from this? How can public policies and investments recognize these binding principles and strengthen them though public interventions? How do agroecological practices, including traditional practices, mobilize available resources and experience, and strengthen resilience, with the least costs to the system, and the greatest benefits?
• Gender equality and the full realization of women’s rights are at the core of agroecology and the report should clearly expose it. How does agroecology strengthen the full recognition of women as civic actors, knowledge bearers and agents of transformation, and how it can contribute to their economic autonomy by also deconstructing the current dominant power balance paradigm?
• Agroecology embodies an approach to food systems that aims to strengthen the relationship between producers and consumers, foster food environments that nourish the community, reduce losses and waste, reduce non-carbon and carbon Greenhouse gases emissions, and maintain and enhance biodiversity, while strengthening local and territorial markets and economies. In many ways, agroecology is a ‘way of living’. Since such an approach clearly pursues many critical public objectives, how can public policies and investments strengthen the practice of agroecology? How does agroecology guarantee the strengthening and continuity of agri-food systems (production and distribution in short circuits) [in low-resource countries]? How does unequal access to land (such as concentrated land ownership and use) affect the development of agroecology? How has agroecology advanced our thinking about food, lands, territories, waters, seeds and genetic resources as fundamental commons, and led to alternative tenure systems in these areas?
• Agroecology provides an adequate answer to the challenges addressed by climate change, in the sense that offers a clear alternative to industrial agriculture and associated food systems which contribute to global warming. Indeed, agroecology contributes to environmental justice (e.g. fair use of scarce resources, etc.), ecological integration (i.e. by looking at how the whole system performs ecologically rather than just measuring one resource), and ecological regeneration and recycling. How should public policies, incentives and investments reflect this reality, and be rebalanced to support and enable climate-virtuous agroecological approaches? How can agroecology become the critical resilience strategy to address climate challenges related to agriculture and food systems?
• Agricultural biodiversity (including plants, animals and fish) as well as farmers and indigenous seed systems are the heart of all food systems and at the very core of the practice of agroecology. This should be a central theme to be explored in the report. How does agroecology offer a viable pathway to maintain and enhance biodiversity? How does the strengthening of agroecological practices offer the opportunity to reverse the dramatic loss of biodiversity that industrial agriculture has been driving over the past decades? How can public policies support agroecological practices to enhance biodiversity and strengthen the resilience of our communities in the face of climate change and genetic erosion?
• Accessible and locally generated agrobiodiverse production is one of the cornerstones of balanced, healthy and diversified diets. The report should therefore expose the connection between agroecological practices, particularly those that promote agrobiodiversity, and healthy nutrition. What are the multiple connections between agroecology and nutrition and health? How does agroecology ensure adequate access to healthy food for the full realization of the right to food and the right to health? Considering how nutrition is deeply embedded in equitable socio-economic systems, how does agroecology create conditions of equality between men and women, generate cultural and social equity, enhance community solidarity, and contribute to more sustainable socio- economic processes, creating decent jobs - especially for young people - in agriculture and food systems?
• Recent years have witnesses the increased penetration of the global food system and its large-scale distribution systems at multiple levels, with significant negative implications for small-scale food producers. However, the largest majority of food continues to be traded in local territorial markets which tend to be invisible to public analysis, policies and investments. Building on the recent CFS recommendations on “Connecting Smallholders to Markets”, how can public policies and investments support agroecological practices by strengthening local and territorial markets? How do local markets help spread and scale out agroecology while strengthening local economies? How can public procurement policies (i.e. procurement for schools, governments, hospitals and other public institutions) enhance the impacts of agroecology?

iii. Agroecology as Movement: What do we know and what do we need to explore?
• Agroecology is profoundly transformative, addressing both the structures that keep people poor, and having multiple benefits across the development and social justice spectrum. It is a very powerful force for social change. It has unleashed energy, power, and creativity to confront multiple developmental challenges and has brought essential voices to policy making at all levels, from the community to the national and international spaces. It has catalyzed the agency of those most affected by insecurity and marginalization to become the architects and drivers of socio-economic justice in their food systems. How can public policies strengthen and further build on this agency to drive the transformations that are necessary to find new sustainable pathways for our societies and economies? How does this agency that comes from below challenge conventional and often top- down development interventions by national and international institutions? What are the implications of this agency in the design of truly participatory public policy spaces at national, regional and international levels?
• We believe that social organization and social process methodologies, which strengthen the protagonism of peasants, farmers and other small-scale producers, are key to scaling out agroecology. Promoting agroecology therefore means to strengthen these processes and methodologies rather than appropriating them. How can national and international development agencies best relate to and build on these processes, and strengthen the work of grassroots, community-led social movements and peasants organizations?

6. Evaluation and Monitoring
The scope of the report needs to consider how to evaluate and monitor over time the multiple impacts of agroecological practices and technologies on food security and nutrition and the full realization of the human right to adequate food. What methodologies, criteria, indicators, statistics and parameters are required to do so? How to build processes and platforms for monitoring and evaluating the contribution of agroecology in all its dimensions? How can these monitoring systems ensure the full participation of those that actually live and practice agroecology?

7. The Project Team
The CSM strongly demands to the HLPE Steering Committee that the composition of the project team ensures gender parity and regional balance.

8. Conclusion
Three main concluding remarks. First, the report should not attempt to redefine agroecology but rather expose the way movements have shaped it as a result of their struggles and solutions. Secondly, the report should articulate the way agroecology contributes to multiple public objectives, exposing the transformational potential that it carries with respect a number of critical development challenges that all countries are confronted with, in the global South and North. Thirdly, the report should generate the knowledge basis to support and articulate clear recommendations for public policies and investments that can strengthen agroecology as a science, as a practice, and as a movement.
On this latter point, the CSM fully supports the HLPE’s proposed scope, which states: “What regulations and standards, what instruments, processes and governance mechanisms are needed to create an enabling environment for the development and implementation of agroecology and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies that enhance food security and nutrition? What are the impacts of trade rules, and intellectual property rights on the development and implementation of such practices and technologies?”
The CSM stands ready to support the HLPE in rising to this challenge and mobilizing or collective knowledge an energy to contribute to the pursuit of this objective.

Islandia Bezerra Universidade Federal do Paraná/, Brazil


Soy profesora de corso de Nutrición en la Universidad Federal do Paraná (Brasil).

Les envio alguns apuntes sobre la convocatória "Abordagens agroecológicas y otras inovaciones para la agricultura y sistemas alimentares sustentables que mejoren la seguridad alimentaria y nutrición".

Lo que pasa es que no he logrado hacer los apuntes directamente en y cómo tenia la posibilidad de hacerlo por correo aqui estoy.

1. Es sumariamente importante apuntar cuestiones sobre la relación de la Agroecología con la salud (pública, colectiva y ambiental), así que traer elementos que aborden las evidencias del acceso a una alimentación agroecológica con la salud y calidad de vida es algo urgente.

2. Do mismo modo, traer también evidencias que atesten la agroecologia como una ciencia ciudadana, cuyas práctica son alinhada con los movimientos sociales, dando enfoque , sobre todo, a los papeles de las mujeres y de la juventud.

3. Cómo afirmamos recientemente, en un capítulo de livro, "... la agroecologia puede ser capaz de impulsionar nuevos significados ao acto de se alimentar y nutrir, especialmente se la relacionarmos con los princípios de la soberania alimentaria y del derecho humano a la alimentación adecuada. Así que afirmamos que la agroecologia camina rumbo al bien y buen comer".

4. Apuntar cuestiones, dónde son las mujeres aquellas que impresionan, desde los espacios que ellas ocupan el debate y las aciones que fortalecen las prácticas agroecológicas.

5. La agroecologia cuando en sintonia con las aciones públicas (políticas públicas a ejemplo de la alimentación escolar) trabaja aspectos desde la producción, procesamiento y consumo de los alimentos.

No estou segura se era para hacer eso, pero,  así lo hice.


Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock , Turkey


The HLPE report shall address the following questions:

• To what extent can agroecological and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies improve resource efficiency, minimize ecological footprint, strengthen resilience, secure social equity and responsibility, and create decent jobs, in particular for youth, in agriculture and food systems?

• What are the controversies and uncertainties related to innovative technologies and practices? What are their associated risks? What are the barriers to the adoption of agroecology and other innovative approaches, technologies and practices and how to address them? What are their impacts on FSN in its four dimensions (availability, access, utilization and stability), human health and well-being, and the environment?

• What regulations and standards, what instruments, processes and governance mechanisms are needed to create an enabling environment for the development and implementation of agroecology and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies that enhance food security and nutrition? What are the impacts of trade rules, and intellectual property rights on the development and implementation of such practices and technologies?

• How to assess and monitor the potential impacts on FSN, whether positive or negative, of agroecology and other innovative approaches, practices and technologies? Which criteria, indicators, statistics and metrics are needed?


Our views on the subject;

1. With the effect of agroecological and sustainable innovative approaches, determination of the potential of natural resources will be provided and the potential, the problems and the susceptibility of the agricultural lands will be examined. Therefore, more accurate and reasonable decisions will be made. Also, with the help of the agroecological approaches, the usage of fossil fuel and chemical fertilizer etc. will be decreased and help to minimize the ecological footprint. The integration of innovative approaches to the traditional agricultural techniques must be provided. Also, the farmers must be informed about the ecological principles and programs by suitable techniques. Then, the social equity and awareness raising of the new generation would be provided.

2. The existence, richness and sustainable usage of food are closely relevant with climate change. The approach of agroecology provide long time climate assessment. Also, the determination of the climate properties of agricultural products can help for making a decision about food security. Moreover, the traditional knowledge must not be regarded. Farmers, who have to produce in rough land conditions, promote physical and biological methods to enhance these conditions. These methods must be combined with new technological methods. The technological methods must be spontaneously carried out together with the traditional knowledge. The constitution of self-sufficient system with the agricultural technologies towards the traditional knowledge provide the sustainable natural resources. After all, the when the food security increases the human health and prosperity develop.

3. For applying and increasing the new technologies, climate and land evaluation works on especially the subjects about agroecological approaches have to be continued. The strategical evaluations and planning have to provide alternative producing scenarios when some extraordinary conditions such as climate differences and fast population growth exist. The risks, advantages and effects of the new technologies to traditional knowledge must be evaluated.

4. To observe the positive or negative effects of agricultural technologies about food security and nutrition, local, regional and territorial natural resources (eg. vegetation, fauna, soil, water, climate, geology, topography etc.) must be analyzed. With the light of the results of these analyzes, determination of the usage properties of lands, evaluation of the same potentials between the lands and the problems must be exposed. Also, the abiotic parameters for the crops especially barley, wheat, corn etc. must be determined. The indicators can change depending on diversity, coherence, cultural change and fragmentation of land. All these situations and the analyzes can be revealed by using Geographic Information Systems. Updating the data in certain periods provides the following and strategic evaluation works.

Best regards.