Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Consultas electrónicas abiertas del HLPE

Re: HLPE consultation on the V0 draft of the Report: Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition

Lakshmi Durga
Lakshmi DurgaZero Budget Natual Farming India

Dear members of HLPE project team and Steering Committee

Many thanks for sharing the zero draft of the HLPE report on ‘Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition’. I appreciate the opportunity provided through e-consultation and I am happy to share the comments below

  • We appreciate the relevance of focus needed on agroecology for food security and nutrition
  • Like in other submissions, We too felt that the report needed greater clarity on the framework that complements the agroecology approaches for sustainable Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security such as Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture rather to discuss about too many innovations and unrelated practices and technologies as it lost the focus on agroecology as core innovation.
  • It is understood that the issues related to Nutrition Security are different from Food Security. But the current report focused mostly on Food Security and it is essential to discuss equally on the issues around Nutrition Security and highlight the nutrition element and discuss to what extent agroecology principles can affect nutrition.

  • We agree that food losses and waste needs to be reduced for improved food and nutrition security. But the frameworks for sustainable value chain approaches is not reflected in the current report.
  • Further, we also would like to mention the following to bring it up in the report :
    • Discussion needed on assessment of agroecology in the context of global warming and its impact on food production and thereby the food , nutrition and distribution and consumption gaps.
    • The merits of agroecology are central to the adapting nutrient dense food production to climate change and it needs to be studied. Action research and political support for studies on agroecological approaches and its impact on SFS for FSN needed much attention.
  • We are in line with the key policies identified for SFS towards FSN – “All the approaches mentioned in the report ( Agroecology, Sustainable intensification, Organic Agriculture, Agroforestry, Climate smart Agriculture, Permaculture, Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture, Sustainable Food Value Chains and Right based approaches) have different implications for SFS to achieve FSN and none of them alone address all the aspects required for its delivery. Progress towards FSN requires drawing from experience and best practice across these approaches, particularly the integration of rights based approaches in conjunction with efforts to develop and promote more sustainable farming and extending the scope of actions to encompass entire food systems from production through to consumption. Without explicit attention to social equity, agency, utilization and environmental impacts, some approaches may not foster a SFS that can explicitly address FSN”.
  • It is also important to identify the measurement and indicators to demonstrate the real impact among the households.

            Detailed comments are mentioned below

            Pages 83-85:

            4.3 Enabling Conditions for innovation in SFS for FSN

  1. Support for diversified farming systems (Cuba): Given that many of those households and individuals who experience food insecurity and malnutrition are smallholder farmers, increasing public support for agroecological methods by smallholder farmers would have a double impact, addressing both FSN and SFSs.

  2. Recognising the role of policy over access to natural resources (Brazil & Kenya): Rights-based approaches articulate the importance of enabling environments that advance equitable trade relationships, land reform, protection of intellectual and indigenous land rights, and gender equity, and call for trade and market arrangements to be transparent, democratic and equitable.

  3. Leveraging purchasing powers (Brazil) : Interventions that focus on local procurement of sustainably-produced food for school feeding programmes, or that target groups vulnerable to food insecurity, to realize food sovereignty at local and state level can be very effective at addressing FSN while supporting SFSs

  4. Supporting equitable and sustainable food value chains (chilie): Supporting short supply chains and alternative retail infrastructures, such as farmers markets, fairs, food policy councils, local exchange and trading systems, will help enhance farmers’ livelihoods and increase access to local, sustainably produced and diverse food.

  5. Public education and awareness raising: Public awareness to enable and foster innovations in SFSs should go beyond simple awareness campaigns, to engage citizens in ”democratising innovation”- sharing information and knowledge across networks, addressing social problems, and co- producing solutions amongst communities and researchers

  6. Supporting the involvement of civil society groups in governance (Brazil): Inter-ministerial mechanisms should be used at the national level to bring together ministries of agriculture, health, gender, environment and education, with mechanisms to include diverse stakeholders, including the rural poor, women, youth and other relevant stakeholders in planning and implementing measures to build sustainable food systems for food security and nutrition.

Comment : More operational research is needed to study the impact on institutional arrangements for the above six categories of actions proposed to scale out the best practices identified. Focus needed on regional context too..

Page 86

4.3 Reconfiguring knowledge generation and sharing and strengthening investment in research and development.

Comment : It is important to study the decision making behaviours in farmers as individuals, households towards (i) de-adoption of unsustainable green revolution technologies and (ii) adoption of innovations related to agroecological systems. The innovation diffusion patterns in the context of community management needs action research study in order to disseminate and ensure adoption of agroecological systems.


Page : 88


4.3.2 Knowledge sharing , training and responding to the community priorities

Lines : 35 to 43

Support can be provided to marginalized rural farmers organizations, women’s groups, indigenous and community-based organizations which advocate and train others on the use of agroecological approaches and other sustainable food system approaches for FSN. Public support can be provided in the development of agricultural programmes and training that make use of those ecological processes and functions that sustain agricultural production, shared through participatory involvement of stakeholders, building on local know-how and knowledge in the introduction of new practices and collective decision making. Such training and capacity building will help address the knowledge-intensive nature of agroecology, organic farming and permaculture through providing greater education and information

  • Creation of “lighthouses” – societies or training centers that foster farmer to farmer knowledge sharing and create communities of practice (as with the many permaculture centers in different countries and in all continents);
  • Support alliances between small-scale producers and civil society groups in urban areas focused on food justice and sustainable food systems;
  • In response to community-defined needs, investment in key aspects of the food value chain- for example small scale processing plants or storage facilities- can be catalytic toward changing food systems and enlarging their scope to address food nutrition and security.

Comment :

Great attention and support is needed for establishment of Farmer Nutrition Schools attached to Community Nutri Gardens /Home stead Food Production models to encourage the households to attend the sessions along with the spouse which would influence the dietary patterns of the households. These training centers shall adopt the experiential learning methods to have greater involvement of the participants for their own adoption as well as motivation of other farmers in the villages towards agroecological approaches.

Page : 89

4.4 Acknowledge and enhance the specific role of women and Youth for innovation

Lines : 1 to 22

There is a need for greater focus on gender and other social inequalities, including the position and opportunities for young people in agriculture and in achieving FSN. These have been highlighted throughout Sections 4.1 through 4.3 because they are important in addressing all aspects of agricultural and food systems rather than representing niche concerns. Six key dimensions in addressing issues involving gender and young people are set out here.

· Recognising women’s central roles in agricultural and food systems, to help build the next generation agriculture and food systems on the firm foundation of their knowledge of their crop production, food processing and food provision practices.

· Recognising the often higher labour demands in holistic agricultural management systems and seeking greater income equity for those providing labour.

· Developing interventions that provide strategies and tools to deliver nutrition sensitive agriculture, including homestead food production systems, aquaculture, dairy, small livestock rearing, crop diversity and value chains for nutritious foods

· Support for Farmer-led food sovereignty and agroecology initiatives that advocate for women’s formal rights to land access, and more equitable family and community relationships

· Reorienting institutions and organizations to explicitly address gender inequalities, including girls’ access to education.

· Recognizing the particular constraints and challenges that young people face in trying to establish diversified farming systems and agribusinesses including access to land.

Comment :

Women considered as the crucial group to influence the adoption of agroecological approaches as well as dietary diversification among the rural households which would lead to SFS for FSN. Similarly , youth are found to be the early innovators and effective for diffusion of messages. In Andhra Pradesh, the implementation of ZBNF through the Women Self Help Groups and inviting the Young Graduates in Agriculture and Nutrition for Natural Farming Fellowship (NFFs) are respectively helping to set out the issues for involvement of women and youth to scale out the model. Further, farmer to farmer extension services through the young and best practitioners to motivate the farmers to adopt agroecological approaches. Hence, the ZBNF model in Andhra Pradesh may also be studied by the external agencies to scale out the best practice for adoption of agroecological approach for sustainable food system for FSN.

Thank you for this opportunity and look forward for the next steps of the report development.


Lakshmi Durga

Sr. Consultant (Health and Nutrition)

on behalf of Rythu Sadhikara Samstha (RySS)

Zero Budget Natual Farming (ZBNF)

Andhra Pradesh