Global Forum on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN Forum)


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

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 CFS 46th Plenary session in October 2019.

As part of the process of elaboration of its reports, the HLPE is organizing a consultation to seek inputs, suggestions, and comments on the present V0 draft (for more details on the different steps of the process, see the Appendix in the V0 draft). The results of this consultation will be used by the HLPE to further elaborate the report, which will then be submitted to external expert peer-reviewers, before finalization and approval by the HLPE Steering Committee.

HLPE V0 drafts prepared by the Project Team are deliberately presented early enough in the process – as a work-in-progress, with their range of imperfections – to allow sufficient time to give proper consideration to the feedback received so that it can play a really useful role in the elaboration of the report. It is a key part of the scientific dialogue between the HLPE Project Team and Steering Committee, and the whole knowledge community.


Please note that comments should not be submitted as notes to the pdf file, rather contributors are expected to share their main and structuring comments through the website dialog box and/or attaching further elements/references that can help the HLPE to enrich the report and strengthen its overall narrative.

Detailed line-by-line comments are also welcome, but only if presented in a word or Excel file, with precise reference to the related chapter, section, page and/or line number in the draft.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Contributing to the V0 Draft

The present V0 draft identifies areas for recommendations at a very early stage, and the HLPE would welcome suggestions or proposals. In order to strengthen the report, the HLPE would welcome submission of material, evidence-based suggestions, references, and concrete examples, in particular addressing the following important questions:

  1. The V0 draft is wide-ranging in analyzing the contribution of agroecological and other innovative approaches to ensuring food security and nutrition (FSN). Is the draft useful in clarifying the main concepts? Do you think that the draft appropriately covers agroecology as one of the possible innovative approaches? Does the draft strike the right balance between agroecology and other innovative approaches? 
  2. Have an appropriate range of innovative approaches been identified and documented in the draft? If there are key gaps in coverage of approaches, what are these and how would they be appropriately incorporated in the draft? Does the draft illustrates correctly the contributions of these approaches to FSN and sustainable development? The HLPE acknowledges that these approaches could be better articulated in the draft, and their main points of convergence or divergence among these approaches could be better illustrated. Could the following set of “salient dimensions” help to characterize and compare these different approaches: human-rights base, farm size, local or global markets and food systems (short or long supply chain), labor or capital intensity (including mechanization), specialization or diversification, dependence to external (chemical) inputs or circular economy, ownership and use of modern knowledge and technology or use of local and traditional knowledge and practices?
  3. The V0 draft outlines 17 key agroecological principles and organizes them in four overarching and interlinked operational principles for more sustainable food systems (SFS): resource efficiency, resilience, social equity / responsibility and ecological footprint. Are there any key aspects of agroecology that are not reflected in this set of 17 principles? Could the set of principles be more concise, and if so, which principles could be combined or reformulated to achieve this?
  4. The V0 draft is structured around a conceptual framework that links innovative approaches to FSN outcomes via their contribution to the four abovementioned overarching operational principles of SFS and, thus, to the different dimensions of FSN. Along with the four agreed dimensions of FSN (availability, access, stability, utilization), the V0 draft also discusses a fifth dimension: agency. Do you think that this framework addresses the key issues? Is it applied appropriately and consistently across the different chapters of the draft to structure its overall narrative and main findings?
  5. The V0 draft provides an opportunity to identify knowledge gaps, where more evidence is required to assess the contribution that agroecology and other innovative approaches can make progressing towards more sustainable food systems for enhanced FSN. Do you think that the key knowledge gaps are appropriately identified, that their underlying causes are sufficiently articulated in the draft? Is the draft missing any important knowledge gap? Is this assessment of the state of knowledge in the draft based on the best up-to-date available scientific evidence or does the draft miss critical references? How could the draft better integrate and consider local, traditional and empirical knowledge?
  6. Chapter 2 suggests a typology of innovations. Do you think this typology is useful in structuring the exploration of what innovations are required to support FSN, identifying key drivers of, and barriers to, innovation (in Chapter 3) and the enabling conditions required to foster innovation (in Chapter 4)? Are there significant drivers, barriers or enabling conditions that are not adequately considered in the draft?
  7. A series of divergent narratives are documented in Chapter 3 to help tease out key barriers and constraints to innovation for FSN. Is this presentation of these divergent narratives comprehensive, appropriate and correctly articulated? How could the presentation of the main controversies at stake and the related available evidence be improved?
  8. This preliminary version of the report presents tentative priorities for action in Chapter 4, as well as recommendations to enable innovative approaches to contribute to the radical transformations of current food systems needed to enhance FSN and sustainability. Do you think these preliminary findings can form an appropriate basis for further elaboration, in particular to design innovation policies? Do you think that key recommendations or priorities for action are missing or inadequately covered in the draft?
  9. Throughout the V0 draft there has been an attempt to indicate, sometimes with placeholders, specific case studies that would illustrate the main narrative with concrete examples and experience. Are the set of case studies appropriate in terms of subject and regional balance? Can you suggest further case studies that could help to enrich and strengthen the report?
  10. Are there any major omissions or gaps in the V0 draft? Are topics under-or over-represented in relation to their importance? Are any facts or conclusions refuted, questionable or assertions with no evidence-base? If any of these are an issue, please share supporting evidence. 

We thank in advance all the contributors for being kind enough to read, comment and suggest inputs on this V0 draft of the report.

We look forward to a rich and fruitful consultation.

The HLPE Project Team and Steering Committee

This activity is now closed. Please contact [email protected] for any further information.

* Click on the name to read all comments posted by the member and contact him/her directly
  • Read 103 contributions
  • Expand all

Christian Huygue


Please find attached the contribution from INRA (France) for the HLPE V0 Draft. As we were unable to submit these comments via the online portable, please find below a short message from Ségolène Halley des Fontaines, Head of International Affairs, INRA, to accompany the document.

Kind regards,

Christian Huygue

Scientific Director for Agriculture, INRA

Fernanda Peruchi

Consejeria del Medio Ambiente del Estado de San Paolo

Gracias por la oportunidad de compartir el informe sobre los enfoques de la agroecologia y por la consulta. Es un trabajo muy valioso.

Mi contribuición es muy sencilla. Vengo a compartir algunas experiencias del Proyecto de Desarrollo Rural Sostenible en Estado de San Paolo, Brazil. Trabajamos con sistemas agroforestales (un desafio, ya que es el tercero nivel de la transición agroecologica, segun Gliessman). Una experiencia muy positiva, que llevó los técnicos y agricultores miraren otras dimensiones mas allá de la agrícola, pero las dimensiones economicas, ecologicas, sociales.



Eng. Ftal Fernanda Peruchi

Msc. Agroecologia

Consejeria del Medio Ambiente del Estado de San Paolov

Lakshmi Durga

Zero Budget Natual Farming

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

Serena Pepino

on behalf of UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Dear colleagues,

Please find attached comments on 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” prepared on behalf of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Ms Hilal Elver.


Kind regards,

Serena Pepino

Adviser to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (CFS matters)

Vanessa Black

South Africa

Dear HLPE Team

Please find attached the response from Biowatch South Africa to the HLPE V0 Report: Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition, as well as attachments referred to in our response. 


Kind regards

Vanessa Black for Biowatch SA

Tarek Soliman

Food innovation program- WikiExpo project

Dear Sir,


I have two comments on the zero draft:

1) Agriculture is a human behaviour that does not only secure food, but is a continuous interaction with the environment, that includes learning and growth. As we drift away from our evolutionary biology, agroecology comes as a reminder of where we stand in this world.

2) The recommendations that will come out of this report, and will be discussed in October 2019 at CFS need not be taken as voluntary recommendations as with previous reports. There needs to be a binding consensus that agroecological principles should guide the decision making around our food systems. I think the report does a great job at highlighting the knowledge gaps that can be bridged, if governments make a commitment towards supporting agroecology research, and creating a favourable policy environment for agroecology to scale out.

As for innovation please have a look at the presentation attached herewith that I have adapted from IFTF with their permission

Thank you

kind regards

Tarek Amin

Katia Roesch

Coordination Sud

Considering the extension of the eConsultation on the V0 Draft of the HLPE Report on Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition, the Agriculture and Food Commission of Coordination Sud would like to suggest you some complements on our previous submission. You will find them highlighted in red in the enclosed document.


Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Dear Members of the HLPE,


The Brazilian Association on Agroecology (ABA-Agroecologia), is a scientific society dedicated to the advancement of agroecology as a scientific approach. Among its multiple fronts of action, ABA-Agroecologia has organized 10 Brazilian Congresses of Agroecology, gathering thousands of researchers, educators, extensionists, students and farmers every two years to discuss the advances and challenges of the agroecological approach in Brazil and in the world.

We are pleased to send in the attached file our critical contribution to the HLPE report on "Agroecological approaches and other innovations for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition".

We hope this contribution can be helpful to document improvement. We'll keep available for further dialogue in the later stages of this rich collective elaboration.

With best wishes,

Paulo Petersen