Thursday, 17 April 2008

Time for changes in agricultural production

The way the world produces food will have to change radically to better serve the poor and hungry if the world is to cope with a growing population and climate change while avoiding social breakdown and environmental collapse.

This is the message from the report of the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) launched on the 15 April 2008.

The report addresses the following questions:

It then considers the options for action in relation to fighting poverty and improving rural livelihoods, enhancing food security, using natural resources in a sustainable way, improving human health and helping achieve greater equity in agriculture.

The assessment, the result of a 3-year effort by about 400 experts from around the world, was sponsored by the United Nations, the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), an independent financial organization that provides grants to developing countries. Five U.N. agencies were involved: the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the U.N. Development Program (UNDP), the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP), the U.N. Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Additional individuals, organizations and governments participated in a peer review process.

Summary of the report or view the summary and the full IAASTD Synthesis Report online.
IAASTD Press Release
BBC News item - Global food system 'must change' (15/04)
AllAfrica: Africa: Reinventing Agriculture
The East African: UN scientists say industrial agriculture has failed (14/04)