The reality is that people are often hungry because they are poor and cannot — for a variety of political, social and economic reasons — afford the price of food. In addition to establishing equitable economic and trade policies, real solutions to world hunger will arise out of investing in locally appropriate ecological farming practices that integrate grassroots science and farmers’ knowledge — practices that are productive, resilient and profitable.
Indeed, the weight of scientific evidence supports a global shift towards ecological farming. Numerous UN and independent academic reports have concluded that meeting the climate, water, energy and food challenges of the 21st century can be achieved by investing in agroecology. In contrast, the data show, GE technologies are unlikely to get us where we need to go.
Additionally, agroecological farming can double food production, save our soil, protect biodiversity, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and help farmers adapt to climate change. And organic farming and reliance on traditional seed systems are among the best options available for achieving food security across Africa.
Along with millions of others around the globe — family farmers, rural community leaders, sustainable development experts and scientists — I would argue that what the world actually needs is food democracy. We need ordinary people taking charge of our food systems, getting together to establish the rules, and develop and share creative farming practices. This will enable us to grow and distribute food sustainably, support the livelihoods and protect the health of current and future generations, and safeguard the soil, water and wildlife on which we all depend.
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