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16 July 2013

The Role of Agro-Ecological and Organic Farming for Food Security and Environment – Report by Naturskyddsföreningen

Naturskyddsföreningen released a new Report “100% organic? The agro-ecological and organic farming: role for food security and environment”. It is the last in the report series publications on how agriculture can be designed to contribute to sustainable development, with a focus on food security for the world’s growing population and the environment.  Standing for both long-term security of supply and sustainable agriculture, the report argues in favor of agroecological transformation, offering a system, based on biological diversity, local knowledge and ecosystem services rather than on monocultures and fossil fuels.

Although increased production influenced increase in life expectancy and quality of life in different parts of the world, it happened at a certain price to environment, resulting in ecosystem degradation and climate change. According to the UN, 60% of the Earth’s ecosystem services are threatened and the biggest cause is contemporary agriculture. Moreover, there are still 870 million people who regularly suffer from chronic hunger. So, increase in production output does not guarantee global food security. That is why new agriculture solutions are needed.

The report provides positive examples of various agroecological strategies applications and examples of how scientists and farmers can learn from each other. The red thread of the paper is imitation of nature and how it can be implemented in forest management and farming. The main topics include foodstuff cultivating that uses diversity of species and crop rotation, establishment of nutrient cycling and ways of farming that absorb carbon, efficient water management for food security and application of urban farming. Attention has also been given to organic meat production and strategies for reduction of meat consumption. Finally, the reader will also be able have a look at the analysis of Swedish food and agriculture industry.

You can read the original (Swedish) version of the report here

Link to original report

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