Incentivizing Small-Scale Sustainable Agriculture


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Neth Dano (ETC Group) discusses the findings of the IAASTD report on incentivizing the right kind of agriculture.

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Incentivizing Small-Scale Sustainable Agriculture

  1. 1. Incentivizing Small-Scale Sustainable Agriculture Neth Dano Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (etc group)
  2. 2. IAASTD Overview International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge Science and Technology for Development
  3. 3. IAASTD Overview  Assessment process initiated by the World Bank • In partnership with FAO, GEF, UNDP, UNEP, WHO and UNESCO and representatives of governments, civil society, private sector and scientific institutions from around the world  Uses a strongly consultative 'bottom-up' process that recognizes the different needs of different regions and communities
  4. 4. IAASTD Overview  Multi-thematic approach  Multi-level: global & 5 sub-global assessments  Multi-temporal (1950 to 2050);  Involved more than 400 authors  Peer reviewed by Governments and experts  Integrates local Knowledge with institutional Knowledge and looks at policy and institutional issues in light of history (50 years) and proposes options for action  Created a common vision of the future of agriculture approved by 58 countries in April 2008, and welcomed by 61 countries
  5. 5. IAASTD: Role  To comprehensively, openly and transparently assess the scientific, technical and socioeconomic literature, experience and knowledge relevant to how agricultural science and technology can: • Reduce hunger and poverty • Improve rural livelihoods, and • Facilitate equitable, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development through the generation, access and use of agricultural knowledge, science and technology
  6. 6. Global Report: Some Key Findings 1. Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology (AKST) has contributed to substantial increases in agricultural production over time, contributing to food security 2. People have benefited unevenly from these yield increases across regions, in part because of different organizational capacities, socio-cultural factors, and institutional and policy environments 3. Emphasis on increasing yields and productivity has in some cases had negative consequences on environmental sustainability
  7. 7. Global Report: Some Key Findings 4. The environmental shortcomings of agricultural practice associated with poor socioeconomic conditions create a vicious cycle in which poor smallholder farmers have to deforest and use new often marginal lands, thus increasing deforestation and overall degradation 7. An increase and strengthening of AKST towards agro-ecological sciences will contribute to addressing environmental issues while maintaining and increasing productivity 8. Strengthening and redirecting the generation and delivery of AKST will contribute to addressing a range of persistent socioeconomic inequities
  8. 8. Global Report: Some Key Findings 12. Targeting small-scale agricultural systems by forging public and private partnerships, increased public research and extension investment helps realize existing opportunities 13. Significant pro-poor progress requires creating opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship, which explicitly target resource poor farmers and rural laborers 14. Decisions around small-scale farm sustainability pose difficult policy choices
  9. 9. Global Report: Some Key Findings 15. Public policy, regulatory frameworks and international agreements are critical to implementing more sustainable agricultural practices 16. Innovative institutional arrangements are essential to the successful design and adoption of ecologically and socially sustainable agricultural systems
  10. 10. Global Report: Some Key Findings 17. Opening national agricultural markets to international competition can offer economic benefits, but can lead to long term negative effects on poverty alleviation, food security and the environment without basic national institutions and infrastructure being in place 22. Achieving sustainability and development goals will involve creating space for diverse voices and perspectives and a multiplicity of scientifically well-founded options, through, for example, the inclusion of social scientists in policy and practice of AKST helps direct and focus public
  11. 11. A Major Challenge and Opportunity: Small-scale Farmers • Produce the bulk of global food • Are the largest number of stewards for the environmental services and biodiversity • Higher and sustainable productivity increase at their level will have a major impact on all the development goals • Critical need to inform and support policy approaches that address small-scale/family producers, including AKST designed to improve profitability of the sector
  12. 12. Who Feeds Us? Peasant cultivatio hunting gatherin Urban production Industrial produc
  13. 13. A Major Challenge and Opportunity: Small-scale Farmers •Pro-poor progress requires: •Creating opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship • Increased public research and extension investment • Small scale farm sustainability – poses challenging policy choices •Payment for ecological services •Decentralized governance systems and choices
  14. 14. Climate-ready Agriculture?  Industrial  Small-scale local model agriculture  Food chain (seed to  Food web supermarket)  Small scale system  Corporate control  Production-  Proprietary consumption relation technology  biodiverse  Consumption far  Informal networks from production  75% of global food  Fossil fuel intensive production  Cash economy  30% of food production 14
  15. 15. Options for Action: New Equitable & Sustainable Way Forward  Empower, involve and support farmers (women) in sustainable agricultural practices, restoration and management of ecosystem services; crop/animal and labor productivity increases; safety nets  Improve access to production resources and remunerative employment on and off farm; recognize the critical role of women and empower them (education, land tenure, add value locally to agricultural products) 15
  16. 16. Options for Action: New Equitable & Sustainable Way Forward  Improve markets, infrastructure, and institutions  Expand and disseminate ecosystem sustainability oriented research, knowledge, and technology with stakeholder participation  Bring all sectors responsible for sustainable development into a comprehensive systematic analysis, to recognize that policy decisions in one sector (i.e., transportation) strongly affect other sectors (input & market access) 16
  17. 17. Options for Action: New Equitable & Sustainable Way  Promote responsible governance at global, regional and local levels  Invest in long term gains versus short term quick fixes (i.e., deal with the cause not the symptoms) 17
  18. 18. Options for Action: Empower, Involve and Support farmers  Targeting AKST strategies that combine productivity with protection of natural resources (i.e., pollination)  Using natural systems to regulate pest outbreaks  Using natural systems to restore and maintain soil fertility 18
  19. 19. Incentivizing Small-Scale Sustainable Agriculture  Eliminating perverse subsidies to the un-sustainable agricultural systems and practices  Leveling the playing field by: • correcting programs that are biased to large-scale, un-sustainable farming practices • corrective policy measures 19
  20. 20. Incentivizing Small-Scale Sustainable Agriculture  Providing direct incentives through: • Redirecting subsidies to small-scale sustainable agricultural practices • Providing appropriate infrastructure support and mechanisms, including credits • Research, extension and education services • Market access, information and support 20
  21. 21. Transforming Policies to Real Solutions: Thailand’s Green Net  a Thai social enterprise established in 1993 to promote sustainable agriculture through providing fair-trade market access to producer groups, producing organic products  Vision: to be a leader in promoting and supporting "Organic Farming" and “Fair Trade” through environmentally and socially responsible living as "Life Fair, Live Organic"  With 1,100 members, most of whom are organic producers with registered capital of around THB 1.8 million. 21
  22. 22. Transforming Policies to Real Solutions: Thailand’s Green Net  One of the largest organic producers and wholesaler in Thailand  with over 20 product lines sold through some 40 retail outlets in Bangkok and around Thailand  Operates fair-trade exports to Europe  Products are purchased from 8 farmer groups in the Northern, Northeastern and Central regions of Thailand 22
  23. 23. Transforming Policies to Real Solutions: Thailand’s Green Net  Founded to support small-scale farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices in order to improve their livelihood and agro-ecological conditions in the rural areas by raising farmers’ awareness on the negative impacts of agro-chemicals and the dependency on external markets and promoting indigenous knowledge of sustainable farming practices  since early 1990s, had started revolutionizing the strategies through incorporating economic (market) incentive and revising extension methodologies  established a local organic certification body to provide inspection and certification services to ensure better market access  took advantage of market opportunities for organic products in Thailand and abroad 23
  24. 24. Transforming Policies to Real Solutions: Philippines’ Organic Agriculture Act • Republic Act 10068: Organic Agriculture Act of 2010 • state policy to promote, propagate, and further develop the practice of organic farming in the Philippines • establishes a comprehensive National Organize Agricultural Program (NOAP) which will promote, commercialize and cultivate organic farming methods through farmers' and consumers' education 24
  25. 25. Transforming Policies to Real Solutions: Philippines’ Organic Agriculture Act  The program will be carried by the National Organic Agriculture Board (NOAB), a policy- making body that will provide the direction and general guidelines for the implementation of the national program  The NOAB will also identify funding sources to expand organic agriculture, monitor and evaluate the performance of programs for appropriate incentives. 25
  26. 26. Transforming Policies to Real Solution  Can the CDM incentivize small-scale sustainable/organic agriculture?  Concerns: • scale • monocropping: impacts on agricultural biodiversity • mono-practices: impacts on traditional farming practices and knowledge systems • accessibility and affordability • elite capture 26
  27. 27. Business as Usual is NOT an Option You cannot solve the problem with the same kind of thinking that created the problem - Albert Einstein 27