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Herren - Paradigm Change for African Agriculture: why and how to make the transition


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Presentation delivered at the CIALCA international conference 'Challenges and Opportunities to the agricultural intensification of the humid highland systems of sub-Saharan Africa'. Kigali, Rwanda, October 24-27 2011.

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Herren - Paradigm Change for African Agriculture: why and how to make the transition

  1. 1. Paradigm Change for AfricanAgriculture: why and how to makethe transitionCHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FORAGRICULTURAL INTENSIFICATION OF THEHUMID HIGHLAND SYSTEMS OF SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Hans R. Herren President www.millennium-institute.orgINTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE KIGALI | President Co-Chair IAASTD www.agassessment.orgRWANDA | OCT. 24 - 27, 2011 Coordinator UNEP GER Agriculture Chapter
  2. 2. KThe IAASTD Reports( Hans R Herren & Judy WhakunguMulti-stakeholder: 400 authors, 52 countriesMulti-disciplinaryMulti-locational: Global / sub-Global Reports
  3. 3. The green revolution approach to food production / security leaves key issues unresolved • Hunger and Poverty • Threatened rural livelihoods • Nutrition and Human Health • Environmental, Social, Equity and Sustainable Development problems …now what? More of the same? Quick symptom fixes and reductionist approaches, or ?
  4. 4. Green Revolution: not the model for the futureGR bases is ecologically and economically unsustainable David Tilman et al. Science 2001
  5. 5. Green Revolution: not the model form the future GR bases is ecologically and economically unsustainableLand degradation World map of severity of land degradation – GLASOD (FAO 2000)
  6. 6. Understanding the consequences of unsustainable agric:Land and biodiversity loss
  7. 7. Green Revolution: (big) part of the problem GR bases is also environmentally unsustainableGrain Unctad 2011
  8. 8. Understanding the consequences of unsustainable agric:Temperature and water stresses 0% 2080 -50% -15% +15% +35%
  9. 9. Green Revolution: can lead to waste of natural resourcesGR bases is also socially unsustainable
  10. 10. The green revolution approach to food production / security leaves key issues unresolved • Hunger and Poverty • Threatened rural livelihoods • Nutrition and Human Health • Environmental, Social, Equity and Sustainable Development problems …now what? More of the same? Quick symptom fixes and reductionist approaches, or ?
  11. 11. Main conclusions of the IAASTD et al…..“a fundamental shift in AKST and the linked agri-foodsystem policies, institutions, capacity development andinvestments”Paradigm change: Transition to sustainable / organic/ecological agri - culturei.e., addresses multifunctionality and resilienceneeds of the small-scale and family farms (social &economic: equity issue, farmer status, land ownership,empowerment, women), quality job creation (Edu at alllevels);• systemic and holistic approach (basic ecologicalprinciples); treat cause not symptoms; is part of thesolution to hunger, poverty, health, CC
  12. 12. Agriculture the main solution: Multifunctionalityparadigm for sustainable development equitable livable sustainable viable
  13. 13. New look at agriculture….. …it is all connected in a complex and dynamic system Land Loss & Food Production Flooding Health Catastrophes Land Loss Life Sustaining Energy Sector Biofuels Calories per Capita O Famines Production O S S Petroleum Use for O S Calorie S Fertilizer Habitat Gap S Conversion O S Human S Population R Fertilizer Human S Human R Calories per Demand B Births DeathsS Toxic Acres in Capita Residue O O Agriculture O Population Density Human S Soil S S O S Population Plant Capacity Soil Nutient B S Soil Nutrient Calories Consumption Plant Plant Productioin Production Consumption Migration Plant Calories for O Human Use S O S Droughts S S Soil Salinization S S S Exposure to a Higher Variation in Rainfall S Plant Calories for Standard of Living Pattern Meat Production Irrigation S S S Global Migration Temperature S Pursuit of 1st World Water S Demand Food Mix Methane S Production Fresh Water S Meat S S Meat Calories Meat Production Consumption Global Warming
  14. 14. Agriculture the main solution: ….via a transition to sustainable, organic, agroecological, resilient, equitable agricultureHigh productivity Low productivity Un-sustainable Sustainable
  15. 15. Making the right move: monocrop….or?
  16. 16. …Economic-Social-Environmental resilience: multicrop, corridors,..
  17. 17. The Green way ahead: agro-ecological approaches Organic Conventional In 1995 –drought year
  18. 18. Green way ahead: Push-Pull approach……..using the gifts of nature, habitat management
  19. 19. “Push – Pull” approach, makes ecological sense….
  20. 20. “Push – Pull” approach, promotes ecosystem services….i.e., pest control
  21. 21. “Push – Pull” approach, promotes ecosystem services….i.e., pollinationUsing natural systems to increase productivity and quality through wild pollination services
  22. 22. “Push – Pull” approach closes the yield gap….
  23. 23. “Push – Pull” approach, brings the animals back on thefarmIt isimperative toput theanimals backon farm:sanitation,health,carbon cycle,sustainability
  24. 24. “Push – Pull” approach, is compatible with SRI (Rice, Tef,Sorghum, ….
  25. 25. “Push – Pull” approach, would fit in agroforestrysystems
  26. 26. “Push – Pull” approach, brings water and life back intothe soil…and carbon too Promoting soil health through maintenance or restoration of the soil flora and fauna through reduced agro- chemical use Realize yield gap, stop herbicide accumulation
  27. 27. “Push – Pull” approach, can be mechanized and worksagainst drudgery
  28. 28. “Push – Pull” makes economical sense too…. 3,000 a 2,500 Maize monocrop Maize + Des modium Maize + Des es modium + bean s ame hole bCurrency (US$)-(1US$/65 KES) per ha. Maize + Des modium + bean different hole 2,000 Maize + bean c d 1,500 a a b b c 1,000 d b b e a a a b c 500 b 0 Total labour costs Total variable costs Total gross revenue d Net benefits -500
  29. 29. Green way ahead: Biotechnology and geneticengineering
  30. 30. The way ahead: More diversity (plants & animalsand better nutrition-health and environment) Encouraging a wider genetic base in agriculture…trees , fruits, grains, vegetables, lost crops, animals for nutrition and health, cultural diversity, incomes, pest control, resilience to climate change Barilla, 2011
  31. 31. Green way ahead: is knowledge intensive• Improve and expand extension services (ICT)• Introduce capacity building (ICT)• Agriculture is very localized = local solutionsExample: Biovision’s Farmer Communication &
  32. 32. ? Can it be done: The forward looking scenarios:Analysis and investmentsGlobal investments across sectors (1% and 2% ofGDP); 0.2% and 0.32% of GDP invested in AG andfisheries (50-50).- Pre harvest losses (training activities and effective bio-pesticide use)- Ag management practices (costs to transition from till tono till agriculture, training, access to small mechanization)- R&D (research on crop improvement (orphan crops), soilscience and agronomy, appropriate mechanization, and more)- Food processing (better storage and processing in ruralareas)
  33. 33. Agriculture in a Green Economy (UNEP Report – 2011)Investing 0.1% or 0.16% of total GDP ($83-$141 Billion) / year
  34. 34. Conclusions• Brown scenarios support growth but show increased pressure on natural resources, higher emissions and low economic resilience.• Green investments support social, economic and environmental growth (restoration): – Resource efficiency makes the economy more resilient; – Lower carbon development reduces energy costs and lowers risks related to climate change; – Jobs are both created and lost, transition strategies need to be designed and implemented;• Investments have to be carefully allocated and behavioral changes might be needed in support of public policies and private investments.
  35. 35. In conclusion,cont’ndThe change that is needed will first start with each of us…….then as a group of like minded we need to:• take a medium and long, holistic, multifunctional and systemic view in addressing the challenges (treat the causes, not the symptoms)• invest more in research, education and examples• keep the focus on the finality of agriculture and food systems: health (4H), equity and cultural diversity• support changes in governance (be active in policy design toturn the table on perverse subsidies and favor a true foodpricing policy)……and yes it can be done, so lets do it NOW
  36. 36. You cannot solve the problem with the same kind of thinking that created the problem Albert Einstein Thank &