FAO e-conference explores contribution of small farms to food security and nutrition


From October 10-23  you can participate in an FAO e-conference exploring contribution of small farms to food security and nutrition.


Here is what you need to know:

Continue reading “FAO e-conference explores contribution of small farms to food security and nutrition”

Colombians have a chance to vote for peace

Please note that while the following may seem a bit off track, a bit different from the normal postings on this blog, agrarian reform is a fundamental component of the Colombian peace agreement. It is also a key moment in history that we need to be paying attention too. Congrats on publishing this, Felipe!

After a lifetime of conflict, we Colombians have a chance to vote for peace

This piece was originally published on The Conversation by Felipe Roa-Clavijo, University of Oxford

On October 2, the Colombian people will vote in a referendum to approve or reject the peace agreement their government has signed with the FARC, a revolutionary left-wing guerilla movement. Many Colombians have waited their whole lives for a chance like this – and me among them.

Continue reading “Colombians have a chance to vote for peace”

Mechanisms for land-related disputes

A new report on “Non‐judicial grievance mechanisms in land‐related disputes in Sierra Leone”,  has just recently been released. The report was produced in collaboration between FAO and Namati under the project on the implementation of The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGT) in Sierra Leone.

The report can be downloaded here: http://www.fao.org/3/a-i5908e.pdf


Interdisciplinary Postdoc position – “Food system transformability to ecologically intensive production and sustainable value chains”

We are hiring a Postdoc for a neat project in Chile and Uruguay. Deadline for applications is September 19th

Based in Wageningen with frequent travel.

More information here:

The development of sustainable food systems depends on

  • resilience and adaptability of socio-ecological systems to respond to short term variation in drivers, and
  •  system transformability to reach new equilibria under drivers that change over longer periods of time.

The different food system components, their interactions and feedbacks, and the different time scales on which they operate give rise to complex systems in which interventions may have diverse and unexpected outcomes. Systemic learning and co-innovation have been advocated as key elements for analysis and decision making in complex (food) systems.
The Postdoc will develop and implement a systemic learning approach on ecologically intensive production and value chains.

The main research question will be “How can stakeholders stimulate transformation towards sustainable vegetable food systems in Chile and Uruguay?”

The Postdoc will engage with actors in selected case studies and implement a reflexive interactive design process. Starting from a baseline assessment of a longlist of case studies (joint work with the PhD projects), the Postdoc will engage with selected case studies to jointly build and monitor a change trajectory of their food system. Methods may include workshops and interviews to build case study innovation histories; fuzzy cognitive mapping and scenario development; Agent Based Modelling or game development. The Postdoc will be involved in running the project together with the project coordinator and enhance the systemic capacity for food system innovation.

Solutions for a Food Secure World: Special Issue

I am very please to announce that a special issue of the journal Solutions showcasing a diversity of solutions for future food security has just been uploaded online. The diverse range of solutions have been proposed by young thinkers from around the world.

Megan Bailey and I would like to thank everyone who worked hard to get this issue out!

contributors solutions.png

Here is the link to the issue and below you can find a list of the contributions! Happy Reading.


Solutions for a Food Secure World by Jessica Duncan and Megan Bailey

Shifting Power Relations and Poor Practices in Land Deals through Participatory Action in Marracune, Mozambique by Helena Shilomboleni

Food Sovereignty in Rebellion: Decolonization, Autonomy, Gender Equity, and the Zapatista Solution by Levi Gahman


Valuing What Really Matters: A Look at Soil Currency by Randall Coleman

Decreasing Distance and Re-Valuing Local: How Place-Based Food Systems Can Foster Socio-Ecological Sustainability by Susanna E. Klassen

Reversing the Burden of Proof for Sustainable Aquaculture by Simon R. Bush

Alternative Foods as a Solution to Global Food Supply Catastrophes by Seth D. Baum, David C. Denkenberger, and Joshua M. Pearce

Black Soldier Fly: A Bio Tool for Converting Food Waste into Livestock Feed by Marwa Shumo


The Importance of Hunting for Future Inuit Food Security by C. Hoover, S. Ostertag, C. Hornby, C. Parker, K. Hansen-Craik, L.L. Loseto, and T. Pearce

Crediting Farmers for Nutrient Stewardship: Using Carbon Markets to Create Positive Environmental Change by Elizabeth Hardee
Circular Solutions for Linear Problems: Principles for Sustainable Food Futures by Stefano Pascucci and Jessica Duncan

Transparency for Just Seafood Systems by Megan Bailey and Niklas Egels Zandén


India’s Pastoralist Communities: Solutions for Survival Monika Agarwal Interviewed by Jessica Duncan

Book Review

Cities at the Forefront of Future Food Solutions by Aniek Hebinck

From Uniformity to Diversity


By Adi.simionov – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0


A new report was just released by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems (IPES): From uniformity to diversity: A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems.
The report asks three key questions:
  1. What are the outcomes of industrial agriculture / diversified agroecological systems?
  2. What is keeping industrial agriculture in place?
  3. How can the balance be shifted?
 Key messages include:
  • What is required is a fundamentally different model of agriculture based on diversifying farms and farming landscapes, replacing chemical inputs, optimizing biodiversity and stimulating interactions between different species, as part of holistic strategies to build long-term fertility, healthy agro-ecosystems and secure livelihoods, i.e. ‘diversified agroecological systems’.
  • Political incentives must be shifted in order for these alternatives to emerge beyond the margins. A series of modest steps can collectively shift the centre of gravity in food systems.
Read the full report
Read the key messages, also available in French and Spanish

CFS in Rome: The majority of governments remain blind to the challenges of global food security

La Via Campesina Press Release (Rome October 15th, 2014)

The delegation of La Via Campesina, gathered in Rome for the 41st session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), recognizes the CFS as the major international forum for debate and decision making on agricultural and food issues. LVC urges governments to take urgent action in favor of peasant and indigenous agriculture, which is the only model capable of feeding the world. On the occasion of World Food Day, we restate our commitment to struggle for Food Sovereignty as a solution to the multiple crises affecting our societies. We reaffirm our commitment to the recognition and enforcement of peasant rights.

The celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Guidelines on the Right to Food has shown a huge gap between rights and their priority, respect, and application in reality. In this sense, LVC expressed deep disappointment with the lack of commitment to the application of the Guidelines.

Kannayian Subramaniam, a farmer from the state of Tamil Nadu in India denounced the attacks in the WTO to the food reserves created in India: “Public stock holding is vital to the food and nutrition security of any country. It is one of the main weapons that we have against food price volatility. Any trade measure that comes in the way of countries assisting the poorest and most marginalised people is unacceptable to us. The principle of coherence of human rights overrides any trade negotiation or agreement that comes in the way of food security of our constituent groups.”[1] LVC confirms that it is essential to discuss market rules within the CFS.

The adoption of Principles for responsible investment in agriculture (rai) is not sufficient to guarantee the rights of peasant communities, landless people and agricultural workers. It is positive that the primary role of peasants in investment in agriculture is recognized prior to the recognition of the role of the corporate sector. However, the rai do not give clear and strong guidance in the interest of the small-scale producers.
The guidelines do not contain sufficient safeguards to stop land grabbing and other destructive actions by private capital and complicit governments. No real progress in promoting the creation of decent work, workers rights, and in the fight against discrimination of women was made.

As mentioned by Javier Sanchez, a peasant farmer from Aragón: “We need public policies in favor of food sovereignty, promoting agroecology, local markets, the empowerment of women, access to the profession for young people and access to and control over land, forests, water and seeds. ”

La Via Campesina expresses the need for the CFS to take a greater role in the design of agricultural and international food policies. We recognize the progress made since its reform and are committed to further promote policies that address the needs of the most excluded populations. LVC urges the CFS to launch processes to develop policies that support stable markets and agroecological agriculture, which are respectful of human and peasant rights. These policies must also contribute to stop climate change, ensure access to resources such as seeds and water and put the public interest before private interests.

LVC press contacts in Rome:
Annelies Schorpion (EN, ES, FR, NL): annelies.schorpion@viacampesina.org, +39 3511556740
Ivan Mammana (EN, ES, FR, IT): cooperazione@aiab.it, +39

[1]    See the video of Kannayian Subramaniams speech