Resilient Food Systems for Health of Self and Earth

International Rural Women’s Conference

Summary

Our world has a broken food system with poor production, unequal distribution and waste. For health we have to secure quality food for all. However, food quality is diminishing through soil degradation, chemical residues and subsequent processing. Agroecological farming techniques are the proven solution worldwide. Women are leading the way.

Abstract

Global trade can not fix a broken food system with 0.8 billion undernourished (hungry), 2 billion malnourished (micronutrient deficient) and 2 billion over-nourished (overweight). Enough food is produced in the world. Thirty to forty percent of food produced, however, is never eaten. It is either thrown away, doesn’t reach markets, or is lost in storage, during harvesting or on the field.

Soils are degrading to lower fertility under high-input farming, thus requiring more and more synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The outcomes are reduced nutrient density and increased chemical residues of foods produced. Processing and preparation is reducing further the nutrition of a lot of food which is eaten. These factors exacerbate malnutrition and contribute to obesity and chronic diseases.

Farmers have become highly dependent on outside suppliers. To secure income they have to apply inputs to maintain yields under weather and market risks. Such farming tends to compromise the environment and farmers face pressures to reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Agroecological farming has been proven in practice and endorsed by UN agencies as the way to feed the world while securing biodiversity and not needing GMO. Soil fertility is regenerated and dependence on synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and diesel is greatly reduced. Strengths are the greater use of local resources and knowledge, which require linkages in rural communities. Associated soil carbon sequestration will slow climate change.

Women are leading the way to resilient food systems by action on farms, in gardens, shops and kitchens for the health and wellbeing of all.

time : 11:15 - 12:05

date : Monday 23rd March, 2015

location : Adelaide Showground, Wayville SA

contact : Carol Schofield AM

phone : (08) 8552 9412