What Can Agroecology Contribute to the Transformation of Food Systems

Insights from the T20 Policy Brief
Policy Brief Agroecology

The Added Value of This Article

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Value add for readers

  • The article provides readers with valuable insights from the T20 Policy Brief on Agroecology, offering a comprehensive understanding of how agroecology, guided by transdisciplinary principles, can play a pivotal role in transforming global food systems to address ecological degradation and malnutrition.

  • Readers gain a nuanced perspective on the intersection of agroecology with the G20’s sustainable development agenda, particularly in the context of achieving Zero Hunger (Sustainable Development Goal 2).

In today’s world, ensuring access to sufficient and safe nutritious food remains a pressing challenge, with current food production and consumption patterns contributing to ecological degradation and global malnutrition. Recognizing the urgency of transforming food systems, the Working Group on Food Systems and Agroecology of GIZ India’s Environment, Climate Change and Biodiversity Cluster, in collaboration with partners, has shed light on the potential of agroecology through a policy brief published by Think20, an Engagement Group of the G20.

Agroecology, as defined by the High Level Panel of Experts in 2019, represents an approach to transforming food systems. Guided by 13 interconnected principles, aligned with the 10 elements of agroecology put forth by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), this transdisciplinary approach encompasses ecological, economic, socio-cultural, technological, and political dimensions of food systems. The primary goal is to optimize interactions between humans, plants, animals, and the environment, fostering connectivity from field to societal levels, with a focus on strengthening producer-consumer relationships.

The G20’s theme in India, “One Family, One Earth, One Future,” underscored the interconnectedness of all life forms and emphasized the impact of human societal choices on this delicate balance. Central in the discussions and events leading up to the G20 summit was the critical role of food systems in achieving sustainability. Agroecology emerged as a pivotal topic, aligning with the G20’s broader agenda for sustainable development.

The policy brief advocates for agroecology

The policy brief advocates for prioritizing agroecology within the G20 framework as a key approach toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero Hunger. Additionally, it calls for the advancement of analytical frameworks capable of identifying synergies, gaps, and trade-offs within food systems. This approach fosters convergence and facilitates multistakeholder action across the food system, providing a comprehensive strategy to tackle the complex challenges faced by global food systems.

But has agroecology made it into the G20 New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration? And to what extent was agroecology part of the discussion in Delhi amongst the country leaders?

Kirti Mishra, Director of “Ecociate Consultants” has more than 25 years of experience in the agriculture, food and development sector. As co-author of the policy brief and observer of the summit, he offers insightful perspectives on these questions:

“The New Delhi Declaration document acknowledges the importance of sustainable agriculture, biodiversity preservation, and gender-inclusive strategies. It strongly emphasizes the need to address the impacts of climate change. Notably, there is an absence of explicit mention of agroecology or the adoption of natural farming, which could have directly facilitated transformative changes towards more sustainable and enhanced food systems.”

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