It is extensively agreed by many that today’s global agriculture system and structures is a social and environmental disaster.
This is due to natural hazards or human–induced actions that result in significant changes in circumstances over a relatively short time period, agriculture being one of the distracting actions.
It is widely conceded that a radical transformation of our agricultural systems is urgently needed in order to rescue our food systems rapidest. But the proposed innovations for more sustainable food systems remain drastically different.
Most of the suggested innovations can be broadly understood as either seeking to conform with – or to transform – the status quo.
Some seek to keep the agriculture industry as close to existing practices as possible. This is true of the increasing number of corporate and financial actors who seek to solve the food crisis by developing new technologies.
These technologies are envisaged as being part of what is being called the “fourth industrial revolution”. The “answer” here is thought to lie in a fusion of technologies that blurs the lines between physical, digital and biological domains.
But there is an alternative to this future, and this is none other than Ecological Organic Agriculture involving the application of ecological principles for the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems.
Numerous researches on ecological organic agriculture have shown how it can contribute to food sovereignty, which emphasizes the democratization of food systems. But again and again it contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals.
In contrast to the technological vision, ecological organic agriculture innovations promote circular systems that involve recycling, reuse and combining resources to reduce dependency on external inputs, in particular fossil fuels. They copycat natural cycles and the functional diversity of natural ecosystems.
But given these highly contested views on innovations for food and agriculture, it is vital that everyone is able to exercise their right to have a say on the future of their food supply, because the future is within us.
Deliberative and inclusive processes such as citizens’ juries, peoples’ assemblies and community-led participatory processes are urgently needed to decide priorities for food and agricultural innovations. This is all the more important in today’s context of rapid global change and uncertainty.
So do you want to live in a world in which artificial food is produced by intelligent robots and corporations that put profits before people? The answer is likely to be no.
We still believe in ecological organic agriculture innovations – and only through it we can nourish ourselves and our communities in a fair, ecologically regenerative and culturally rich way.