Germany joins Agroecology Coalition
“When we are combating hunger today, we have to do so not only to prevent the next hunger crisis from becoming even bigger, but to stop it from happening altogether if possible. This is why we are supporting our partner countries in growing more themselves. Here, agroecology is the clever and sustainable option because it works with, rather than against, nature and the local population.” With these words, and together with Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir, Federal Development Minister Svenja Schulze announced Germany’s accession to the world-wide Agroecology Coalition.
An opportunity for smallholders
“Smallholders throughout the world are suffering from climate change and the impact of a far too industrialised agriculture: water shortage, destroyed soils, pollution with pesticides and the extinction of species,” the Minister continued. With agroecology, smallholders could become more independent from expensive pesticides, patented industrial seed or fossil fertiliser. For example, seeking more diversified selections of plants could enhance resilience to water shortage and pests, thus enabling smallholders to earn a stable income.
Furthermore, as a holistic socio-ecological approach, agroecology had an impact beyond the level of agricultural production ranging from participatory land use through promoting local value chains and markets to consumption. The concept was beneficial to women in particular. In many countries, they were the bearers of farming knowledge and the drivers of change.
Founded at the UN Food Systems Summit
The Agroecology Coalition was founded in the context of the UN Food Systems Summit 2021. Its members commit to promoting the transformation of agriculture and food systems with agroecology and its 13 principles. Together, the members are to learn how agroecology works best in practice and how successful approaches can be disseminated. In addition, events and dialogues are supported at international level in order to promote a better understanding and more visibility of agroecology. The Coalition reports on a voluntary basis to the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). It has a membership of more than 40 countries and 90 organisations, including the European Union, the African Union and the FAO. The Agroecology Coalition secretariat is hosted by Bioversity International.