Conference on ‘Mainstreaming Agro-Ecological Approaches in Farming’

organisers
 1st and 2nd March, 2015

5TH NATIONAL ORGANIC FARMING CONVENTION

NITTR, SECTOR 26, CHANDIGARH

Declaration

Recognising that positive and negative impacts on the state of health of soil and water, incidence of pests and diseases and biodiversity conservation are a direct outcome of the current agricultural  paradigm, and

Realising  the degradation of agro ecosystems and landscapes due to current models of agriculture, the melt down of natural ecosystem service provisions leading to ecological un-sustainability   thereby causing a serious barrier to  enhancement of agriculture productivity and farmers income, and

Considering that the solution for the agrarian crisis lies only in changing the production relations -�� relations between the resources used in the production shifting from high external input based model to low external input model, shifting from monocultures to integrated systems- reconfiguring the relations between people involved in the production operations – the producer, the labour, the trader, the consumer- and improving access to sustainable production resources for people involved in production supported by an appropriate policy environment, and

Accepting that the emerging challenges of food security, livelihood sustainability, public health, right of people to safe food, wider ecological health, regional economic development and social justice, restoring and salvaging the existing commons, and creation of new commons can be dealt better through adoption of agro ecological approaches for agricultural development, we recommend that

Policy frame work

  • A shift to diversified, biological resource integrated models of agriculture is required to correct inappropriate resource use. This calls for a shift to intercropping, multiple cropping systems, appropriate crop rotations and integration of crops and animals.
  • Land use and farming systems need to be planned consciously by paying attention to the challenges of ecological intensification.
  • Shift in the support systems (prices, subsidies, research, institutions) should be reconfigured from current subsidies on external inputs to support to ecosystem services
  • Maintaining ecosystem specific agronomic diversity is essential. For example, the wetlands, rainfed areas, hill regions etc need support to practice appropriate farming systems
  • Using ‘national food security’ as a crutch to promote the current unsustainable models of agriculture has to be stopped. Instead diverse and safe food like millets, pulses, oilseeds and various locally grown fruits and vegetables should be promoted.
  • Restrictions should be imposed to regulate and control the use of inappropriate technologies like heavy machines, agro chemicals, GMOs and other technologies that have biosafety implications.
  • The emerging crisis impacting pollinators and the consequent deleterious impact on the productivity and yields of several crops has to be recognised and dealt with utmost urgency
  • An open access regime has to be created to stop private appropriation of knowledge and genetic resources
  • Appropriate spaces for non formal knowledge systems has to be provided

 

Scientific Researchers and Extension

  • Agricultural research needs to adopt an agro ecological perspective while setting the research and training agenda
  • Researchers should shift towards participatory approaches involving practicing farmers and farm workers and develop appropriate technologies to suit their needs
  • Collective, location specific approaches to extension have to be followed to restore the health of agro-eco systems
  • Increased investments in agro ecological research needs to be made
  • Agricultural research performance should be redefined to include the criteria of sustainability and ecosystem health

We resolve that

  • The Society for Agro Ecology (SAEi) will continue to engage with scientific community, policy makers, farmers and farm workers to increase and improve dialogue for an appropriate shift towards agro ecological approaches
  • Farmers and farm workers will be invited to share their knowledge and experiences to enrich the collective body of knowledge on agro ecology
  • Local chapters of SAEi will support the formation of technical services groups to help farmers and farm workers to improve their livelihood sustainability
  • SAEi will engage with various social movements (farmers and farm workers’ organisations, science movements, community based organisations and civil society organisations) to involve them in meaningful dialogue with policy makers, researchers and the farming community

For further information pls contact

Society for Agro Ecology

12-13-445, Street no 1, Tarnaka,

Secunderabad-500 017

www.agroecology.in

email: agroecology@csa-india.org