On World Food Day CWS welcomes a new report Seeds for Life: Scaling Up Agro-diversity.
It gives a stark warning that without access to a wide gene pool, farmers will be unable to spread their risk, or breed new varieties to adapt to changing weather patterns.
The report emphasizes that the solutions for climate change adaptation do not rest with agribusiness corporations, who sell relatively few varieties, and the development of modern agricultural methods and marketing which are chiefly responsible for the disappearance of global crop diversity.
Instead, urgent action must be taken to support farmers to revive their seed saving practices and knowledge, and to keep this diversity alive and accessible in fields today and for the future.
Many of CWS partners actively promote agro-ecological farming practices using a combination of traditional and modern practices that work best on their land.
“Today we received notification that MONLAR has made an agreement with Sri Lanka’s Department of Agriculture on developing a collaborative approach to promote ecological agriculture at the national and provincial levels. This is a result of the investment they have made in improving farming practice and in vigorous campaigning for major policy changes,” says Pauline McKay, National Director.Monlar has developed eco-agriculture practices to help poor struggling farmers survive without debt or the loss of land and dignity. They report improved returns and better family nutrition.
Monlar says this will give farmers more control over food production, enhancing their food sovereignty. Significantly, the agreement is comprehensive and will involve paddy farming as well as fruit and vegetable production.
The loss of 75% of the world’s agricultural diversity in recent decades means that crop varieties that could help farmers to adapt to new climate conditions may not be available when needed.
The report released on World Food Day (October 16) has been produced by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (of which Christian World Service is a member), Gaia Foundation and African Biodiversity.
This week is the global Churches Week of Action on Food (13-20 October 2013), an annual focus for churches and Christian organizations to act and speak together out together on food justice issues.
Monlar is one of the partners featured in this year’s Christmas Appeal: Share Water, Share Life.
16 October 2013