Sustainability in a decisive phase (3): smart and sustainable landuse

Many existing cultivation methods are not only unsustainable, but als suboptimal. In almost all product groups the areas under protection can yield three to five times as much per hectare if better farming methods are adopted.

Food production and food security

This is important because over the next few decades the production of food fro the expanding and increasingly affluent world population will have to rise drastically – and we can no longer clear forests to expand crop areas. To deliver food security for the world population and especially for the poor, there is a need for smart land use: a greater emphasis on productivity, quality and production at lower costs per unit per product. We have to do more with less – more production, but with less impact on biodiversity, lower water and energy use, fewer emissions, and lower fertilizer and pesticide inputs. To bring about this transition to sustainable argiculture, greater attention has to be paid to the quality of farm management and agricultural entrepreneurship, while at the same time forging close ties with an ambitious environmental and social agenda. Solidaridad is one of the first development organizations to base its producer support programmes on these principles.

Decisive phase

There are signs of a breakthrough. The time has now come to organize the transition towards a sustainable and biobased economy. New arrangements have to be shaped, alliances have to be forged and working processes reorganized. A key concept in this process is upscalling: what has already been tested and proved to work must be scaled up and made more widely applicable and accessible. This challenging task is in a critical phase. Can we make quick enough progress with creating support for innovation, deploying financial resources in the right place and developing the resolve needed to show that there is another way?

This is part three of three blogs based on a publication by Nico Roozen, Solidaridad Network Executive Director, in our Annual Report 2010, but is still considered to be important for our work.
Read more:

Sustainability in a decisive phase (1): An integrated market approach
Sustainability in a decisive phase (2): improved producer programme