Conference Agenda

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Session Overview
Session
253N: Farming of the future - What type of farming systems will be producing sufficient sustainable and nutritious food for everyone in 2050?
Time:
Thursday, 25/Apr/2019:
5:15pm - 6:45pm

Session Chair: Verena Seufert
Session Chair: Navin Ramankutty
Location: MB-120
Main Building, room 120, first floor, west wing, 80 (+14) seats
Session Topics:
What do people want from land?

Session Abstract

Agriculture is central to human livelihoods, providing food and fuel, playing a crucial role in economic development, and supporting unique cultures worldwide. Yet, agriculture today is not only a leading driver of environmental degradation and a major force driving the Earth System beyond the ‘safe-operating space’ for humanity – many people also do not have sufficient access to nutritious food. By 2050, models suggest that agricultural production must double in order to provide sufficient calories to feed the changing diets of an expected human population of 9-10 billion. The agricultural intensification and expansion required for such increased production risks to further contribute to climate change, deplete freshwater resources, threaten biodiversity, and degrade soil fertility. Simultaneously, global climate change requires food producers to cope with altered temperatures, water availability, and frequency of extreme weather events. Moreover, we do not only need to ensure physical and economic access to additional calorie production, but also the nutritional and cultural adequacy of this food. Novel and diverse methods of food production will, therefore, be required for sustainable food security, in which all people have consistent access to sufficient food produced with minimal environmental impact. Global agricultural systems are highly diverse, spanning traditional subsistence farming to technology-dependent agribusiness. This Roundtable discussion aims to assess the potential contribution of different existing and novel farming systems to global sustainable food security. Specifically, a panel consisting of experts with a diversity of backgrounds will be asked to discuss the agronomic, economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits of different farming systems. Panelists will also particularly be encouraged to consider how novel combinations of agricultural systems might support sustainable food production. Format: We will hold a roundtable discussion with 5 participants. The Roundtable participants will each give a 5-minute speed talks, followed by a roundtable discussion on questions pre-defined by the session chairs, as well as questions raised by the audience.


External Resource: - SESSION RECORDING - https://youtu.be/IKXMaazGsL0
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Presentations
ID: 335 / 253N: 1
253N Farming of the future – What type of farming systems will be producing sufficient sustainable and nutritious food for everyone in 2050? (INVITED ABSTRACTS ONLY)

Economically and environmentally sustainable farming systems

Allison Thomson

Field to Market, United States of America

The most widely adopted and successful farming systems will be those that provide farmers with a continuing livelihood and economic sustainability. Land systems science can identify systems that provide benefits to ecosystems and communities. Widespread public interest in understanding and reducing the environmental impact of agriculture can help to incentivize change through food supply chains. Providing common tools and insights to aid public understanding, corporate goal setting and farmer action is one method to drive change in farmer practices towards those with improved environmental outcomes. The exact sets of practices remain the decision of the land owners and operators.



ID: 368 / 253N: 2
253N Farming of the future – What type of farming systems will be producing sufficient sustainable and nutritious food for everyone in 2050? (INVITED ABSTRACTS ONLY)

Food sovereignty mechanisms can feed the world and cool the planet

Hannah Wittman

University of British Columbia, Canada

Over 200M farmer, fisher, and Indigenous families in the global food sovereignty movement argue that policies that increase community decision-making capacity, support infrastructure for the autonomous development of regional food systems, and enable agroecological production practices that address climate change and protect biodiversity will support the most sustainable and food secure ‘farming systems of the future’. This presentation will outline the main principles of the food sovereignty movement (Equity, Ecology and Empowerment) and discuss key institutional mechanisms supporting these principles: resource distribution, integrated knowledge exchange between farmers, researchers and policy makers, and increasing solidarity between urban consumers and land-based communities.



ID: 901 / 253N: 3
253N Farming of the future – What type of farming systems will be producing sufficient sustainable and nutritious food for everyone in 2050? (INVITED ABSTRACTS ONLY)

Agroecology-based systems as key levers for radical transformation of food systems

Urs Niggli

Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Switzerland

Current agricultural production entails trade-offs between food, feed, fiber, and fuel production on the one hand, and non-commodity ecosystem services on the other hand. Political incentives for sustainable and ecological intensification improved them incrementally. Agroecology based systems (organic farming, agroforestry or permaculture) might play a key role in a radical transformation of food systems. Global models show that by combining environmentally friendly farming, reduced production of concentrates for livestock and lower food wastage, trade-offs between production and eco-stability are reduced. Due to ecological and social strengths, organic agriculture is a particularly interesting farming system, and easy to understand and practice.



ID: 910 / 253N: 4
253N Farming of the future – What type of farming systems will be producing sufficient sustainable and nutritious food for everyone in 2050? (INVITED ABSTRACTS ONLY)

Sustainable intensification of agricultural systems

Patricio Grassini

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States of America

The combined impact of slowing yield growth in the world’s major breadbaskets and rapid expansion of crop production area puts our global food system on an unsustainable path. Without increasing crop yields on existing farmland while substantially reducing negative environmental impacts and GHG emissions, it will be difficult to achieve a food security without massive biodiversity loss and accelerated climate change. Adequate investment and prioritization of research and development is required to reach the required degree of intensification by mid-century.