Abstract:Global poverty and hunger are most prevalent where food is actually being produced—in rural areas. Roughly 70 per cent of the 1.4 billion extremely poor people in the world live in rural areas (IFAD, 2010). The increasing volatility in food prices, erratic effects of global climate change, and the increasing scarcity of natural resources present new and immediate dynamic challenges for agricultural development. We can no longer attempt to address problems with a one-track approach, as was the case with Green Revolution policies, by solely focusing on increasing yield production. For too long, agricultural policies have been geared towards increasing productivity without taking into account the associated social and environmental impacts which are equally, if not more, important. A sustainable food system must consider the economic, social and environmental impacts of its production, consumption and distribution to ensure its economic viability, social and cultural inclusivity and environmental sustainability. Linking these three key tenets to agricultural policy is rarely done, as it requires valuing intangibles such as local culture, health and the environment in the context of a food production system. (...)

Keywords:sustainable agriculture, family farm programmes, Brazil, food production, agroecological
Publication Date:
Type/Issue:Working Paper/123