Want to Feed the World? Go Small-Scale


According to a new publication by the U.N. Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), significant and transformative changes are needed in our food, agriculture and trade systems if we, as a global community, intend to increase diversity on farms, reduce our use of fertilizer and other inputs, support small-scale farmers and create strong local food systems.

The report, which links global security and escalating conflicts with the urgent need to transform agriculture toward “ecological intensification,” concludes that:


This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers.

If we are to ever achieve the goal of food security for everyone living on the planet, the U.N. says that monoculture, GMOs and other large-scale farming tactics are not the way to accomplish it. Rather, small-scale farms full of diversity, reduction in green-house gas emissions form livestock and a lack of pesticides are some of the key indicators given.

Read the full article here and the full UNCTAD publication here.

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