Agriculture and the entire food system must be at the core of any vision that sees all people have enough healthy food in a healthy environment. Current food systems are characterized by food production surpluses and food waste, unsustainable agricultural practices and the marginalization of smallholder farmers. They also contribute to severe environmental and social problems, such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, soil degradation, unemployment, poverty and food insecurity. The UN-commissioned International Assessment of Agriculture, Science, Knowledge and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report stated in 2008 that a transition to sustainable agriculture and food systems will provide access to enough healthy food for everyone, and contribute to safeguarding our natural resources. Although sustainable and resilient agriculture and food systems exist, current economic and policy conditions are restricting their potential to become mainstream. Therefore a shift in agricultural and food policies and practices is needed.
Improved food security, rural welfare and the sustainable use of natural resources through the implementation of sustainable agriculture and food system policies, based on the findings of the International Assessment of Agriculture, Science and Knowledge for Development (IAASTD).
The CCGA programme operates at both international and national levels to initiate transformative action and a shift towards sustainable agriculture and food systems. Our approach is based on the assumption that national strategies, policies and projects in agriculture and food security are not only developed and implemented in isolation, but are strongly influenced by global policy processes and decisions. In return, global policy is often influenced by governments and other influential stakeholders, and what they consider being their interests and priorities.
We work with the following methods:
- Inclusive policy dialogues: We engage in and arrange inclusive policy dialogues to reach and exchange with decision-makers in politics, business, civil society, farmer communities and research. In this multi-stakeholder setting, we discuss and develop transformation pathways towards sustainable agriculture, food and nutrition security.
- Integrated policy planning: We work in partnership with governments to support them in the development of sustainable agricultural policies. We use the planning tool T21 / iSDG – based on system-dynamic modelling – to simulate integrated and long-term policy scenarios. This is also of particular use in view of the current planning efforts for the implementation of the SDGs over the next 15 years.
- Systemic thinking: We foster systemic thinking and evidence-based medium to long term decision-making through capacity-building and strengthening of national university curricula.
- Goal 1: The CFS contributes to the progress monitoring (follow-up and review) of the Agenda 2030, including by promoting its multi-stakeholder mechanism
- Goal 2: Strengthen the link and exchange between the CFS in Rome and the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) in New York (in support of Goal 1)
- Goal 3: In at least two pilot countries (Kenya and Senegal), improved policy dialogue and integrated policy planning contribute to the formulation of national policies and agricultural strategies that support sustainable agricultural development with a long-term perspective
Towards new horizons: In 2017, the Biovision advocacy team will initiate a preparatory phase for two new projects. On the one hand, we will advocate for enhanced scientific legitimacy and acceptance of agroecology by promoting research and evidence. On the other hand, we will focus on agriculture and food systems policy with regards to mitigation of and adaptation to climate change. More information coming soon.
- Several multi-stakeholder workshops took place with various actors from within the food system, including the government, research, farmers, civil society, business and international organizations. These groups contributed to the customization of the T21 model, validated the model findings, and formulated policy recommendations.
- Technical teams from the Ministries of Agriculture and the Ministries of Planning and Finance, but also representatives from civil society, were trained in integrated policy planning at University of Bergen, Norway, as well as during specialized courses in Addis Ababa and Rome. In Senegal, a partnership with the Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Analyse Economique (ENSAE) has been established to host a permanent curriculum on system-dynamic modelling / T21.
- The trained staff work in designated policy planning units within the governments and supports them in developing integrated policies and strategies for sustainable agriculture and food security. In Senegal, an analysis of the main agricultural policy plan 2014-2017 (PRACAS) was conducted based on the T21 model, and recommendations were put forward to the government.
- We work with local partner organizations in both countries: Biovision Africa Trust in Kenya, and Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rural (IPAR) in Senegal. CCGA also participated in the first Africa-wide Symposium on Agroecology in 2015.
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- CCGA actively engaged in the negotiation processes leading to three major international agreements: Rio+20 Conference (2012), Agenda 2030 (2015), and Addis Ababa Action Agenda (financing for development, 2015). We provided delegations and decision makers with evidence-based inputs, in particular around SDG 2 (“End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture”), and – among others – organized a High-Level Roundtable on “Food and Nutrition Security through Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in the post-2015 Agenda” in partnership with the Government of Benin. The SHIFT Message that emerged from this event was taken up by many delegations in the negotiations.
- At the CFS in Rome, CCGA contributed to and influenced the deliberations regarding the CFS’ engagement in the Agenda 2030. This was achieved through bilateral meetings with negotiators, the distribution of policy briefs and the organization of side-events. CCGA also repeatedly shared experiences and good-practices from the pilot countries Kenya and Senegal, for example during roundtables at the CFS Plenary meeting that takes place every October.