Agroecology best placed to feed the world – UN Report

Agroecology best placed to feed the world – UN Report

Our dependence on finite resources for food production adversely affects food security. A new report from the UN promoting a knowledge intensive approach rather than the current input intensive approach argues this point. “To feed 9 billion people in 2050, we urgently need to adopt the most efficient farming techniques available,”says Olivier De Schutter, the UN Special Rapporteur and author of the report, entitled “Agro-ecology and the right to food.”

“Today’s scientific evidence demonstrates that agroecological methods outperform the use of chemical fertilizers in boosting food production where the hungry live – especially in unfavourable environments,” he added. Conventional farming relies on expensive inputs, fuels climate change and is not resilient to climatic shocks, notes the study, which is based on an extensive review of existing scientific data.

“It simply is not the best choice anymore,” Mr. De Schutter stresses. “A large segment of the scientific community now acknowledges the positive impacts of agroecology on food production, poverty alleviation and climate change mitigation – and this is what is needed in a world of limited resources.

IOA welcomed this report. Grace Maher Development Officer stated that this report challenges those who are promoting GM as the way to combat global hunger and poverty. The timing of this report is important as Europe looks to change its current legislation on GM. “The economic element of the GM debate cannot be ignored. Famers who have grown GM crops have increased production costs due to a greater dependence on expensive inputs. GM technology is not resource or cost effective therefore it is not a viable option for famers either in Europe or in the majority world” she said.


Agroecology –  applies ecological science to the design of agricultural systems that can help put an end to food crises and address climate-change and poverty. It enhances soils productivity and protects the crops against pests by relying on the natural environment such as beneficial trees, plants, animals and insects, according to the study.

IOA – The Irish Farmers and Growers Association is the largest organic certification organisation in Ireland representing approx 1,000 farmers, growers and processors. It is responsible for certifying the organic provenance of its members produce and the IOA symbol indicates that a product has met the highest standard of organic integrity. IOA also works to inform the public about the benefits or organic food and to support the development of organic food production in Ireland.


Grace Maher

Development Officer IOFGA

Tel 087 6125989