Oxfam debates future of agriculture — online

Participation The online discussion features daily essays from experts from around the world

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Oxfam Canada has begun a 10-day-long online discussion on the future of agriculture.

Essays from experts around the world are being posted online addressing four questions relevant to the challenge of feeding an estimated global population of nine billion by 2050.

The questions are: What if farmers’ knowledge was the driver of innovations and investments? What if women owned the land they till and the food they produce?

What if all food was produced without fossil fuels? What if all farmers could rely on effective systems to manage risk?

The debate will run from December 10 to December 21 concurrently in English, French and Spanish. The discussion papers can be found at: http://blogs.oxfam.org/future-of-agriculture.

The panel includes Nigerian farmer Susan Godwin struggling with her daughter’s desire to run the family farm, how IFPRI’s Shenggen Fan would address climate risks, and how FAO’s José Graziano da Silva would reduce farming’s dependence on oil. See if you agree with author Anna Lappé that agriculture can break free of oil.

Take on IFAD’s Kanayo Nwanze, who sees hope in smallholder innovation, or Harold Poelma from Cargill, who finds it in comparative advantage and free trade. Be challenged by Bangladeshi activist Rokeya Kabir, who argues women’s rights are fundamental to food security.

To conclude the discussion, Indian sustainable development expert Sonali Bisht and U.S. author Roger Thurow will provide overall analyses and draw out key recommendations. Two new essays will be posted daily, and every day will feature readers’ response to the experts’ ideas. All essays and comments will inform an Oxfam discussion paper to be published in 2013.

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