February 2019
Event with Janun Lüneburg

Can we feed the world ecologically?

This question, amongst others, were worked on by the participants of the weekend workshop “agriculture in a global context” that was taking place in January 2019 in Lüneburg. In the beginning, we got to know an overview about the distribution of agricultural and grassland in the world. One important message: Europe contains a lot of fertile soils. If the global agricultural land would be distributed equally amongst all people in world, everyone would have 2000 m². In Europe, everyone is using additional 700 m² that are imported from other parts of the world. This land is mostly used for growing fodder. The high level of meat consumption in Europe is not only unhealthy, but at the same time leads to a higher need of cropland. So to feed the world ecologically, we need to reduce our consumption of meat and milk drastically. All participants agreed: if we consider all the benefits that ecological agriculture provides for the health of landscapes and consumers, we need this change in our agriculture and our habits of eating.
We also need a shift in the agricultural policy and global cooperations: the Common Agricultural Policy is giving billions of Euros to farmers across Europa – the bigger the farm is, the more money it gets. Also smaller farms are dependent on the European money, even though most of them just want to obtain just producer prices, as a farmer and a vegetable gardener told us when we interviewed them on the local market. Also in countries like Tansania, small scale farmers are threatened, e.g. by land grabbing. We heard the voices from people affected by land grabbing – and how it can be done diferently: Jekapu from YSD Malawi explained the participants YSD’s work with the communities to strengthen their capacities in ecological agriculture and disaster management.
We were able to find ways and acitivities for individuals, politicians, farmers and the civil society to engage for a sustainable and just agriculture. Only the big companies providing seeds, fertilizers and pesticides have limited possibilities, because their core business is based on the exploitation of soils, people and the nature and a concentration of power to very few people and companies.