by Steven McFadden – December 7, 2022
As a citizen of Earth who reads the news, I feel compelled to raise my voice and declare 2023 to be The Year of Agroecology. Once again. Twelve months ago I declared 2022 to be The Year, but it’s plain that the global vision of agroecology and the actions to make it real are all the more imperative now.
Considering the state of the food world, I have not the patience to wait for some government or some non-profit organization somewhere to do the declaring. I do declare on my own.
As the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) wrote of 2022, “This year’s report should dispel any lingering doubts that the world is moving backwards in its efforts to end hunger, food insecurity, and malnutrition in all its forms.”
- Around 2.3 billion people in the world were moderately or severely food insecure in 2021.
- Globally in 2020, an estimated 22 percent of children under five years of age were stunted, 6.7 percent were wasted, and 5.7 percent were overweight.
Elsewhere on the national and global continuum of farms, food, and climate-change, the news is likewise perturbing.
- Agriculture consumes 70% of global water resources, while emitting up to 21% of greenhouse gases, contributing to 40% of climate damage.
- The human beings who do the actual labor of growing, processing, and serving our food continue to suffer harsh, unjust, and unhealthy conditions.
- As ultraprocessed and chemicalized food corruption continues apace, a grievous throng of diet-related diseases afflicting women and men continues to rise.
- The abysmal and cruel conditions of industrial animal agriculture continue to intensify under corporate consolidation, while calls for alternatives also intensify,
There is more, of course. But these few points more than suffice to make the argument that 2023 is a year to take action and that agroecology is our main chance. No dilly dallying, no waiting for a “perfect time.” Now is the time.
The many initiatives that fit under the wide umbrella of honest agroecology address all these issues and more with visionary, respectful, and practical approaches for clean, just, and sustainable farm, food, and life systems.
To appreciate the true spirit of agroecology and its global resonance, and to stimulate ideas on how individuals, households, communities, and institutions may participate, consider the seminal Declaration of the Forum for Food Sovereignty, Nyéléni.
Agroecology offers the world a wealth of ways to move through 2023 and the years ahead on pathways of sanity, responsibility, and beauty. Deep agroecology strives to light those pathways with information and inspiration.