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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

"Can agroecological farming feed the world? Farmers' and academia's views."

Historical dimension of agricultural development changes to feed the world

Andrea Fadani

Foundation fiat panis, Germany


The long historical development of agriculture is largely unnoticed. The domestication of plants and animals goes back over thousands of years and was not really targeted but probably adapted to specific circumstances. The overall speed of agricultural changes was extremely slow. But in the last 150 years an accelerated speed towards a transition to a new mode of agricultural production was observed. With the beginning of the period of Enlightenment the application of scientific methods and procedures in agriculture became a main driver to generate modern agricultural practices. While in the 1960’s the so-called ‘Green Revolution’ had been recognised as a spectacular production growth path that has outpaced population growth, today this modern type of farming seems to be blocked in a dead end. Are the modern forms of agriculture more efficient, but finally not showing the needed sustainable foundation? And with the overall challenge of climate change can this type of agriculture reduce the too high negative burden on the environment? Over the last 25 years the question about the shift towards an agroecological farming has raised repeatedly. But the research community was not able to pay enough attention to find answers to this inherent problem of the agriculture systems. Can we learn from the various research activities and will the agricultural scientific community be able to tackle this problem? This paper will analyse the historical dimension of this pathway, present the requirements to design a new era and present the challenges of this process for the scientific community.

Keywords: Agricultural changes, agroecological farming, historical developments, scientific community

Contact Address: Andrea Fadani, Foundation fiat panis, Syrlinstr. 7, 89073 Ulm, Germany, e-mail: info@stiftung-fiat-panis.de

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