Global population predictions vary, but most foresee some 9 billion people on the planet by 2050. Currently about 15 % of the human population – more than 1 billion people – are hungry and live in poverty whilst 75 % of these, and other less poor but vulnerable people, live in rural areas and depend on farming for their livelihoods.
Universal food security is critical and underpins political stability, social welfare and economic growth. But myriad challenges exist in the water-energy-food nexus, including increasing competition for land and water, rising prices of fuel and fertilisers, and climate change. At the same time, smallholder farmers are often pitted against large-scale corporate interests. In many instances, they have no bargaining power, no voice, and are dangerously exposed to the capriciousness of day-to-day life.
Across the world, complex challenges abound. To help meet these challenges, the European Commission’s ‘Agenda for Change’ – a strategy for increasing the impact of EU development policy – urges support for sustainable practices in agriculture including:
European Development Days 2012
Six panels will address the issues of sustainable agriculture, food security, and resilience:
European Development Days will also feature several special addresses and project lab presentations where participants can share best practices.