AG Kawamura, a California produce grower and shipper, and a Co-Chair of Solutions from the Land (SfL), used his invitation to a State Department stakeholder listening session today on the upcoming UN Food Systems Summit to stress the need for U.S. government negotiators to advocate for keeping farmers and livestock producers at the center of all food system discussions and decisions.
Kawamura told other stakeholders called to the listening session that farmers and ranchers must be enabled to not just produce high quality and nutritious food, but to also deliver ecosystem services that support the attainment of UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as improved water quality, the curbing of climate change and the elimination of hunger.
Kawamura also told the assembled stakeholders that a systems approach is needed to meet food security challenges by recognizing the tremendous diversity of agricultural landscapes and ecosystems. A multi-faceted approach – as opposed to the outdated, single “silo” approach to developing policy – enables producers to utilize the systems and practices that best support their farming operations
The SfL co-chair also asserted that science-based decision making, in conjunction with farmer and indigenous innovation, must be the foundation for the adoption of climate smart technologies and practices for sustainable agriculture and global food production
The session closed with the listening session moderator quoted Kawamura in asserting, “It’s time for us to be a do-tank not a think-tank!”
In addition to the State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs, the listening session was co-hosted by the USDA and the U.S. Agency for International Development.