Monday, June 11, 2018
International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development
Here is the full version and here's a shorter (but still hefty) executive summary of a report that came out ten years ago, called the IAASTD. I never got through the whole thing back when it came out, but I'm beginning to think it would be worthwhile to read it now. The drafting of the report brought together some 400 experts from different branches of agriculture, science, food security, and economic development, to look at the past and chart a way forward to attain sustainable food security for the entire planet. Surprising to many people was that the report focused on smaller-scale agroecological approaches as a way to improve human and environmental health and food security, as opposed to further consolidation and industrialization of farming. Here is an article about the much-publicized withdrawal of big biotech companies from the report's team, and how scientific publications tended to believe uncritically the biotech companies' affirmations that the IAASTD process was somehow biased against them. In so doing, journalists pushed the corporate line and essentially discounted the expertise and peer review of the other 400 or more minds working on the report.