At the beginning of June 2021, the Coalition Against Hunger (CCF) and Mrs. MeryameKitir, the Belgian Minister of Development Cooperation, met to exchange views on agroecology and the upcoming United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS). This meeting took place in Leuven, in an agroecological farm managed as a cooperative under the name BoerEnCompagnie. The Coalition wanted to hand deliver to the Minister two newly produced documents: une note de référence sur l’agroécologie et un document de position sur l’UNFSS.
The objective of the agroecology background note is to provide policy makers with a detailed and scientifically recognized definition of what is meant by this concept that is increasingly present in agricultural policy debates. The CCF background note invites Belgian authorities to make agroecology the main driver of the transition to sustainable food systems. It underlines that we are talking about agroecology, not about integrated agriculture, smart farming or sustainable agriculture. These are concepts with vague contours used by the agro-industrial lobbies to distract the policy makers in order to perpetuate the status quo.
Since taking office, the Minister of Development Cooperation has indicated her willingness to support the transition to sustainable food systems but, for the first time, the concept of agroecology is mentioned in a policy statement. However, much remains to be done to ensure that agroecology and its 13 principles truly guide Belgian agricultural cooperation. In 2020, the CCF launched the Yes2Agroecology campaign to call for an increase in the share of cooperation projects supporting agroecology on the one hand, and more support for research on the other.
During this meeting, Minister Kitir expressed her willingness to: strengthen support for agroecology in all new Belgian development programs; strive to reach 15% in the budget for agriculture; support scientific research on agroecology and defend the place of agroecology in international institutions and negotiations dedicated to food systems.
The commitments have been made, and CCF is pleased with them. However, it’s now time for implementation, which will require, among other things, a revision of Belgium’s “food security and agriculture” strategy note, which the CCF considers anachronistic. We sit on the edge and monitor with keen interest the implementation of these commitments by the Belgium Government. What is certain is that the implementation of these commitments will have positive ripple effects in the other EU member states in relation to Africa.
To learn more about the commitments made by Minister Kitir during this meeting, read the entire article on:https://www.cncd.be/agroecologie-belgique-la-ministre-Kitir-s-engage
Video : Agroécologie : la ministre Kitir s’engage, place à la mise en œuvre ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bdnfGkfaczE
Coaliton Contre la faim (CCF)is one of the major platforms of AEFJN