Miguel Altieri to address ORC conference and London audiences

Prof. Miguel Altieri of Berkeley University, California, will address several UK audiences in a tour of the UK from 17-19th January 2012.

His tour will culminate in a presentation to the closing plenary session of the ORC Organic Producer Conference at Aston University, Birmingham on 19th January.

Miguel Altieri is the leading global exponent of agro-ecological approaches to rural development and food security, with extensive experience in the United States and Latin America. These experiences and perspectives demonstrate clearly that the application of agro-ecology to design biodiverse, resilient and resource-efficient farming systems is the most relevant and robust pathway to ensure sustainable food production while maintaining key ecological services for a growing global population in an era of climate, energy and financial crisis.

This approach stands in stark contrast to that of the agrochemical industry, research establishment and increasingly the UK government. Their ‘sustainable’ intensification approach to food security fails to address fundamental sustainability issues, relying on more efficient, but still increasing, use of non-renewable resources and market-driven technologies that remain unaffordable to resource-poor and subsistence farmers in many countries, while at the same time paying lip-service to agro-ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem services.

Miguel Altieri will be exploring the contrasts between these approaches and demonstrating the practical relevance of systems based on agro-ecological principles, including organic farming.

Prof. Miguel Altieri will be holding a series of lectures in London before the conference, at the Institute for the Study of the Americas on 17th January, at the launch of the Coventry-based Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS) from 09.30-13.30 on 18th January, and at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Agroecology from 15.00-17.00 on 18th January.

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