Agriculture  |  Events  |  16.01.2013

Agriculture in Transition

Agricultural production will have to be reformed if it wants to meet the challenges of the future. More people, decreasing productivity of land due to excessive harvesting, and potentially the move towards a bio-based economy are tendencies, which are already putting the agricultural sector under stress today. Investors have recognised this and often commercialise access to food, which according to some should even be a human right. How can the agricultural sector be equipped to stand those sheer insurmountable challenges? ‘Agriculture in transition’, a two-day conference organized by the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Berlin from Wednesday 16 January 2013 until Thursday 17 January 2013, will try to find answers to this question.

Date: Wednesday 16.1.2013 - Thursday 17.1.2013, 12.45
Heinrich Boell Stiftung, 10117 Berlin, Schumannstr. 8
Language: German and English; Simultaneous translation available

The future scenario of agriculture almost calls for the squaring of the circle. While resource utilization and environmental impact have to decrease more people will put pressure on the scarce resources of the planet. Moreover, visions of a bio-based economy convey the idea that future commodities can rely more and more on renewable resources, that is on crops. Therefore, more sectors than the food sector will put pressure on the agricultural sector than today. Since many years one can already notice this trend when looking at the bio-fuel industry.

More demand of a scarce resource mans that prices rise. Constituting a burden for those who rely on cheap agricultural products - especially food - rising prices mean interesting business opportunities for investors. Without adequate regulation this poses great dangers to food security, and the environment, as the destruction of the environment through unsustainable practices is still not included in the costs of production.

To confront those challenges, it is clear that investments taking account of future challenges have to be made. Equally important, prudent political decisions should guide the way to a sustainable agriculture. The two-day conference of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung invites representatives from (international) civil society, academia and the political realm to discuss potential solutions to this problem.

Invited speakers comprise among others:

  • Jochen Flasbarth, President, German Environment Authority (Umweltbundesamt), Berlin
  • Hellen Yego, National Secretary, Ngoma Farmers Campaign, Kenia
  • Stefan Giljum, Scientific head of research, Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI), Wien
  • Thomas Breuer, Planning Officer, German Development Service (GIZ), Eschborn
  • Bernd Hansjürgens, Dean of Economics department, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ Leipzig-Halle GmbH