The dramatic convergence of multiple crises — global warming, hunger and depletion of natural resources such as water - compels us to challenge the dominant industrial agriculture model and consider a new way forward. Because agriculture is multifunctional (i.e., food, feed, fibers, bio fuels, medicinal products, environmental services, landscape amenities, social and cultural values), it could play a critical role in addressing global challenges related to climate, water, social justice and food.
Reversing climate change and confronting global food and water insecurities are the pre-eminent social and environmental challenges of our time. Meeting challenges in climate and water calls for, among other things, switching to food systems that conserve water and that are net emission-mitigators. Today’s leaders have the opportunity to invest in multifunctional agricultural systems and agro-ecological practices that will help mitigate climate change problems, help conserve land and water resources, and simultaneously build vibrant rural communities for whom agriculture is a rewarding way of life.