Message from the President of Agricord | Jean-François Isambert

The world is experiencing a growth of 50 million people every year. At this rate there will be over 9 billion people on the planet by 2050. According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation FAO, agricultural production will have to increase by around 60% in order to support both this increase in the global population and the changes in eating habits.

What’s to be done? There are only two possible ways: by cultivated areas and by yields. Because of global warming, and in anticipation that 2/3rds of the world’s population will live in urban areas, the FAO predicts only a 4% increase in cultivated land by 2050. Not enough to feed another two billion human beings! So it will be primarily through an increase in yields that food production can try to keep pace.

In view of the uncertainties relating to economic growth, the potential of uncultivated arable land, the impact of climate change on areas and yields, the calling into question of methods of production, the demand for animal products and the capacity that we will have to reduce losses and waste, wherever it is possible to produce a little more and a little better, from North to South, we should do so.

Some are thinking about building walls, others are planning to finance migration policies…

As for us, members of the AgriCord Alliance, we believe that more than ever it is essential and urgent to contribute to the development of agriculture in countries with large rural populations, particularly in Africa, by encouraging farmer-to-farmer dialogue, and by helping them to organise themselves according to what they want in the context of an open, diversified and environmentally-friendly agriculture. We are not proposing a model. It is up to the producers to decide what they want to do and how they want to do it. We can simply help them to get organised, to ensure that they can derive an income from their work, that they can support their families and contribute to the food supply in their countries.

Of course, for us, male/female equality in terms of employment and the training and integration of young people in agriculture play an essential role.

This is a long-term task in which each agri-agency member of the alliance, supported not only by producer organisations but also by technical and financial partners, is mobilised to contribute more skills and develop more capabilities to help those who are most in need.

We welcome AèV, they are an enormous asset for AgriCord. They are born from a wide and deep rooted Italian farmers organisation, CIA and from their high quality innovation centre AéV. With their focus on innovation, migration and climate change, they open doors to mutual inspiration from Italy to the Mediterranean and to Africa’s farmers and for all the other agri-agencies of the AgriCord alliance.

Jean-François Isambert

President of AgriCord

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