The Future (of Ag) is female (Cooperation)

Following a series of male speakers, leading expert Professor Agarwal guided her audience in considering alternative pathways forward in the future of agriculture. "We cannot wait for technological fixes… we need institutions based and built upon farmer cooperation," emphasized Professor Agarwal in her keynote address.

Referring to group farming cooperatives and joint liability groups as solutions, this poet and policy advocate highlighted some of the widely-discussed topics within the field of agroecology: the feminization of agriculture as a global phenomenon, the changes it will bring, and ways to increase productivity without sacrificing social inclusion.


I had a personal desire for Professor Agarwal to have gone one step further in her talk. Integrating group farming cooperatives drastically enhance productivity along with equity in smallholder agroecosystems in the Global South. However, what we need now are clear and developed movement towards implementation. She played it safe, when her speech could have been a fire starter, to spark discussion.


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