September 9, 2015

Agriculture Green Growth: Adapting Policy Frameworks in Asia

Sara ScherrEcoAgriculture Partners

Widespread environmental degradation is undermining explosive commodity growth in Asia. Agriculture Green Growth is a practical solution, but what is it exactly?

Agriculture Green Growth (AGG) is an investment framework that addresses the challenge of producing more food in ways that sustain the full range of products and ecosystem services required from finite land and water resources. The AGG framework identifies current and emerging opportunities for harmonizing agricultural development and regional food security with local poverty reduction and ecosystem conservation. The framework proposes a model for partnerships between international and national investors, national and local governments, and civil society including farmers, local communities and NGOs.

This post was originally published on the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Blog
Tea picker works on a plantation in Yunnan Province. Conversion of natural forests to ‘economic’ forests have resulted in severe impacts on soil stability and local hydrology. Photo provided by Prof. Yuan Wei, Tea Research Institute of Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

Tea picker works on a plantation in Yunnan Province. Conversion of natural forests to ‘economic’ forests have resulted in severe impacts on soil stability and local hydrology. Photo provided by Prof. Yuan Wei, Tea
Research Institute of Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

These partnerships develop a set of investment principles, and design institutional arrangements and investment strategies that deliver economic, social and environmental benefits through agricultural development. The framework also identifies promising technologies and innovations for transforming the agricultural sector which recognize ecosystems as key productive assets. Agricultural development can leapfrog over conventional technologies to follow a new course in which farmers embrace technologies and management systems that produce more food with fewer inputs, less waste, and less pollution. The AGG framework positions the agriculture sector as a principal engine for human and economic development within an overall national Green Economy or Green Growth strategy.

What are the benefits of ‘Agriculture Green Growth’?

As elsewhere around the world, governments, civil society, and the private sector in the region are working together to develop and implement ‘Green Economy’ and Green Growth strategies to generate equitable, sustainable economic development. They are realizing that finite resources and a new climate of opportunities and risks necessitate new, green development strategies.

The approach moves beyond environmental and social safeguards. The approach encourages society to recognize that agricultural landscapes must provide a range of goods and services—not just food—and that markets increasingly reward farmers for doing so. In this way, resource conservation, efficiency, and sustainability are not costs of doing business. Rather, they are woven into the core logic and business case of all new land-based investment. AGG recognizes that the most sustainable and least risky farming systems will be those that build in agronomic, environmental, and social management practices resilient to climate change and other risks and shocks.

Successully restoring and sustaining healthy agricultural landscapes will require concerted action by private sector, civil society, farmer organizations and other stakeholders. But to achieve agri-environmental goals at scale, well-organized government policy goals, framework and strategy for Agriculture Green Growth are essential.

READ MORE

A Vision for Agriculture Green Growth in the Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT): Overview

Agriculture and Climate Change in National Green Growth Strategies

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