23 Mar 2017

Farmers at the Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon



Evangelos Koumentakos, Policy Advisor at Copa-Cogeca during the FAO Symposium

Rome, March 23, 2017 - The Global Symposium on Soil Organic Carbon (GSOC17) was held on 21-23 March at the FAO Headquarters in Rome. During the three day event, more than 300 participants representing all geographical regions and countries of the world discussed how a sustainable soil management can play an important role in adaptating and mitigating climate. It was also aimed at enhancing the provision of ecosystem services by storing carbon (carbon sequestration) and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere.

Today, Mr. Evangelos Koumentakos, Policy Advisor at Copa-Cogeca, participated on behalf of the global farmers’ community to the event. Mr. Koumentakos highlighted the interconnections between agriculture, climate, food security and poverty reduction, especially in a time of demographic growth and increasing food demand while protecting the environment.

The increase in production requires facing the new challenges that farmers have to deal with. Mr. Koumentakos said: “farmers are also building their resilience looking for solutions to adapt to the climate change. Farmers, especially women farmers, interact daily with the environment, so they are key drivers in the development of sustainable agricultural practices that provide food and renewable materials for their families, communities and markets, allowing for livelihoods and having a positive effect in the whole society”.

To reach a sustainable development “we need to reposition farmers at the centre of the agriculture sector [...] and understand that all these challenges are interconnected and therefore they must be addressed with an integrated, multi-sectorial approach” he added.
Farmers need solutions to improve their food security in face of climate change. For this reason, WFO welcomes every farmer-centric initiative.
Research and innovation must play a key role and WFO will do its best in sharing practices and mainstreaming tecniques and methods to develop a climate-smart agriculture throughout the world.

“Farmers need first to be aware of the new techniques, hence they need training and capacity-building. They need incentives to make such investments at farm level, that allow soil carbon sequestration for a healthier soil [...] Without research and innovation, farmers and agriculture will not be able to produce more and higher-quality food, also strengthening the involvement of young people and women”.