What informs our approach to agriculture?

Sopheap Meas employs new growing techniques on her farm in Cambodia

Oxfam is clear in our belief that supporting sustainable agricultural livelihoods is a key way of lifting people out of poverty, and reducing inequality. However, the kind of agriculture it is worth pursuing in our work in order to achieve these goals has been less coherently defined, both at Oxfam and within the wider development community. Recent work has focused on addressing this, in an attempt to arrive at a more consistent evidence based narrative on, and models for, sustainable agriculture. This on-going research will include internal and external desk reviews, in-depth studies in countries, country consultation and a consultancy. Some of the questions the work begins to unpack and explore ask: 

  • What values, actors and relationships inform Oxfam’s approach to agriculture?
  • What form does Oxfam’s policy on agriculture take in project implementation, research and advocacy?
  • What tensions emerge when pursuing sustainable agriculture at local level along the food system?
  • Is there a demand for support on sustainable agriculture at country level? If so, how are demands met currently?

The first piece of work was an external desk review on sustainable agriculture that provides us with an overview and history of the term, its implications in practice, advances in research and its situation within wider development discourse.

Read the desk review here, and view the accompanying presentation powerpoint at O:\INT PSI\Team\Economic Justice\2. Content Areas of work\Agriculture\Sustainable Ag Research (internal access only).

For more information contact Dennis Aviles, OGB's Sustainable Agriculture & Gender Advisor, at daviles1@oxfam.org.uk

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