Just Agriculture, Alimentation Sovereignty and Forest Use

Climate and nature protection as part of the job description for farmers*

What's the problem?

Many social conflicts in local agriculture arise from a global overproduction crisis, with the consequence of prices below production costs, a high proportion of unused ("thrown away") food, the need to concentrate capital and expand land, a focus on luxury products and "refinement", especially animal production or organic products, which are preferably commercialized as a social status symbol, farm deaths and extreme exploitation of nature.

In order to reconcile affordable food, climate and environmental protection and the preservation of rural agriculture, the agricultural sector needs a fundamental structural and cultural change which, among other things, allows food production to be at least partially decoupled from market activities.

What's the measure?

Farmers are assigned climate and environmental protection as an additionally paid task. This gives them a livelihood beyond food production and independent of the food markets.

This takes into account the insight that climate and environmental protection on the one hand, and agriculture on the other, are ideally not carried out alongside each other, but "within each other".

This can only work, however, if climate and environmental protection become not only an obligatory framework but also a core objective of agricultural activity and make a significant contribution to the livelihood of the rural population.

What can the implementation look like?

On the one hand the measure consists in a fundamental reorganisation of the teaching content in agricultural training and on the other hand in the awarding of part-time jobs or long-term work contracts for climate and environmental protection. Farmers* should not only be the executive bodies of state environmental protection authorities, but should act as experts in local conditions.

They will manage rewetting and reforestation on their own or state-owned land, and in some areas they will carry out food production and nature and climate protection in parallel, for example by implementing measures to promote biodiversity or to bind carbon in the soil.

Ideally, this structural change will result in a farming method in which, in the sense of permaculture, all elements fulfill several functions chosen from a spectrum of environmental conservation and food production.

How will this work against climate change?

The measure sustainably supports different climate protection measures in agriculture by creating the possibility of climate protection measures in rural areas and above all by enabling a socially just transformation of rural social areas, without which climate protection measures will hardly be politically enforceable.

It is therefore also a contribution to greater climate justice.

How quickly can the measure be implemented?

Implementation can begin immediately. A successful structural change takes time.

References to other measures

A whole range of measures would benefit from this measure, in particular:

Continuative literature and sources