United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Major Group: Children & Youth

Agriculture Statement
Thank you Madame Chair.
The need for sustainable agriculture is charachterized by a sense of urgency. As we meet
today, there are nearly 1 billion people in the world that are not benefitting from the
existing agricultural system.
This morning Sarah Shiller from Ecoagricultures mentioned the production-biodiversitylivelihood
mosaic during her presentation. We fully support looking at all of these aspects
of agricultural production and we would like to emphasize two points in paritcular:
first, the need for local knowledge and food systems and second, the need for innovation
through education.
[Local Knowledge & Food Systems]
? Solutions that incorporate local or traditional knowledge can help foster innovation
and reduce dependence on external inputs such as petroleum based fertilizers.
Small crop and livestock farmers actively push against an import-based agricultural
economy, and we fully support this position. In order to protect the survival of
small farms, it is important to halt the ongoing subsidization of crops in developed
countries that perversely effect agriculture in developing countries.
? The livelihoods and cultures of many people are on small, local farms or mobile
family-based pastoral systems. An emphasis on local farming knowledge and
practices allow young people, small scale farmers, and women to pursue farming as
an intellectually and physically rewarding career.
[Innovation through education]
? In addition to local knowledge and food systems, we also need innovation through
education. Innovation on a system-wide level is needed to achieve sustainable
agriculture. Activities that promote education on conservation, native food crops,
and the exchange of knowledge should be encouraged in the design and
implementation of sustainable development strategies.
? As part of this innovation through education, the role of youth and children must
considered, and we thank the distinguished delegate from Mexico for recognizing
this today. We ask delegates to remember the crucial role and potential that young
people have. We hold vital and fresh perspectives that we encourage delegates to
consider as they move forward at the IPM and CSD.
Brave and bold thinking is what we need during this time of crisis. As such, all of us here
today need to consider brave and bold measures for a more equitable and environmentally
sustainable agriculture.
Thank you.
(priorities from this statement: local knowledge, rewarding careers, innovation through
education!!)