CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE) Director Izabella Koziell advocated for sustainable agricultural solutions on the main stage at EAT Forum in Stockholm this week. “A key solution for our food future is to set up large-scale payments to farmers for ecosystems services,” asserted Koziell in the session entitled Feeding the world with zero land expansion and marine degradation. “To protect smallholder farmer systems where we know there are multiple other values like biodiversity, we really can't expect those farmers to continue those methods without some additional income. A lot of these farms can't break even."
WLE also ran a side session Business Models From the Edge: Wealth From Wastewater, Salary From Sunbeams, Profits From Poop, with IWMI Director General Claudia Sadoff and WLE scientists from IWMI, ICRAF and CIAT. WLE presented business models to a mostly private sector audience, to share investment ideas, seek feedback and explore partnerships. The models are designed to be financially viable, and environmentally and socially sustainable. Innovations included solar irrigation financing and groundwater protection ideas, wealth-from-waste, making the landscape restoration investment case, and soil analysis technology.
WLE steering committee member Mihir Shah also presented and led discussions in a Disruptive Dialog,Smallholders and Powerholders: Transforming Food Systems from the Ground Up, while WLE steering committee chair Johan Rockström delivered a keynote speech for the EAT event.