Alternatives in Food and Agriculture
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Why In China?

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Current events place Beijing at the center of a growing economic, environmental, and
agricultural crisis that is felt throughout the world. The time to come together to share ideas and generate solutions is now.

International food price hikes and other recent events have brought awareness of food security and food safety to an all-time high in China and in the world. In China, the general public, the academy, and the government are all deeply concerned about these issues and are eager for more information from other parts of the globe. As a result of the ongoing financial and economic crisis, tens of millions of migrant workers in China have lost their jobs in the export zones due to the decreased demands from the US and other OECD countries. Millions have returned to their rural villages, dependent on the ever scarcer land. Like small farmers everywhere, they desperately need a viable and meaningful livelihood. But what is the ‘right’ way to do this, not just in China, but around the world?

With the right enabling conditions, the current crisis can serve as a catalyst to transform our existing food and agriculture systems towards greater social equity and environmental sustainability. As one step towards making this possible, the Workshop brought together an uncommon group of people from around the world to discuss alternatives. Simultaneous translation was available at panels and plenary events to enable maximum participation and exchange. Framed by China’s growing international importance, this event contributed to the international discussion about a global green new deal in the face of current crises, and explored what it can mean for the world’s rural majority.

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