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Oxfam’s New “Grow” Campaign

June 1, 2011

Oxfam’s “Grow” campaign has started today. Here is their report diagnosing a “broken food system” and advancing a new vision, and here is a blog post by Duncan Green nicely summarizing it, and another post by him summarizing the “killer facts” motivating the campaign. 

I for one am pretty excited that Oxfam is going in whole-hog for agricultural development and food security. They are joining the Gates Foundation as a high-profile organization that is attempting to reverse the shameful decline in research and  investment for developing country agriculture. All in one package, it is advocating reform of global trade and distribution, investment in smallholder access, productivity, and marketing, and investment in sustainable agroecology that actually mitigates resource degradation and global warming instead of causing it.

One thing that I like about their approach is that they do not advocate extreme ideological positions on things like large vs small farms, organic vs non-organic, GMO vs anti-GMO, vegetarian vs not vegetarian, local vs not local,  and public vs private research and investment. They seem to be interested in finding what works for the particular context and scaling it up, while also pressuring governments and corporations on the global scale to reform policies that are obviously detrimental.

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