Agricultural production systems and the functioning of agri-food chains are facing profound difficulties in terms of economic viability and environmental and social sustainability. There are many factors involved, which act at many scales, including soil degradation and loss of fertility, technological lock-in of agricultural systems, volatility in raw material prices, international competition and the standardization of aggregate demand.

In both Southern and Northern countries, the continuation and extension of large-scale, highly mechanized, input-intensive specialized agriculture is being challenged by those who point to its environmental and socio-economic limitations. The framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all the countries of the planet in 2015, indicates the necessity, in every context, of a long-term transformation to produce positive social, economic and environmental results in multiple areas (poverty, food and nutrition security, health, socio-economic development, biodiversity, water, energy and climate).

How can we define in each specific context the nature of these transformations towards sustainable agricultural and food systems and identify the obstacles and the levers that must be operated to position ourselves in such a transformation perspective? The challenge of the new era started by the Paris Agreement and the SDG agenda is to rely on a collective learning process, between countries facing specific situations, that focuses on the transformation pathways of agricultural systems and food products. But how can we equip and facilitate this new strategic approach to transformation?

The ATPi Initiative (Agricultural Transformation Pathways Initiative) aims to support the national actors of different countries in the development of national transformation pathways of their agricultural and food sectors, linking the definition of a long-term vision of sustainable agriculture and the identification of an operational sequence of actions to make steps in the right direction.

Based on initial results from pilot countries, this session will aim to discuss the potential of such an approach to remove the main obstacles to the necessary transformations.

Sébastien Treyer will introduce the session. Marie-Hélène Schwoob will review the findings of the initiative over the past few months in pilot countries such as Uruguay, China and the United Kingdom. Étienne Hainzelin will focus particularly on agricultural transformation pathways in regions such as Africa. 

The session will be held in French