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Scientists call for the democratising of global food systems

Posted: 14 May 2024 | | No comments yet

Experts have stressed the importance of democratising knowledge to transform global food systems, emphasising inclusivity and diverse perspectives.

global food systems

In a recent study, an international team of experts have urgently highlighted a need for democratising knowledge to “revolutionise” global food systems.

The research, titled “Knowledge Democratization Approaches for Food Systems Transformation,” was published in Nature Food, and was carried out by various professors, including several from the University of Vermont.

In the paper, the academics note that they believe there is a necessity to incorporate traditional, Indigenous, and place-based knowledges into decision-making processes to address blind spots in current food system policies and actions.

Carrying out the research were various experts, including V. Ernesto Méndez and Colin R. Anderson, Professors at the University of Vermont and Co-Directors of the UVM Institute for Agroecology (IfA).

“Until now we have privileged western scientific knowledge, and this article urgently calls for us to include different types of knowledge and to recognize the people who have developed it,” said Méndez.

The article itself promotes embracing participatory and transdisciplinary methods that incorporate diverse knowledge systems, including Indigenous, scientific, and traditional perspectives. According to the researchers, trough embracing this diversity of practices, they will be able to generate “contextually relevant solutions and foster more inclusive and equitable food systems”.

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Yale University’s Samara Brock led the study which was an outcome of an international process convened by the Global Alliance for the Future of Food on the Politics of Knowledge that united food systems leaders to strategise on advancing research and evidence for agroecology. Through utlising case studies from across the globe, the authors highlight innovative approaches that involve local actors in knowledge production and exchange.

“It is key to note the diversity of sectors represented in the authorship- we have scientists, practitioners, staff from non-profit organizations and philanthropists- all making an urgent call for us to democratize our knowledge base as the foundation to attain an equitable and sustainable food systems transformation,” concluded Méendez.

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