Farm4SD: We live in the Anthropocene. Four of the nine planetary boundaries

We live in the Anthropocene. Four of the nine planetary boundaries scientists introduced, referring to processes that regulate the stability and resilience of the Earth System, have now been crossed as a result of human activity: climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, land-system change, altered biogeochemical cycles. While agriculture plays a vital role in every aspect of our lives, and it holds answers to challenges facing people and planet, it is directly linked to the four aforementioned problematic threat sectors. Agricultural sector is acknowledged as one of the most important sectors in the transformation of the EU economy and society towards a long-term sustainable future. For Europe to avert
the worst effects of environmental change, assure ecosystem benefits and to accomplish the ambitious goals of the pillars of sustainability a collaborative, transformative action should be taken, with farmers playing a key role, as they are strategically positioned to be part of the solution. Sustainable agriculture is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda and the EU Green Deal. The Farm to Fork Strategy states clearly that EU needs to redesign the food systems which today put huge pressure on the environment and do not allow fair economic returns and livelihoods for primary producers. The new CAP indicates that farmers need to act as managers of the countryside, meet the consumers’ demands and comply with the new EU regulations and strategies. So, EU farmers are faced with several challenges, as they continue to supply food and non-food products and at the same time, are asked to contribute to the transition towards a sustainable future. The Skills Panorama mentions that as agricultural practices are central to promoting environmental sustainability, there is a growing need for skilled agricultural workers to understand how environmental sustainability is integral and applicable to their everyday practice and to be aware of pertinent market regulations and EU and national level regulations. The “Farmers of the Future” suggests that farmers need to be upskilled and reskilled so as to be creative, curious, resourceful, agile, networked, service- and society oriented, emotionally intelligent and open-minded, for the sustainable transformation of agriculture to be achieved. The NEXT Food project, in the Inventory of the skills needed for a transition to more sustainable agriculture identified among other the following skills for the future for farmers: interdisciplinarity, holistic knowledge, lifelong learning, applying tools for sustainable farming, digital and soft skills.

Useful links:

Agencja Nieruchomości Rolnych
Agencja Restrukturyzacji i Modernizacji Rolnictwa
Ministerstwo Rolnictwa i Rozwoju Wsi
Fundusze Europejskie
Krajowa Sieć Obszarów Wiejskich
Agencja Rynku Rolnego

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