Jun 15, 2017

Support small farmers

Our Expert Voices conversation on food security.

Food security in the context of a growing population and in the face of climate change is a tremendous challenge. But the main bottleneck is not the lack of science or technology — it's small scale farmers' access to land and markets. These farmers produce the bulk of the world's food, but are squeezed into less than a quarter of the planet's farmland.

What farmers need: Reforms that give them access to land, promote local markets rather than subsidizing export commodities, and support indigenous agroecological farming methods that help to fight the climate crisis. Farms capture huge amounts of carbon back into the world's farmlands and result in resilient farming systems more tolerant to extreme weather patterns.

Bottom line: Top-down laboratory-developed technological 'solutions' under control of agribusiness, such as genetically engineered seeds, more agrochemicals and extreme mechanization, only lead us deeper into the food and climate crises.

Other voices in the conversation:

Pamela Ronald, plant geneticist, UC Davis, Focus on results new technologies bring

Eric Schulze, molecular biologist, Memphis Meats, Science can't be at the expense of culture

Deborah Delmer, plant biologist, Genetic modification is an important part

Go deeper

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

America's future looks a lot like Nevada

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Today's Nevada caucus will foreshadow the future of American politics well beyond 2020.

Why it matters: The U.S. is in the midst of a demographic transformation, and the country's future looks a lot like Nevada's present. Today's results, in addition to shaping the 2020 race, will help tell us where politics is headed in a rapidly changing country.