I’m an academic researcher focused on agriculture, particularly interested in local food systems and urban gardening practices, empowerment of women, fighting against food waste and plastic pollution. I am involved in a CSA scheme in Copenhagen and small-scale dairy project in Africa. I have recently joined a farm in the Lithuanian countryside that promotes permaculture principles.
Young farmers can help create a better food system with trustworthy, transparent connections with consumers, strengthening local communities through mutual trust and cooperation, sharing skills and knowledge, supporting each other, applying multidisciplinary perspectives to farming.
Cooperation should exist between farmers themselves as well as consumers, local community, local government, business, NGOs etc.
One of the main barriers is access to land and to capital (if no land is inherited). Another challenge is finding like-minded motivated people to join activities, as farming on your own can be a huge burden. I’d like to see schemes to support and promote small-scale farming activities, such as special programmes offering agricultural land for young tenants. I envision networks of small-scale farmers offering production grown and processed in traditional and environmentally friendly ways to create local food systems promoting much healthier and more nutritious food.