The presentation was firstly discussed in a panel of selected speakers, followed by a structured feedback by other participants. Dalma Somogyi, from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) praised the proposal for its frankness. “We finally talk about exiting agriculture as an option. Some farmers just can't do agriculture on a micro plot of land, so why try to keep farmers farming if they are barely scraping by?”
Following this logic, Sanna-Liisa Taivalmaa, from Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, raised the urgent need to create jobs for smallholder farmers, tapping the potential of a closer rural-urban link. Simon Winter, from Syngenta Foundation, called for pragmatism while also caution for not over-simplifying solutions or getting stuck in a duality of large versus small farmers. “If we need to increase food production and security, we must have future farmers – those who need healthy soils, and more secure access to finances, to technology, to land. For those leaving agriculture, we need to understand where they are going and support these options.