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Concept Note

Enhancing Resilience: Interventions to Deliver Lasting Change in Agriculture

The third edition of the annual OpenAg Symposium will continue to build on previous years’ conversations about the future of food and agriculture in a changing climate. This year, as farmers and food systems contend with a growing number of threats and challenges, the Symposium will explore the nature of resilience - not only in the sector’s ability to withstand stresses and shocks, but also seizing vital opportunities to establish a more equitable and sustainable future for agriculture.  

Agriculture faces a wide array of threats: widespread pests, social unrest, unpredictable market dynamics, and extreme weather conditions to name but a few. When discussing these issues within the context of agri-food systems, here is where resilience usually enters conversations. It is a concept often discussed in relation to being either robust enough to resist shocks, or resourceful enough to recover to a pre-shock status. While obviously beneficial in the short-term, these outcomes are not necessarily sustainable. After all, a system or enterprise that can survive any shock will require ever more capacity as and when stresses increase. Especially in the face of the climate crisis, longer term solutions to enhance the resilience of agricultural systems are vital.  

OpenAg Symposium 2023 aims to investigate practical interventions to support farmer and societal welfare by enhancing agricultural resilience in the face of climate change. It will explore the intersections between resilience and livelihoods, sustainable productivity, nutrition, and policy in the pursuit of more equitable farming futures. Above all, it will ask how resilience concepts can assist in creating flexible, communicative and resourceful systems that equip farmers with the tools needed to adapt as demands on global agriculture change.