Vision for Agriculture in Ghent in 2050

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Discussie

Maarten Crivits , Charlotte Prové et al.:

"A City of Ghent project launched in 2014 called “Vision for Agriculture in Ghent, 2050” may illustrate one way forward. In this project, conventional farmers and their representatives, pioneers, entrepreneurs, academics, representatives of social and cultural institutions and public officers were consulted in focus groups and interviews for feedback regarding opportunities and constraints of the agriculture and food system in Ghent. The Ghent context is characterized by the lack of farmland and space to develop and sustain the farming sector. Conventional farmers have shown animosity toward new entrants to the sector focusing on local, organic and/or multi-functionality—but the project revealed a nearly complete lack of communication between the different parties about their grievances and constraints. These different parties attended workshops and began to dialogue. The participants started from many assumptions and prejudices, then gradually they began to realize that they were all facing the same constraints and they could even become partners in tackling them. Partisan and interest groups are often responsible for communication, wishing only to articulate their own interests. An LFS could therefore stimulate and promote communication between these parties, thus promoting common solutions for their shared constraints. We do not intend to suggest that stakeholder interaction is sufficient for the governance of complex issues. It remains yet to be seen what will eventually be the outcome of increased communication between competitive stakeholders. However, we argue that this is a very powerful strategy in initial phases of problem-definition and deliberation processes aiming to generate common decisions." (https://wiki.commons.gent/wiki/Four_Perspectives_of_Sustainability_Applied_to_the_Local_Food_Strategy_of_Ghent)