Globally connected: News from the AgriCultures Network

22 September 2015

Members of the AgriCultures Network are working together to advance family farming and agroecology. Here is our latest update.

Latin America commits to agroecology

image_mini-1In June, the first regional agroecology seminar organised by FAO led to a strong commitment to ‘boost’ agroecology and food sovereignty as a way to strengthen family farming and food security in Latin America and the Caribbean.

“This seminar is an important step, and now we need to take the next. Agroecology should be incorporated in policy and practice in line with how it historically developed in Latin America: not as a niche, but as a vision for the transformation of agrifood systems that contribute to food sovereignty, social justice and environmental sustainability,” commented Paulo Petersen of AS-PTA, who also moderated part of the seminar.

The event facilitated dialogue about the benefits, challenges and opportunities of agroecology. A statement was endorsed by representatives of governments in Latin America, FAO, civil society and regional bodies. The participants emphasised the value of ancestral knowledge, traditions, local wisdom and cultural identities as pillars of agroecology, and call for an intersectional and interdisciplinary ‘knowledge dialogue’ to foster agroecological innovation. Furthermore, they proposed agrarian reforms, land policies that guarantee land rights for indigenous and traditional communities. They call for greater support for the agroecological initiatives of women and the recognition of “the active role of families and communities, including women and youth, as guardians of biodiversity.”

The statement points at the need to restrict the practice of monoculture, the use of agrochemicals and the concentration of land ownership, to “foster the increase of agroecological production by rural smallholder farmers in the region.”

The regional agroecology seminar for Africa will be held in Dakar in November, and for Asia and the Middle East in Bangkok in December. The AgriCultures Network will document the contributions of outcomes of each seminar in a forthcoming report.