Globally connected: News from the AgriCultures Network

23 March 2016

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

The Netherlands: Food conference

The second ‘Voedsel Anders’ (Food Otherwise) conference took place in the Netherlands in February 2016, bringing together over 1000 people at Wageningen University. The conference, co-organised by AgriCultures Network member ILEIA, offered over 60 sessions about practical and political ways to make the transition towards fair and sustainable food systems.

The event provided a space for the exchange of ideas and experiences on topics such as agroforestry, seeds, closed-loop farming, short chains, community-supported agriculture, new peasants, urban farming, land rights, and trade policies. It was supported by dozens of farmer networks, civil society organisations and research institutes.

Among the keynote speakers were Jyoti Fernandes of La Via Campesina and Irene Cardoso, chair of the Brazilian Agroecology Alliance and ILEIA board member. Olivier De Schutter, former UN Rapporteur on the Right to Food, made a contribution on the role of bottom up learning in transition to more sustainable food systems.

In a reflection, Professor Jan Douwe van der Ploeg of Wageningen University stated that “this conference radiates power. We see that people in many places are constructing creative elements for the future that lead to new connections, build resilience and contribute to the transition. And much of that starts with struggle”. Videos, reports and photos of the conference are available at

Ethiopia: First issue of Wegel magazine

schermafbeelding-2016-10-05-om-11-54-02The AgriCultures Network is proud to welcome a new member on board: MELCA Ethiopia, a strong and well respected organisation that works for healthy ecosystems, vibrant cultures and improved lives of communities. Supporting agroecology is a key strategy for MELCA and a starting point for its membership of the AgriCultures Network. Through a collaboration between MELCA and Best Practice Association, YNSD, ISD, Mekele University, PAN-Ethiopia, PANOS Ethiopia and Prolinnova Ethiopia, the first issue of Wegel magazine was produced in January.

Wegel is the fifth regional magazine of the AgriCultures Network. The name Wegel is inspired on a traditional Ethiopian farming tool. The coordinating editor of Wegel, Mersha Yilma, is very pleased: “Wegel provides a crucial new space for farmers and other actors in Ethiopia to share, learn, collaborate and act for sustainable agriculture and healthy foods.” The first issue, dedicated to the importance of healthy soils, can be downloaded in both Amharic and in English on the website of Melca.