Editorial – Education for life
September 25th, 2013

Is there a future for today’s youth in tomorrow’s agriculture? Not if we will live in a world where agriculture is in the hands of a couple of large companies and a small segment of farming entrepreneurs who have made it in the rat race. And, not if policymakers continue thinking in linear growth models … Read moreEditorial – Education for life

Editorial: New markets, new values
June 22nd, 2013

Agricultural markets are about more than buying and selling commodities. They are about the relationships between producers and consumers, and all the other actors in a value chain. They are also important for our relation with the food we eat. Globalisation has had far-reaching consequences for these relations, with products travelling long distances and with … Read moreEditorial: New markets, new values

Editorial – SRI sets farmers free
March 25th, 2013

The story of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is an interesting one. It illustrates that relatively simple innovations can make a world of difference. It also shows that the transition to sustainable agriculture is a comprehensive social learning process involving many stakeholders – primarily farmers. Farming Matters | 29.1 | March 2013 Originating in … Read moreEditorial – SRI sets farmers free

Editorial – From desertification to vibrant communities
December 23rd, 2012

Sustainable agriculture in dry and degraded areas is about the resilience of farmers and ecosystems. Increasing the soil’s organic matter content is the most essential thing that dryland farmers can do to increase the stability of their farm. Organic matter contains nutrients and offers a space for the temporary storage of applied fertilizers, it absorbs … Read moreEditorial – From desertification to vibrant communities

Editorial – Against the grain
September 23rd, 2012

The past decade has witnessed the growing and strengthening of peasant and family farmers’ movements around the world: organisations such as La Via Campesina, ROPPA, PROPAC and AFA have strengthened their voices in regional and global fora. Organisations of small-scale ecological producers are growing at both local and national levels. Peasants and family farmers are … Read moreEditorial – Against the grain

Editorial – Change will come from the farms and the streets
June 23rd, 2012

We do not know yet what the outcome of Rio+20 will be. But the preparations have already triggered a tremendous stream of information about smalls-scale family farming and agro-ecology – even if this is coming mainly from the civil society side. More than ever before, evidence is piling up to support the claim that agro-ecological … Read moreEditorial – Change will come from the farms and the streets

Editorial – The bees’ message to Rio
March 14th, 2012

Ask a person (a farmer, an agrochemical vendor, an extension worker or a scientist) what she thinks of the role of insects in agriculture, and you will quickly learn about that person’s perspective on agriculture and ecology. Fear of insects is widespread, and based on an incomplete or distorted understanding of what insects do in … Read moreEditorial – The bees’ message to Rio

Sustainable family farming needs recognition
March 14th, 2012

Twenty years ago, the first global conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro became a milestone, and there are high hopes that Rio+20 will be an even more significant event. In the previous issue of Farming Matters we introduced Rio+20. Since then, the complex preparations for the conference have been continuing. In January, the … Read moreSustainable family farming needs recognition

What shade of green will Rio+20 provide
December 23rd, 2011

Twenty years ago, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Many of the recommendations made in 1992 are still valid today. In June 2012 government delegations and numerous others will go to Rio again, to take stock of what has been achieved over the past twenty … Read moreWhat shade of green will Rio+20 provide

Editorial – Planet for sale
December 22nd, 2011

Two hundred and twenty seven million hectares of land in developing countries – an area the size of Western Europe – has been sold or leased since 2001, mostly to international investors. The bulk of these land acquisitions have taken place over the past two years (see Oxfam Report: Land and Power). Think about this. … Read moreEditorial – Planet for sale