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Editorial – Women and ecology matter
December 19th, 2013

The year 2014 has been proclaimed by the UN as the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF). As several articles in this issue of Farming Matters point out, it makes a great deal of sense to strengthen family farming. Yet there are powerful forces pulling agriculture into a very different direction, as can be seen … Read moreEditorial – Women and ecology matter

Opinion: This is the moment
December 19th, 2013

On the eve of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF), we congratulate the hundreds of organisations and individuals who are committed to participating in it. All of you are doing a great job of communicating and raising awareness. We hope that the IYFF will give a significant boost to the demands of all family … Read moreOpinion: This is the moment

Small-scale farmers, big change
December 19th, 2013

The Agricultural Biodiversity Knowledge Programme (agrobiodiversity@knowledged) initiated by Oxfam Novib and Hivos aims to generate and share evidence and insights that will be of value for enhancing agricultural biodiversity. It aims to contribute to a change from mainstream high-input agricultural systems to biodiverse systems that serve farmers and nature; that ensure food and nutrition security; … Read moreSmall-scale farmers, big change

2014: Hope for family farmers
December 19th, 2013

  In 2003, African Heads of State made a commitment to invest at least 10% of their national budgets into agriculture by 2015. Many countries are still far from reaching this percentage. And those who have, such as Burkina Faso, are investing in biotechnology, large-scale use of chemical fertilizers, mechanisation, irrigation, pesticides and genetically modified … Read more2014: Hope for family farmers

Learning from new peasants
December 19th, 2013

In rural Valencia, Spain, youth unemployment exceeds 50 percent. However, young people are not waiting for outsiders to come and solve their problems. An excursion to local initiatives in the region proved to be a wonderful opportunity to learn from new, young peasants about self-organised development. In June 2013, our group of students visited the … Read moreLearning from new peasants

Flipping perspectives on learning
December 19th, 2013

Agricultural professionals are increasingly looking for new developments in training methods. We hear many theories about “what works”, but how do we translate these into an effective ways of developing knowledge? The expert meeting “Beyond Knowledge-Sharing” held in Den Bosch (the Netherlands), on October 22 aimed to facilitate this transition from knowledge to practice. “We … Read moreFlipping perspectives on learning

Agro-ecology: beyond food
December 19th, 2013

Some may view indigenous communities as being conservative and backwards. However, the Kabekwa (Cabécar) in Costa Rica show that such communities can be adaptable and innovative. This indigenous community has been evolving constantly in response to changing circumstances, while maintaining much of their identity. The Kabekwa have developed agro-ecological farming systems that go far beyond … Read moreAgro-ecology: beyond food

Mind!  >  New Print
December 19th, 2013

Realising farmers’ rights to crop genetic resources: Success stories and best practices Andersen and T. Winge (eds.), 2013. Routledge, Oxon. 214 pages. The diversity of crops enriches our lives with different tastes, smells, nutrients and colours. These traits can equip farmers to meet challenges of marginal soils, crop pests and diseases, drought and changing environmental … Read moreMind!  >  New Print

Locally rooted > Ideas and initiatives from the field
December 19th, 2013

Family farmers and the many ways in which they contribute to food security, healthy landscapes and thriving rural communities can be supported in a number of ways. These are some initiatives from around the world. Nepal Women’s leadership In Nepal’s patriarchal society, particularly in rural areas, discrimination of women is still very much part and … Read moreLocally rooted > Ideas and initiatives from the field

 When family farmers lead their own development
December 19th, 2013

Steven Kiranga Gichanga is a family farmer in Mugaari, a village in Kenya. He was trained in goat rearing but could not afford a goat to get started. He was also trained in bee keeping but could not afford a bee hive either. After a community reflection forum in 2012, Steven became aware of his … Read more When family farmers lead their own development