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Editorial – People-friendly agriculture
March 26th, 2010

The many reactions we received in response to our renewed magazine make one thing clear: family farming is very much alive. The conference on the future of family farming hosted by ileia last December 2009, in celebration of our 25th birthday, also affirmed this. Together with professionals from science, government, business, NGOs and partners from … Read moreEditorial – People-friendly agriculture

Our readers write
March 26th, 2010

In our previous issue, we published a photo with the article on SRI that showed exactly the opposite of what SRI stands for: rice fields should be kept moist but not flooded. This photo better captures this principle. Thanks to the observant reader who pointed this out to us. Do you also have comments, ideas, … Read moreOur readers write

Opinion: Unsung heroes
March 26th, 2010

In terms of climate change, Anil Gupta feels that we must recognise that the future leaders of the fight against it will be the unsung heroes currently surviving in flood-prone villages and communities in the Arctic region, in deserts and on the coasts. They are the ones who still have insights about coping with long … Read moreOpinion: Unsung heroes

Opinion: Dealing with animal disease
March 26th, 2010

One way for “dollar-poor” small-scale farmers to increase their income per hectare is to switch to higher value agricultural products, such as meat, milk or eggs. Stronger engagement in livestock production, however, exposes smallholders to additional risks, such as losing their animals through theft, predation or disease. While farmers’ management practices provide some resilience to … Read moreOpinion: Dealing with animal disease

Pastoralism: Shifts in policy-making
March 26th, 2010

Pastoralism provides a living for between 100 and 200 million households, from the Asian steppes to the Andes. But misguided policies are undermining its sustainability. Farming Matters looked at how governments can best strengthen the governance of pastoral systems and find more equitable ways to include pastoralists in policy making. Land tenure and joint management … Read morePastoralism: Shifts in policy-making

Learning about … Making education work for pastoralists
March 26th, 2010

Around the world, pastoralists are asking for better education programmes. “We need to move beyond thinking about schools as buildings, and find creative ways to bring education to nomadic peoples!” So states Caroline Dyer, lecturer at Leeds University, just back from Kenya, where a new education strategy to reach mobile pastoralists has been launched. Exactly … Read moreLearning about … Making education work for pastoralists

Crops and animals in Tajikistan: Back on track
March 26th, 2010

Since the break up of the Soviet Union, small livestock keepers in Tajikistan have witnessed a worrying trend: using manure for fuel has negatively impacted soil fertility, resulting in a dramatic reduction in crop yield, and a matching drop in farmers’ livelihoods. More intensive livestock keeping could help curb this trend. When I first travelled … Read moreCrops and animals in Tajikistan: Back on track

Ideas and initiatives form the field
March 26th, 2010

All over the world, farmers, and the organisations they work with, are showing the many benefits which livestock brings, and are also showing ways to increase these benefits. These are only a few examples of the many interesting ideas and practices seen in the field. Albania: Feeding our cows: dairy farm development Farmers wishing to … Read moreIdeas and initiatives form the field

Call for contributions: The water issue
March 26th, 2010

Water is a scarce resource, and one which is unevenly distributed. Estimates say that only one percent of the world’s water resources are fresh and renewable, and thus available for man’s many uses. Agriculture uses 70 percent of this, and much more water is required if we are to increase production. Population growth, deforestation, urbanisation, … Read moreCall for contributions: The water issue

Globally Connected: News from the agricultures network
March 26th, 2010

How do people in various regions in the world look at the talks held in Copenhagen? And what do they think is the best plan of action for the future? Our partners from Indonesia, China and East Africa report. Indonesia: Grassroots movements can make a big impact “The mainstream media in Indonesia covered the Copenhagen … Read moreGlobally Connected: News from the agricultures network