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25 years ago

Since 1984 ILEIA has been sharing knowledge about small-scale, sustainable agricultural practices worldwide. What has changed, and what remains the same?

Here is a selection of excerpts of older essays that have been written over the past quarter century to reflect on and stimulate debates and discussion. Have you written for ILEIA in the past? If you are an expert in the field, or would like to share experiences with one of the topics, please click on the topic and leave your comment, or email us at ileia@ileia.org.


25 years ago > Agricultural biodiversity

As the March 2014 issue of Farming Matters delves deep into the wide spread of biodiverse family farming, it is time to look back into the past. Since Farming Matters (then called the ILEIA Newsletter) started in 1984, agricultural biodiversity has been a recurring theme. Many inspiring cases from around the world have already been shared with our readers in the past 30 years, and deserve a renewed place in the spotlight.

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25 Years Ago > Towards a participatory system approach

Issue 4-3 of the ILEIA Newsletter, published in October 1988, looked at technology development and at how farmers can play an active role in different kind of projects, in favour of joint strategies that take into consideration both empirical and scientific knowledge.

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25 years ago > Water and soil conservation by farmers

Published in August 1986, the central theme of issue 1.5 of the ILEIA Newsletter was dryland management, stressing the importance of local knowledge and the involvement of the community to design more resilient and sustainable systems. Coen Reijntjes presented the studies and analysis made by Chris Reij, focusing on three different erosion control projects conducted in Burkina Faso, in the sub-Saharan region, together with a set of observations.

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25 years ago > Café Organico

The sixth issue of the ILEIA Newsletter (Nov. 1986) focused on pest management, and on the "alternative approaches on IPM". Wim Hiemstra wrote about small-scale coffee farmers in Mexico, and about their coffee being sold in Europe in specific places. Fair trade coffee is now easy to find. Are small-scale farmers better off?

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