“Healthy soils give family farmers autonomy, resilience and long-term productivity” - Interview with Irene Cardoso
“If you have a healthy, living soil, you have healthy plants and healthy people. These three things are closely linked.” Irene Cardoso, a professor of soil science at the Federal University of Viçosa and a member of ILEIA’s board is passionate about soils and family farmers. In her role as president of the Brazilian Agroecology Association, she advocates for greater support for family farmers to take better care of their soils. “Family farmers live from the soil, but they also live on the soil.”
Promoting the holistic nature of nutrition and its links with gastronomy is Luis Ginocchio’s ‘bread and butter’ as the expression goes. For Peru’s former minister of Agriculture, who also authored the book ‘Small farming and food’, it is an overriding interest. Gastronomy is defined as the practice of choosing, cooking, and eating good food, or the cookery of a particular region. Ginocchio links it directly to nutrition and local food production systems.
Interview > Jeff Campbell - "Working together is a motivating and powerful approach to getting things done” says Jeff Campbell, manager of the Forest and Farm Facility. “This holds true for my own approach to life; for the work of the millions of forest and farm families stitching together complex livelihoods and ecosystems at a landscape level. Local indigenous peoples, smallholders, female farmers and forest dependent peoples have the knowledge and history, the culture and the potential to maintain and revitalise vibrant rural landscapes – we must trust and support them."
Interview > Cantave Jean-Baptiste is a Haitian agronomist and rural development practitioner with more than three decades of experience supporting sustainable agriculture and strengthening peasant organisations. He is Executive Director of Partenariat pour le Développement Local (PDL) in Haiti, and a founding member of Groundswell International. Farming Matters asked Mr Jean-Baptiste how family farmers can build resilience in Haiti, a country where an estimated 80% of the population lives in poverty.
Interview > Olivier De Schutter - “Agroecology is really common sense. It means understanding how nature works, to replicate the natural workings of nature on farms in order to reduce dependency on external inputs. Agroecology preserves the ability for future generations to feed themselves. I believe we should teach more about agroecology and encourage exchanges between farmers. We cannot continue in this impasse of an oil dependent food production system.”