What are we reading?
Towards an agroecological transition in Southeast Asia: Cultivating diversity and developing synergies
This publication came into being as an endeavour to provide a broad, yet non- exhaustive, overview of the current situation of agroecology in the Great Mekong Region. Starting from the early 1990s, a multitude of initiatives have emerged in this region for supporting agroecology.
‘Knowledge politics’ is, according to author Nico Sterr, a phenomenon that has emerged as a consequence of new technologies and society’s response to them. This book discusses Western society’s response to the wealth of technological innovations developed since the 1970s, including genetically engineered foods, reproductive cloning and the reconstruction of the human ancestral genome
This publication presents around 30 papers and work-in-progress papers submitted to the 6th Living Knowledge Conference held in Copenhagen, April 9-11, 2014. While there have been some advances in increasing citizen participation in community-based research and in policy processes and decision-making, there is still a long way to go before citizens and civil society organisations are fully accepted as equal partners and providers of knowledge and expertise to solve societal challenges.
‘Real’ knowledge of nature is a notion that we strongly relate to science, and for good reasons. Through research, the sciences have produced robust and reliable forms of knowledge, using methodologies that can usually be trusted upon. At the same time, laboratories and similar research settings are highly artificial environments that constitute rather modified versions of reality. This work departs from the recognition that science is not the only route to understanding nature.
Risk, uncertainty, ignorance, ambiguity –these are not simple words of speech but rather conditions of incomplete knowledge. This book examines the challenges of adaptation in smallholder farming in Africa, analysing the social, economic, political and climatic uncertainties that impact on agriculture in the region and the range of solutions proposed.
N. Tandon and M. Wegerif, 2013, OXFAM International, Oxford, UK, 26 pages. The rush to invest in farmland in Africa is having an immediate impact on women’s land-use options, their livelihoods, on food availability and the cost of living, and, ultimately, on women’s access to land for food production. These are only the economic impacts. Women’s knowledge, socio-cultural relationship with the land, and stewardship of nature are also under threat. Too often ignored, rural women’s voices and perspectives need to be heeded urgently if a robust rural economy and food for all are to be guaranteed.
This document presents testimonies that reflect the situation of rural women in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The inequality faced by women is evident with respect to denial of basic rights, gender-based violence, economic discrimination and the negative impacts of agribusiness and extractive industries which disproportionally impact women.
This book is about understanding the relationship between food insecurity and women’s agency. The contributors explore both the structural constraints that limit what and how much people eat, and the myriad of ways that women creatively and strategically re-structure their own fields of action in relation to food, demonstrating that the nature of food insecurity is multi-dimensional. The chapters portray how women develop strategies to make it possible to have food in the cupboard and on the table to be able to feed their families. Exploring these themes, this book offers a lens for thinking about a food system that incorporates women as agentive actors and links women’s everyday food-related activities with ideas about food justice, food sovereignty, and food citizenship.
Every day, rural women in Asia face mounting challenges caused by an increasingly broken system of food and agriculture. High food prices, low income, land grabbing, climate change and decreasing control over seeds mark the experiences of women farmers who grow much of the region's food.
The predominance of commercially-marketed crop varieties and associated, enabling policies are displacing indigenous varieties cultivated over many generations. This loss of agricultural biodiversity puts both food security and the livelihoods of farmers at risk. These farmers now find themselves tied to a corporate-controlled supply chain. To counter this threat to sustainable food production, there is a need to turn to the enduring custodians of agricultural biodiversity – small farmers, in particular women farmers, who are the repositories of traditional knowledge of seed conservation and the providers of food for their households and communities. Drawing on more than 20 years of the author’s work with Indian women farmers in on-farm conservation, Living on the Edge makes it clear that efforts to safeguard agricultural biodiversity must go hand in hand with the protection and promotion of farmers’ rights everywhere.
Many people visualise farmers with sun-roughened skin, faded overalls, and calloused hands—hands that are usually white. Farmers of colour are still largely left out of the picture. By recognizing the critical issues at the intersection of race and food, this collection of portraits and stories challenges the status quo of agrarian identity. Author, photographer, and biracial farmer Natasha Bowens unearths a larger story, weaving together the seemingly forgotten history of agriculture for people of colour, the issues they face today, and the culture and resilience they bring to food and farming. The Color of Food shows that the food and farm movement is about more than buying local and protecting our soil. Blending storytelling, photography, oral history, and unique insight, these pages remind us that true food sovereignty means a place at the table for everyone.
This book was written to address the concerns of policy makers around the world who are faced with the need to replace the use of highly hazardous pesticides with safer and sustainable alternatives. The book presents national and international policy recommendations designed to assist policy makers to implement the changes necessary to support widespread adoption of agroecology.
Spanish version of the 'Building, defending and strengthening agroecology: A global struggle for food sovereignty'
Construire, défendre et renforcer l’agroécologie: Une lutte mondiale en faveur de la souveraineté alimentaire
French version of the 'Building, defending and strengthening agroecology: A global struggle for food sovereignty'
A new publication and video explore the meaning and politics of agroecology from social movement perspectives. Food producers say in their own words why agroecology is a key pathway towards better food systems and food sovereignty.
"Water grabbing refers to situations where powerful actors take control of valuable water resources for their own benefit, depriving local communities whose livelihoods often depend on these resources and ecosystems." This revised edition of the primer provides a comprehensive analysis of water grabbing worldwide. Informative chapters, complemented with case studies and selected further reading, explain: how water grabbing takes place; who are the water grabbers; and what are the key drivers of water grabbing. The authors critique current global water governance frameworks and propose alternative frameworks making a strong case for a human rights perspective on water. The report concludes with some insights from existing resistance to water grabbing and notes that alternative models emerging from these struggles "promote water management practices forged around common values that redefine the meaning of 'public' beyond solely 'state-run' and eschew profit-seeking approaches."
Water for food security and nutrition: A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the Committee on World Food Security
This report aims to help policy makers and actors around food, agriculture and water overcome the challenge of safeguarding water for the dignity, health, food and nutrition security of everyone on the planet. The authors’ broad focus – linkages between water, food security and nutrition from the household to the global level – is framed by competing demands, rising scarcities and climate change. The report includes a thorough analysis, for example of availability of water resources, managing water and governing water. And this supports findings and recommendations for improved management and governance. Agroecology is discussed and mentioned as an approach for improving management. Recommended domains for action, amongst others, include conservation of ecosystems, considering the most vulnerable and marginalised first, improving management in agriculture and inclusive and effective governance.
This book urges policy makers and development agents to overhaul present thinking about ‘controlling’ drylands and to consider an alternative pathway based on taking advantage of variability. The author explores vibrant dryland agricultural economies and in doing so inverts negative views about food security in the drylands. Case studies from drylands across the world, interspersed with brief theoretical and analytical text are the substance of this book. Amongst others, case studies include indigenous terrace systems, a mainstay of non-irrigated farming in eastern Sudan, rainwater harvesting in NW China and sheep rearing communities in Rajasthan, India. Each example demonstrates how producers use rainfall variability as an asset. A resounding message from this book is the need to better recognise local knowledge and customary wisdom of those who live with and value the inherent variability of drylands.
This book aspires to a deeper understanding of new water dynamics in the globally integrated system of people and nature. The authors have chosen to specifically address water and food in a changing world. The target audience is students, water resource professionals and water planners and as a result it is rich in detail and at times technical. Resilience is the entry point, woven into chapters on the role of water in the biosphere, human induced change to water systems, food production and water governance. A consistent message is that sustainable water stewardship is about having the capacity to deal with change. Overall the book is holistic in scope and offers plenty of ideas and insights for improved governance and management of water resources.
Farm and forest producer organizations are of critical importance to the sustainable use of our natural resources, now and into the future. So says the growing consensus of global opinion. And they hold the key to overcoming many issues, from poverty and human rights, to environmental degradation and biodiversity conservation. Producer organizations represent the collective voices of farmers and forest-dependent peoples, indigenous groups and rural communities. They, are the building blocks of local democracy, and provide essential services to members. And when truly inclusive and with the right support, management choices are sustainable and the benefits are equitable. This edition of ETFRN News contains more than 200 pages of stories from local producer organizations, associations and federations, and from those that speak for them at national and international levels. Reporting on issues of inclusiveness, this is also reflected in the authorship, with most of the 80 contributing (co)authors from the Global South, representing NGOs, UN organizations, government bodies and private companies as well as producer organizations, a third of them women.