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Global edition

last modified May 31, 2016 11:16 AM

Farming Matters magazine

Farming Matters informs readers about sustainable family farming and agroecology. It offers discussions, background to the news, opinions, research findings, and practical examples of how family farming and agroecology contribute to food security and food sovereignty, social justice, a healthy environment, better nutrition and dignity. Farming Matters is for practitioners, educators, farmers, policy makers, activists, researchers, students and everybody else interested in sustainable food systems.

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Making the case for agroecology

Published: Sep 20, 2016

This issue of Farming Matters explores innovative ways to demonstrate that agroecology provides critical solutions to the challenges of our time.

Revaluing traditional plants

Published: Jun 23, 2016

This issue of Farming Matters looks at the growing number of initiatives that aim to revive the potential of traditional plant species, and illustrates that these plants can strengthen resilient family farming rooted in agroecology and diversity.

Access and benefit sharing of genetic resources - Making it work for family farmers

Published: Apr 20, 2016

Access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources is a crucial but very complex, political and legalistic matter. Does the formal system work for family farmers? As we see in this special issue of Farming Matters, co-produced with Bioversity International, it poses many challenges and Farmers' Rights are rarely implemented in national law. At the same time, farmers around the world are leading successful initiatives for access and benefit sharing.

Co-creation of knowledge

Published: Mar 22, 2016

This issue of Farming Matters illustrates how the collective creation of knowledge lies at the heart of agroecology rooted in family farming. It presents stories of farmers, scientists, urban citizens, government officials, NGOs, and others who have jointly created agroecological solutions that are suited to their own, local contexts.

Women forging change with agroecology

Published: Dec 15, 2015

This issue of Farming Matters presents stories about women from all over the world who are forging positive change through agroecology on their farms and in their communities.

The wisdom of water

Published: Sep 08, 2015

This issue of Farming Matters reveals how family farming based on agroecology is key to better water management. These pages document stories of farmers that have created their own solutions together with others, by building upon traditional practices or by adapting and creating new techniques. Moreover, local experiences are connected to regional, national and global contexts with stories about innovative water governance and struggles for water justice and water rights.

Rural–urban linkages

Published: Jun 09, 2015

Rural–urban linkages connect people in cities with people in the countryside on a daily basis. The links are tangible and include markets, migration flows, knowledge exchange, leisure and tourism, ecosystem services, food production and consumption. Experiences show that they can contribute to sustainable, fair and resilient food systems, especially in a supportive political and institutional environment.

Soils for life

Published: Mar 10, 2015

Healthy soils contribute to resilient food production. Soil carbon is a key to healthy soils but, today we see the long-term consequences of agricultural management that has neglected soil carbon – degraded soils, polluted waters, and unprecedented rates of hunger and malnutrition. There are good examples of agroecological practices that were developed by farmers who have long known the importance of soil carbon. Yet, in many cases these practices are being re-learnt, adapted and new practices are being developed to reconnect with the soil and rebuild soil carbon.

Reclaiming nutrition

Published: Dec 08, 2014

Nutrition has become one of the buzz words of the year, like resilience, and landscapes. What they have in common is that they refer to complex situations, where economic and political forces override the needs and aspirations of rural and urban communities. However, the nutrition challenge remains clear, with a billion hungry people on this planet and another two billion overweight. Persistent hunger and undernutrition are inexcusable in a world of plenty. But the question is: who should act and how?

Farmers in their landscapes

Published: Sep 10, 2014

Farmers are integral parts of the landscape. They live in and live off the land, striving to maintain the agroecosystems that in turn sustain them. They are our landscape guardians, and this issue of Farming Matters explores how family farming, pastoralists and forest communities are responding to increasing pressures on their landscapes.

The many faces of resilience

Published: Jun 10, 2014

Poverty and vulnerability combine in a vicious circle for many family farmers. To break that and turn it into a virtuous cycle, resilience must be built into farming and the systems in which farmers operate. There is an urgent need for a change in mindset regarding family farming, agriculture and food systems in general, and resilience must be the central concept in this new thinking.

Cultivating diversity

Published: Mar 08, 2014

Agricultural biodiversity plays a huge role in maintaining resilient local economies, balanced diets, strong family farms and healthy ecosystems. The rapid disappearance of agricultural biodiversity and the lack of measures to protect it are therefore great causes of concern. Although mainstream agricultural policies threaten such agricultural biodiversity, in recent years many promising initiatives have been launched around the world that aim to preserve and manage agricultural biodiversity.

Family farming: a way of life

Published: Dec 25, 2013

The United Nations declared 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, recognising the multiple social, economic, environmental and cultural functions of family farmers. Many family farmers have proven to be innovative and resilient under the right socio-political framework and conditions – especially when supported by the right policies.

Education for change

Published: Sep 20, 2013

The education system in most countries falls short of what is needed, especially in terms of agriculture and meeting the needs and concerns of rural dwellers. Yet education can be a powerful tool for developing skills, strengthening the value attached to farming, and contributing towards a more sustainable and just agriculture.

New markets, new values

Published: Jun 15, 2013

Many social processes are seeking to rebuild, revitalise and diversify market circuits in a way that promotes a more equitable distribution of the wealth generated through agriculture.

SRI - much more than more rice

Published: Mar 08, 2013

However we look at it, the System of Rice Intensification, or SRI, is a major success story. While researchers are still debating its relevance, more and more people and getting to know about it, and more and more farmers are harvesting the results.

From desertification to vibrant communities

Published: Dec 15, 2012

Sustainable agriculture in dry and degraded areas is about the resilience of farmers and ecosystems. With examples from different parts of the world, issue 28.4 of Farming Matters shows the importance of local knowledge and appropriate policies.

Farmer organisations - Up to the job

Published: Sep 15, 2012

This issue of Farming Matters pays special attention to farmers’ organisations. In what different ways do farmers organise? What problems exist in farmers’ organisations and how are these dealt with?

From farmers’ fields to Rio+20: Agro-ecology works!

Published: Jun 12, 2012

This special issue of Farming Matters provides an overview of the importance of small-scale farming and of an agro-ecological approach to agriculture, looking in detail at four key areas: food security, poverty alleviation, energy and climate change.

Insects on a farm

Published: Mar 10, 2012

Friends or foes? Our love/hate relationship with insects

Securing the right to land

Published: Dec 20, 2011

This issue of Farming Matters on a topic that is central to all small-scale farmers: land. Competition for land and power, and particularly the global increase of large scale land acquisitions, cause contestations about which land is rightfully owned and used by whom.

Regional food systems

Published: Sep 15, 2011

There are strong arguments in favour of regional food systems. There are fewer intermediaries involved, with lower transportation costs and less risky transactions. Producers and consumers can exert a greater degree of control.

Trees and farming

Published: Jun 14, 2011

This issue of Farming Matters provides an in-depth understanding of the overall advantages that trees bring and looks at the policy issues that influence the adoption of agroforestry.

Youth: "We take the lead"

Published: Mar 10, 2011

Did you know that we are in the International Year of Youth? We are, since 12 August 2010. This issue of Farming Matters shows that young people are, and have, the future in agriculture worldwide. It considers the roles, priorities and responsibilities of young generations. Read how they can contribute to the improvement of sustainable small-scale agriculture.

Partnerships for learning

Published: Dec 14, 2010

This issue of the global edition of the magazine is focused on partnerships for learning. All "stakeholders" in agriculture have personal but also joint interests. What and in what way do they learn from each other? And how do they learn to work together to create more sustainable agriculture?

Special edition - 25 years of family farming

Published: Nov 11, 2010

The AgriCultures Network informs farmers, farmers' organisations, research institutions and policymakers about local practices of family farmers around the world. Linking these experiences to global discussions about food and agriculture makes it clear that family farmers have a lot to offer to the world.

Negotiating the waters

Published: Sep 16, 2010

Water is a scarce resource, and it will be even scarcer in the future. We drink it, use it to process and cook food, or to cool things down. It is essential in terms of sanitation and hygiene, and even has cultural and ceremonial uses. But agriculture is the biggest user of water, and modern technology has made agriculture even thirstier.

Money for farming

Published: Jun 09, 2010

Over the past decade, microcredit facilities have mushroomed and many groups of small farmers and landless people, notably women have benefited. Microcredit however is often not enough to help farmers build viable and sustainable farms.

Going for more animals

Published: Mar 15, 2010

Animals play an important role in rural life: besides milk, meat, eggs and wool, they provide manure for growing crops, and they also serve as a savings account for people. In this issue we were interested in showing how small-scale farmers manage their animals in their farming systems and how they link it with other economic activities. What advantages does such an integrated approach bring in terms of food availability, productivity, efficiency or sustainability?

Scaling up and sustaining the gains

Published: Dec 14, 2009

This issue looks at how sustainable agriculture practices have developed and spread over time. We show initiatives that have been taken to scale up successful methods and approaches. Equally, the articles in this issue look at the factors that have hindered the spreading of sustainable agricultural practices.

Women and food sovereignty

Published: Sep 24, 2009

Women and food are inseparably linked. We cannot write about food sovereignty without addressing women's role in food production. In many situations women take the main responsibility for food production, processing, storage and cooking. Often they play a key role in its marketing as well.

Farmers as entrepreneurs

Published: Jun 18, 2009

Small-scale farmers and their support institutions are becoming more convinced that there is little future for them unless they become more entrepreneurial in their approach to farming.

Farming diversity

Published: Mar 23, 2009

Small-scale family farmers live in environments ranging from mountainous, dry areas to lush, tropical forests. Together, they engage in many kinds of small-scale farming systems. All these systems combined harbour and nurture biodiversity.

Dealing with climate change

Published: Dec 18, 2008

Everybody is talking about climate change. It is truly a global concern. It is in the newspapers, on the radio, and many books have already been published. You can read some key findings from recent reports on agriculture and climate change in this issue of LEISA Magazine.

Respect through farming

Published: Oct 01, 2008

For people sidelined by society, small scale farming can provide opportunities in life. In this issue, we present experiences which show how people facing social stigma, or living with physical disability can grow crops or rear livestock and gain “Respect through farming”.

Living Soils

Published: Jun 11, 2008

A fundamental concept running through the discussions on global food prices, whether it is about increasing food production, raising soil fertility levels or rehabilitating degraded land, is the need for healthy soils. This issue of the LEISA Magazine revisits the importance of healthy and living soils as the basis for sustainable agriculture, healthy people and healthy economies.

Towards fairer trade

Published: Mar 19, 2008

As markets for fair and green trade products are expanding, we look here at some of the issues faced by LEISA farmers. The articles in this issue of the LEISA Magazine were chosen to show current practical experiences with fair and green trade, reflecting the variety of initiatives that have taken shape in recent years. By presenting some of the current debates around this topic, we hope to provoke further discussion.

Ecological pest management

Published: Dec 20, 2007

As our magazine has regularly shown, there have been many positive pest management experiences during these last 20 years. As a result of a comprehensive IPM approach, farmers have been able to increase their yields and incomes.

Healthier farmers, better products

Published: Sep 29, 2007

In recent years there has been a growing interest in the links between food, food production and health. In this issue we present examples of how such links between health issues and agriculture have been addressed in practical ways.

Securing seed supply

Published: Jun 20, 2007

A secure supply of quality planting material is essential in small scale agriculture. In this issue of the LEISA Magazine we present articles from around the world, in which communities describe how they have used various methods to secure their own seed supply.

How farmers organise

Published: Mar 26, 2007

The vast majority of articles published in the LEISA Magazines describe situations where communities working together formally or informally are a key part of the experience.

Ecological processes at work

Published: Dec 22, 2006

In this issue of LEISA Magazine we present some examples of intensified agricultural production based on ecological processes.

Building knowledge

Published: Sep 20, 2006

In this issue of the LEISA Magazine we look at how knowledge about LEISA concepts is currently generated, shared and used by a variety of people working towards improved livelihoods in rural areas.

Changing farming practices

Published: Jun 20, 2006

The conversion process from present practices to more sustainable farming systems can be rather complex. It is not a simple task for small-scale farmers. Efforts to improve farming practices, therefore, need careful planning and implementation.

Documentation for change

Published: Mar 20, 2006

More than just describing a case, the aim of a documentation process is to build new knowledge. There is still a lot to learn about the techniques, methods, interactions and science involved in ecological agriculture.

Practice and policy

Published: Dec 19, 2005

Agricultural policies have considerable influence on farming practices as well as on possibilities for change. They influence not only farmers and the way they farm, but also agricultural research and training institutions and commercial companies. At present most agricultural policies are supportive of conventional, export-oriented and large-scale agricultural production, and provide little support to small-scale family farming and LEISA practices.

Small animals in focus

Published: Oct 01, 2005

For most small scale farmers, for whom it is important to make optimal use of available resources, livestock still has an essential role to play. In this issue of the LEISA Magazine, we take a closer look at how livestock can be integrated into diverse farming systems and in particular at the importance of smaller livestock for poorer households.

More than money

Published: Jun 22, 2005

Agriculture has a fundamental role to play in supporting and shaping our present-day societies. It has far greater value to humans than the market price for the final produce: Agriculture could potentially form the basis for strong rural communities and their economic activities, provide healthy food and maintain ecosystem services such as clean air and water, recycling of nutrients, and the maintenance of biodiversity and attractive landscapes.

Energy on the farm

Published: Apr 01, 2005

In this issue we take a closer look at the ways small-scale farmers have managed to make more efficient use of the energy sources available to them.

Farming with nature

Published: Dec 21, 2004

This issue of LEISA Magazine looks at the contribution farming can make to the sustainability of life on earth on a broader scale – and the importance of wild biodiversity for the maintenance of the healthy landscapes and watersheds we all need to survive.

From field to market

Published: Sep 01, 2004

Often the initial gains from improved production are negated by losses that occur during or after harvest. Currently, worldwide post-harvest losses of agricultural produce are estimated at 30 percent.

A new generation of farmers

Published: Jun 01, 2004

Each new generation of farmers faces the challenge of trying to create a livelihood from the resources available to them. These resources are the result of the physical and social legacies of the past, as well as the opportunities of the present.

Valuing crop diversity

Published: Jan 01, 2004

Over time we have identified and learned to use nearly 8000 species for our food and well-being. Today, however, only about 30 crops form the basis of world’s agriculture. Over 50% of our energy requirements are now met by just three crops: rice, wheat and maize. The continuously narrowing base for global food security limits the options available to farmers, and reduces the agricultural biodiversity necessary to provide security in resource-poor environments.

Reversing degradation

Published: Dec 01, 2003

Land degradation is a broad term and refers to the way in which the quality and productive capacity of the soil can be temporally or permanently undermined. It includes such processes of physical, chemical and biological deterioration as the loss of organic matter, the reduction of vegetative cover and biodiversity as well as a general decline in soil life and fertility.

Rights and resources

Published: Sep 01, 2003

Access and control over land and other natural resources is regulated through many different systems and arrangements. Whether these systems are formal or informal, statutory or customary, restrictive or open, they all play a major role in rural livelihood security.

Using every drop of water

Published: Jun 01, 2003

Water is a precious resource that is essential to the life and health of farmers, animals and crops - and it is becoming steadily scarcer. Many see a global water crisis looming on the horizon, and as competition increases for water from households, industries etc., the huge proportion of water used for agriculture, although essential for food production, is increasingly challenged.

Learning with Farmer Field Schools

Published: Mar 01, 2003

IPM Farmer Field Schools for rice farmers in Asia have been immensely successful. This success has attracted the attention of development workers around the world. As with every successful approach, there is a strong movement to copy and adapt it to other situations. This issue of LEISA looks at the development of the FFS concept beyond rice and into a seemingly limitless realm of possibilities for assisting and educating farmers.

Women managing change

Published: Dec 01, 2002

The majority of the world’s agricultural producers are women. They produce over 50% of the food that is grown worldwide – more in most developing countries. But despite these recognised facts and a considerable amount of development rhetoric about gender issues, women are still restricted in their role as farmers by unequal rights and unequal access to land and control over resources.

Recreating living soil

Published: Sep 01, 2002

Thirty years ago it all started with herbicide-based Zero Tillage (ZT) for grain crops like maize and soybean. Gradually, a much broader and ecologically sound approach evolved, which is being now called Conservation Agriculture (CA).

Changing information flows

Published: Jun 01, 2002

Information, and access to it, is one of the most valuable resources in agricultural development. The demand for information is as great today as ever. However, support for agricultural extension is decreasing, while many new ways of delivering information are becoming available. The mesage is that all available means, from ICTs, to the spoken and written word should be made use of to enable communities to access, share and exchange experiences in sustainable agriculture.

Ecosystem disruption and human health (supplement)

Published: Mar 02, 2002

Summary report of a consultation hosted by IDRC and UNEP

Livestock: which way?

Published: Mar 01, 2002

Livestock production is important for the majority of farmers in developing countries, especially for small farmers in more marginal conditions where land cannot be used for other purposes.

GE - not the only option

Published: Dec 01, 2001

Who benefits from genetic engineering and who loses? What are the risks and who will bear them? What are the alternatives to genetic engineering? This issue of LEISA Magazine attempt to explore these questions.

Lessons in scaling up

Published: Sep 01, 2001

How do the benefits of innovation in agriculture and natural resource management spread to more people? What type of innovations do people prefer – when, where and why? How and when does spontaneous diffusion take place? What conditions can be created and what methodologies can be used to enhanced or plan going to scale? What are the obstacles of going to scale? Can they be overcome and how?

Go global or stay local?

Published: Jun 01, 2001

Many small farmers are negatively affected by globalization of the world economy and expansion of the consumer culture. To them this is one step further on the road of economic and cultural marginalization.

Coping with disaster

Published: Mar 01, 2001

Besides more normal fluctuations in production conditions, many farmers have to cope with high impact hazards like droughts, floods, storms, earthquakes, epidemic diseases, war or economic crisis. There are also hazards such as HIV/AIDS, Global Warming, and globalization that build up more gradually leading, eventually, to disasters with no less serious impacts.

Monocultures towards sustainability

Published: Dec 01, 2000

The productivity and sustainability of annual food crops is of extreme importance for feeding an ever-growing world population. In this issue, we look at the negative impact of monocultures, especially of annual food crops, and the alternatives that are being developed. How can monocropping systems and monolivestock systems be made more sustainable? Can they be transformed into integrated systems? How can the quality of the production chain be improved?

Farming in the forest

Published: Sep 01, 2000

Shifting cultivation using ‘slash and burn’ practices is often seen as unproductive and outmoded, destroying forest resources, and causing air pollution, soil erosion and floods. It is clear, forests are being destroyed at a terrifying rate.

Grassroots innovation

Published: Jun 01, 2000

Farmers adapt their farming systems as conditions and needs change. They try out new ideas they have seen or heard about from other farmers, visitors or extension agents, put their own ideas into practice and sometimes work on innovations that have arisen “by accident”.


Published: Mar 01, 2000

Desertification is of major and continuing concern to communities living in dry regions. It is the cause as well as the effect of poverty and endangers the welfare and livelihoods of future generations.


Published: Dec 01, 1999

Several controversial issues have emerged in the current public debate on the management of genetic resources in agriculture. These include genetic modification, patenting and the loss of agrobiodiversity. This Newsletter focuses primarily on biodiversity in crop production but not without looking at the other two issues as well.

Finding common ground

Published: Sep 01, 1999

In this issue of the Ileia Newsletter we present the full story of the ILEIA Collaborative Research Programme. The Reports on Activities in The Philippines, Ghana, Peru, and India provide detailed information on the process and the results of the participatory research undertaken by our partners in the national LEISA Working Groups.

Growing green and trading fair

Published: Dec 01, 1998

There has always been agricultural trade. Trade remains a necessity whether it is barter between neighbours or long-distance trade facilitated by money. Trade expansion has brought benefits o many agricultural producers and consumers, However, it has also been responsible for an uncontrolled concentration of power and wealth in the hand of a few.

LEISA in perspective: 15 years ILEIA

Published: Sep 01, 1998

This Jubilee publication sums up the 15 years of ILEIA's experience with LEISA in practice.

Challenging water scarcity

Published: Jul 01, 1998

Water means life in agriculture. When there is a water shortage plants become stunted, yields drop, animals become weak and men and women have to struggle to find the water they need.

Fighting back with IPM

Published: Dec 01, 1997

This issue is about substituting external inputs for labour, management skills and knowledge. It is about Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and men and women farmers participating in Farmer Field Schools, experiential learning and non-formal education.

Rebuilding lost soil fertility

Published: Sep 01, 1997

Soil fertility management (SFM) is the basis for sustainability in every agricultural production system. Creating favourable conditions for soil life and plant growth, nutrient application and soil conservation are important aspects of soil fertility management.

Rejuvenate local knowledge

Published: Jun 01, 1997

Although this issue does not have a particular theme, there is, nevertheless, a continuous thread running through most of the articles: 'Rejuvenate local knowledge'.

Forging partnerships

Published: Mar 01, 1997

What works for developing sustainable agricultural practices? This was the question that guided the analysis of nine collaborative agricultural projects from Asia, Africa, Latin and North America that focused on integrated pest management.

Tracking change

Published: Dec 01, 1996

Understanding and documenting the conditions which enhance as well as those which limit the expansion of LEISA is a major theme for ILEIA. This requires an understanding of the impact of many conditions which are themselves in constant evolution. Moreover, these conditions are seen differently by different stakeholders.

More than rice

Published: Jul 01, 1996

Integrated farming in the humid lowlands brings to mind the image of small, intensive and diversified agricultural production systems. In this issue, we refer to humid lowland tropics as rainfed or irrigated farm lands that are flat or gently undulating, usually at an altitude near sea level (Durno et al, 1992).

Mountains in balance

Published: Apr 01, 1996

After living and working for more than 15 years in mountainous regions in Kenya, Peru, Ecuador and Nepal, guest editor Hans Carlier was asked to give his view on sustainable development of mountain agriculture.

Farmers facing change

Published: Dec 01, 1995

In this Newsletter issue, the ILEIA Learning Process is presented. Together with learning partners and other groups and individuals with relevant experiences and skills, ILEIA will try to assess the feasibility of ecologically sound agriculture in three contrasting environments, in Northern Ghana (dryland savannahs), Peru (mountain valleys) and the Philippines (humid lowlands).

We love weeds

Published: Sep 01, 1995

This Newsletter makes clear that weeds are not just bothersome and have to be eradicated with all possible means, an impression one gets from the bulk of agricultural research on weed management. As many articles in this issue demonstrate, lots of farmers benefit from weeds. These can, in fact, be so valuable that they are "loved and protected"!

Research and reality

Published: Jun 01, 1995

The quest for sustainable agriculture brings about a search for new approaches to and methods for research and development. Especially the complexity and diversity of sustainable agriculture challenges professionals. In this editorial, key issues raised in the articles of this issue are placed in a wider perspective.

Room for farmers

Published: Mar 01, 1995

This issue of the Newsletter does not deal with a specific theme. Nevertheless this collection of encouraging articles seems to contain a common message: 'give room to innovating farmers'.

Farming at close quarters

Published: Dec 01, 1994

A common saying is that necessity is the mother of invention. Lack of space creates creativity. This is shown in the myriad of forms in which people with little or no land produce food, fuel and other raw materials. Gardens on roofs, fast-growing trees as fences, plants inside old tyres, rabbits in abandoned garages, even a fish hatchery in the home. People in cities and other densely-populated areas have developed highly intensive forms of farming.

Wastes wanted

Published: Oct 01, 1994

This issue of the ILEIA Newsletter focuses on recycling of organic waste, at urban as well as farm level. To what extent is organic waste used and brought back to the land? What are the major constraints to bend the linear flows of the organic matter and nutrients? What are promising experiences to make recycling of organic waste more efficient and profitable?

Caring for our land

Published: Jun 01, 1994

Until now, ILEIA has looked mainly at questions of agricultural sustainability at the level of plots or farms. However, to maintain such sustainability and for their survival in general, many farmers depend on resources beyond their farm.

A new look at information

Published: Mar 01, 1994

Ever hears about “secretes expert information”, Tei-kei or puppets for sustainable agriculture? Is agriculture in need of a different system of communication, as it is largely based on local resources?

A strong case for diversity

Published: Dec 01, 1993

This issue of ILEIA Magazine addresses opportunities and constrains in developing LEISA. Articles analyze experiences in Kenya, Brazil Thailand Philippines, Ghana, India China and Cuba.

After the harvest

Published: Oct 01, 1993

The harvest is the final stage in the process of gaining crop and animal yields. But it is only the beginning of the processes of making these useful in the home and wider economy. In this Newsletter, various authors give insight into what happens after the harvest: how small holders handle, process and store farm products for home consumption and sale and preserve seed for coming seasons.

Cutting back on chemicals

Published: Jun 01, 1993

This ILEIA Newsletter focuses on experiences in areas where the ‘Green Revolution’ is being challenged and transformed to sustainable form of agriculture. Can agriculture, in the long run, do without mineral fertilizers and synthetic pesticides, even in the GR areas?

Keep rolling

Published: Mar 01, 1993

This is issue features a colorful collection of all kinds of people from all over the world, eager to share their experiences with you and eager to hear your opinion.

Whose energy?

Published: Dec 01, 1992

Here you’ll find a collection of articles and information on human energy and bio-energy. In many countries without sufficient sources of oil, the affordability of fossil-energy-based agricultural inputs becomes more and more a problem.

Livestock sustaining livelihoods

Published: Oct 01, 1992

Up to now, discussions of sustainable agriculture have focused mainly on soil-plant-water relations. If animal are mentioned, then often with reference to negative impact on vegetation.

Lets work together

Published: Jun 01, 1992

This issue of the Newsletter is a special one in the sense that it is based on the input and output of an international workshop organized by ILEIA. The articles report on experiences with networking by farmer groups, NGOs and researchers. Moreover, this Newsletter presents the proceedings of the workshop, which include general conclusions and recommendations.

Creating a healthy environment

Published: Mar 01, 1992

For this Newsletter, we have deliberately set a theme which goes beyond the sectoral boundaries of agriculture. We are concerned here with farmers’ motivation to take action in the face of environmental changes which have negative impact on their quality of life.

Searching for synergy

Published: Dec 01, 1991

In this issue we concentrate on integrated agriculture. The articles pay special attention to synergetic interaction and ways to enhance this king of interaction in agricultural development.

Learning for sustainable agriculture

Published: Oct 01, 1991

In both developing and industrialised countries, the need is being recognised for more sustainable forms of agriculture. But this, in turn, demands a different kind of agricultural training to prepare us for continuous training.

Assessing farmer techniques

Published: May 01, 1991

To respond to the need for evidence on the sustainability of low-external-input farming techniques, ILEIA organized a workshop on ways to assess this. Critical reflexion on context and the criteria applied are seen as a precondition for assessing technology.

Networking towards LEISA

Published: Dec 03, 1990

Register of members of the ILEIA Network. ILEIA is frequently requested to supply interested people with addresses and further information on individuals or groups who are working towards LEISA.

Complementary use of external inputs

Published: Oct 01, 1990

Most farmers use external inputs and try to fit them to their local context. With this issue we explore how external inputs – from out-side the farm or region – can be most effectively combined with local inputs and natural processes. Farmers have always sought the best mix of local resources and external inputs.

Trees and farmers

Published: Jun 01, 1990

In the last years many books and reports were published on agroforestry, community forestry and social forestry. The editors of this Newsletter looked at several of these publications in order to present some main conclusions.

Local knowledge endures and grows

Published: Mar 01, 1990

In this issue we give practical examples of local knowledge and how it continues to grow as it comes into contact with knowledge from elsewhere. Special attention is given by some of our contributor to the roots of agricultural knowledge in its socio-cultural setting, and the right to use this knowledge

Local varieties are our source of health and strength

Published: Dec 01, 1989

Genetic diversity is necessary for sustainable agriculture to keep future agricultural option open. Farmers need genetic diversity to be able to adjust their crops to altered circumstances: pests and diseases evolve new strains and overcome resistance, soil condition change, climate alter.

Farmers' hands on: alternatives to local pesticides

Published: Oct 01, 1989

The problems related to the use of pesticides are obvious. The widely accepted necessity for sustainable development will meet one of its greatest challenges in developing ecologically sound crop protection measures.

Intensifying agriculture in humid areas

Published: Jun 01, 1989

This Newsletter will concentrate on the technical aspects of the discussion about the destruction tropical rainforests. In particular, it will be considered the question of ‘how farming in the tropics can be made more productive and sustainable to lessen the pressure on tropical forests?’.

Discussion on sustaining agriculture

Published: Apr 01, 1989

This issue of Ileia Newsletter does not have a special theme. We return to themes of earlier issues, particularly technology development by farmers. Several other articles are included on for example participatory rural development, livestock and water management.

Enhancing dryland agriculture

Published: Dec 01, 1988

In this Newsletter you will find a collection of articles and information on dryland agriculture in semid-arid zone. We tried to find some important clues for this difficult zone. This issue includes articles on composting, moisture conservation and water harvesting.

Participative Technology Development

Published: Oct 01, 1988

This ILEIA edition discuss about the technology development and the approach which farmers can play an active role. And it should integrate the complimentary domains of knowledge, indigenous and formal knowledge.

Mountain agriculture

Published: Mar 01, 1988

Mountainous regions are among the parts in the world that are ecologically most endangered. This area mostly isolated and relatively poor. Little attention was given to solve the economic development in this regions untill late 70's.

Livestock as part of the agro-ecosystem

Published: Dec 01, 1987

In this issue, we are trying to present some articles on livestock development such as improved fodder production, indigenous livestock system and animal health care based on ependence on veterinary services and partcipatory approach.

Microclimate management

Published: Oct 01, 1987

In many countries, the microclimates are rapidly worsening due to deforestation and a big scalle of chemical agriculture use. Farmes traditionally are very well aware of how important it is to influence the microclimate in favorable way for agriculture production. But in such aspect, it needs to be incorporated in improved and validated with small farmers at on-farm trial.


Published: Jun 01, 1987

Traditional agroecosystem is generally diverse and contain of variable population. The genetic diversity deliberate partical resistance to diseases that are spesific to particular cropand its allow famers to exploit different micoclimate and other uses within spesific genetic variation.

Integrated nutrient supply

Published: May 01, 1987

In many regions of the Third World the decline of soil fertility is alarming. In our opinion a drastic change in the approach to nutrient supply is urgently needed to increase the production of food for a growing population and to stop the rapid increase in soil degradation and destruction of natural ecosystems. Nutrient supply should be seen as an integrated part of the farming system.

Pest management

Published: Nov 01, 1986

The sixth ILEIA focuses on pest management. We would like to discuss the idea of emphasize plant protection methods as one of the replacement of pesticides usage and how to develop the alternative of Integrated Pest management (IPM) methods at the small farmers level to have a better chance in farming system.

Dry land management

Published: Aug 01, 1986

There are traditional techniques and traditional forms of social organization, which have kept their value and proven their use in sustaining the livelihood of farmers and nomads in dry areas. Local populations have lived for many generations in these dry areas and have thereby accumulated a deep knowledge of local resources and how they can be used for survival.

Participatory approaches

Published: Nov 01, 1985

This fourth issue of our ILEIA-Newsletter is assigned to methodological aspects of rural development. Being editors of a Newsletter on low-external-input agriculture, we feel that we should also discuss different approaches to rural development, especially on how to cooperate with farming households.

The possible role of trees in farming systems of the tropics

Published: Jun 01, 1985

This third Newsletter is especially focused on intercropping and the importance of trees. The main article is a review of the possible role of trees in the farming system of the humid and subhumid tropics.

Soil fertility

Published: Mar 01, 1985

In this Newsletter you will find articles concerning: possibilities for maintenance of soil fertility in low external input farming, intensive agricultural use of the humid tropical forests, how to reform shifting cultivation into sustainable agriculture, and the “in-situ” rainwater harvesting technique of CPATSA/EMBRAPA

May we introduce to you....ILEIA

Published: Dec 01, 1984

How all started. This is the first issue of the ILEIA Newsletter. To understand this abbreviation you have to know what and who are behind it. Briefly, ILEIA stands for Information centre for Low External Input Agriculture.

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