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You are here: Home Magazines Global edition Co-creation of knowledge

Co-creation of knowledge

last modified Mar 29, 2016 03:25 PM

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.

Their experiences show that, together, people from diverse backgrounds can achieve large societal changes that range from diversified incomes and climate resilience to greater agrobiodiversity and food sovereignty.

This issue of the magazine, moreover, explores the political dimension of knowledge co-creation in the practice, science and movement of agroecology. It zooms in on various ways in which agricultural actors can move away from traditional top-down approaches of knowledge transfer, so that family farmers can truly become central players in processes of knowledge creation.

Farming Matters | 32.1 | March 2016

Featured articles

Table of contents:

  • 3 - 3
    Léocadie Voho is a cocoa farmer from Ivory Coast. Together with 23 other female farmers, researchers, film makers and the Fairtrade organisation she realised that trade was, after all, not fair. By filming her story, she learned how to make change.
  • 6 - 8
    Knowledge building is central to agroecology rooted in family farming. But why? What type of knowledge, and whose knowledge is mobilised? This issue of Farming Matters explores what we really mean by co-creation of knowledge in agroecology, why it is so essential for today’s challenges, and how it takes place around the world.
  • 9 - 9
    In an attempt to solve problems, people collectively ask questions and discuss and implement solutions. Elizabeth Mpofu describes how knowledge co-creation is commonplace in the lives of people and in agroecology. From these processes, social, political, and practical innovations emerge.
  • 10 - 13
    Professor Steve Gliessman and farmer Jim Cochran are among the main movers and shakers of the strawberry sector in California. Since the 1980s they have been experimenting with sustainable ways to grow strawberries and with alternative food networks. In this article they write how they, committed to the agroecological transition, built a powerful partnership that was groundbreaking for farmers, academia and the strawberry industry as a whole.
  • 14 - 16
    Farmers are plant breeders when they select and save the seeds of the plants best adapted to the conditions in their fields. For over two decades, farmer breeders in Honduras have been working with scientists and NGOs to develop new bean varieties. In a context of high agrobiodiversity, limited public sector agricultural research capacity and extension services, the process has not always been smooth. Against all odds, this collaborative effort, which has brought scientific knowledge together with farmer knowledge, has positioned farmers at the forefront of innovation for climate change adaptation. This article highlights lessons learned over 20 years about the power of knowledge co-creation.
  • 17 - 17
    The food sovereignty movement is, in itself, a process of knowledge co-creation. Ludwig Rumetshofer, a young farmer from Austria, and Sylvia Kay, a Netherlands-based researcher invite us to participate in the second Nyéléni Europe Forum for Food Sovereignty in October 2016, in Romania.
  • 18 - 21
    Victor M. Toledo is a Mexican ethnoecologist and social activist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. His work focuses primarily on the study of agroecological and knowledge systems. In this interview, Victor M. Toledo explains why co-creation of knowledge is an integral part of agroecology and discusses the changes that are needed for this form of agriculture to gain ground in the global arena. He argues that agroecology is in itself a major shift in our relationship with knowledge.
  • 22 - 25
    Adivasi communities in India have come together to collectively represent their cultural, agronomic and climatic calendar as they know it. Youth have been using the life cycle to reflect on the effects of climate change and people’s responses to it. This is a case of collective learning that reflects indigenous worldviews.
  • 26 - 28
    A network of communities in West-Central Mexico has rescued its traditional landraces of maize. This experience shows that the benefits of defending an ancestral good is not only limited to regaining cultural identity and agrobiodiversity. The defence of native maize has become a space where old and new knowledge redefined agriculture and where people achieved food sovereignty, technical autonomy, and a new sense of community.
  • 29 - 29
    Knowledge held by citizens provides insights about new food cultures and practices. While acknowledging the usefulness of top-down tools, Oliver De Schutter argues that the state should also embrace the need to learn, observe and be surprised by citizen-led initiatives.
  • 30 - 31
    Two (or more) heads are better than one, goes the old saying, and the same is true in agroecology. As we see here, when people from diverse backgrounds come together, their different perspectives and experiences are fertile ground for creativity and innovation to blossom.
  • 32 - 33
    A platform of farmers, retailers and service providers,civil society organisations, NGOs, government officials, and researchers improves livelihoods in Rwanda. Through interaction and collaboration, these groups experiment with various technological and institutional innovations, thereby tackling local agricultural challenges. This experience illustrates the importance of institutionalising a space where knowledge can be co-created.
  • 34 - 36
    In the Netherlands, a peer review method for farmers arose as an alternative to the biodynamic certification system. By collectively observing and discussing sitespecific challenges, these biodynamic farmers experience first-hand the power of collaboration and drive commitment to sustainability beyond the standards of biodynamic certification.
  • 37 - 39
    The co-creation of knowledge about agricultural biodiversity is an essential part of peasant strategies for survival and autonomy. Facing the threats of the industrial model of production and consumption, peasants and social movements are defending agroecology and their dynamic management of agricultural biodiversity. Together with others, they are building collective knowledge about developing localised, biodiverse food systems, about reclaiming access to their territories and about engaging in research and policy making as principal actors.
  • 40 - 42
    For the past half century agricultural innovation has denied a voice to the many groups who work outside the profession of science – farmers, food providers, women and the urban poor. The value of their expertise gained through practical experience must be recognised in the production and validation of knowledge.
  • 44 - 45
  • 46 - 46
    Members of the AgriCultures Network are working together to advance family farming rooted in agroecology. Here is our latest update.
  • 47 - 47
    Deadline: 15 June 2016
  • 48 - 48
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