In situ conservation techniques are an effective way to improve, maintain and use traditional or native varieties of agricultural crops. In order to empower farmers to take on this important, yet challenging task, national programmes could be of great importance in providing assistance and guidance.
This manual is intended to provide a broad range of actors, including Ministries of Agriculture and the Environment, universities, research and extension institutions, non-government organizations (NGOs), and community based groups, with a comprehensive view of factors involved in designing and implementing a programme to support the in situ conservation of crop genetic diversity on-farm.
Click to download the publication from the FAO website
Food security and poverty alleviation is possible, thanks to an agricultural system that puts the interests of the small farmers front and center.
This is the positive message of a new book called “Food Security and Farmer Empowerment: A study of the impacts of farmer-led sustainable agriculture in the Philippines” which shows the overwhelming benefits of a sustainable agriculture system led and practiced by small-scale farmers. The book is a summary of the results of an extensive impact evaluation of MASIPAG, a nation-wide network of farmers, scientists and NGOs promoting and implementing sustainable agriculture (SA) for more than 20 years now.
The impact study, considered as one of the largest ever undertaken on organic sustainable agriculture in Asia, incorporated the experiences of 840 full organic, partially organic, and conventional farmers. Key findings of the study include:
• 88% of the organic farmers have better food security compared to 44% of the conventional farmers;
• organic farmers have 2-3.7 times more diverse diet (more vegetables, fruits, meat and protein source) than the conventional farmers;
• organic yields at par with the conventional; conventional farmers having decreased yields overtime while the organic remains steady;
• significantly higher livelihood incomes of the poorest 25% of the organic farmers, 1.5 times than that of the poorest 25% conventional farmers;
• positive annual household cash balance of almost Php5,000 while the conventional farmers are almost always negative; and
• organic farmers are more actively involved in community organizations and have higher rates of training and adoption of sustainable agriculture techniques.
Continue reading New book asserts farmer-led sustainable agriculture key to food security
[The following is from the flyer of ISIS about its new publication to which AFA contributed articles as follow: “Pursuing Organic Farming in Cambodia” (by Kong Sokchhoin, FNN); “A Case for Cassava in East Nusa Tenggara” (by Nuruddin); “When Survival of the Self is the Survival of Others” (by Ryoko Tsuboi, AINOUKAI); “Bracing the Burdens of Bulan” (by Mela Gipanao, LAKAMBINI/PAKISAMA); “Accessing and Accounting ASEAN” (by Esther Penunia, AFA).]
In 2008, the world was alarmed by the shortage of food especially staples such as wheat, rice and corn. This crunch was further aggravated by the soaring prices of fuel and now, by the gripping economic and climate crises.
But the food crisis is not the result of the unavailability of food sources. Instead it exposed the flaws of the neoliberal model that has created various forms of scarcity amid abundance in the name of profit — resulting to captive politics, massive poverty, environmental degradation and even cultural homogenisation.
Moreover, the food crisis has left of its mark on women’s lives and bodies, which borne much of the pressure to access the already limited resources for the poor and provide for their families.
Continue reading Women share experiences and perspectives on the food crisis
Do you know who feeds most of Asia’s population of over four billion people? Women! In Asia, most of the farmers are women. And because women shop for and prepare most of the food eaten by Asian families, they play critical roles in ensuring good nutrition and food safety across the region.
Read the full article at The Seoul Times