Feb 5, Quezon City, Philippines – In usual ways, the future of agriculture is shaped by the views of the international community, and organisations from advanced/emerging countries, many times with limited involvement of family farmers and their organizations. These futures usually address global issues. The processes of determining the futures, called foresight, oftentimes have limited application to local development.
However, there is a desire and a need for farmers and their organizations to also shape the future they want. How can foresight processes be more farmer-led, farmer-managed, and be more applicable to local developmental processes; and in so doing help empower farmers determine their future?
It is this question and need that prompted the Asian Farmers Association (AFA), with the support of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), to embark on a project that will implement local grassroots initiatives, to be piloted in three local areas, in three countries.
AFA, with the support of GFAR, is currently conducting a “regional training workshop to implement grassroots foresight initiative”. The workshop is being held in Manila since Feb 2, and will run till Feb 6. Participants are 8 local trainers from India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Running on its fourth day today, the participants were able to already identify forces that can directly influence change as well as the resulting drivers of change through a simulation exercise.
The pilot areas for the grassroots foresight work and implementing partner organizations include: Central Himalayan region of India by INHERE (Institute of Himalayan Environmental Resources and Education), southern Palawan in Philippines by PAKISAMA, and in East Nusa Tenggara in Indonesia by API (Aliansi Petani Indonesia).