Archive for October, 2012

Landscapes
 for 
People,
Food and Nature
October 25, 2012

Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Blog Post Guidelines

I. General Guidelines
Audience:
The blog will target an international audience from developed and developing nations who have an interest in agriculture, food security, natural resources management and/or poverty reduction issues. This will include a cross‐sectoral group including practitioners and researchers of ecological agriculture, political and community leaders, donor groups,
the media, and the general public. A key target audience will be individuals engaged with the Landscapes Initiative knowledge products, Dialogue, and Action and Advocacy elements.
Structure:
Posts should be exciting and original pieces that offer a new perspective on the respective topic and encourage dialogue on the issue. A variety of styles – journalistic, narrative, commentary – are appropriate, but should reflect the series for which the post is being written (please see series‐specific guidelines below). Contributions should connect to the nexus of people, food, and nature. Posts should begin with an attention‐catching opening sentence, and the first few lines should link its relevance to the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative (LPFN). We encourage you to conclude by posing a compelling question and prompting participants to respond by commenting on the post, as this will help engage readers and foster further discussion.
As posts are short, please keep references to outside sources brief and refrain from excessive quotations. You may include one or two links to further reading, but please do not provide a bibliography. We reserve the rights to remove any links deemed inappropriate (unrelated; promotional content; etc.). Each post will be accompanied by at least one photograph and a caption (optional). Feel free to provide your own or suggest a source, otherwise our blog team will identify an appropriate photo. We also encourage the use of infographics, maps, and other multimedia.
Length: 300 – 600 words (not including further reading links). We will not be publishing individual posts longer than 600 words. If you believe a longer post is necessary, we can discuss the option of breaking a larger article into multiple posts for a multi‐day series. For interview posts, please limit the number of questions to no more than five.

Tone:
Because of the diverse reader profile, assume readers may have some background on the topic, but refrain from excessive use of technical language or acronyms. Posts should be informative, but accessible to a wide range of readers with diverse knowledge bases. Posts should feed the curiosity of and appeal to our wide target audience. They should be more personal and informal than academic. Show your sense of humor if possible!

Attribution:
While posted by one of the blog staff members, all guest‐authored contributions will be credited to the author, with name, title, organization, and city/country (please provide these details). No contact information will be given unless explicitly requested, but if blog moderators receive related emails/comments, these will be passed on to the blog author. Please provide the appropriate details for the attribution of photographs, figures, maps, etc. that will be included in the blog post (person and/or organization).
II. Landscape of the Week
Structure:
Posts in this series should paint a picture of an ecoagricultural landscape. This would be composed of a cluster of local ecosystems with a particular configuration of topography, vegetation, land use, and settlement. Landscapes may be defined or delimited by natural, historical, and/or cultural processes, activities or values. Landscapes can incorporate many different features, but all of the various features have some influence or effect on each other. For more information on defining ecoagriculture landscapes, please consult:
http://ecoagriculture.org/page.php? d=228&name=FAQs%20about%20ecoagriculture
Please begin the post with the general context (bioregion, climate, etc.) of the landscape being presented, followed by more specifics on the production systems, spatial organization of the landscape, institutions involved in management, inhabitants and cultural factors, and other pertinent elements. If a landscape approach was purposefully implemented to address certain challenges, these can be included in the context. Suggestions of similar landscapes or those that face similar land management challenges
may be discussed in a post, but the one landscape being showcased should be presented clearly.
Anticipated future developments can be included at the end of the post, particularly if a landscape approach is not yet employed. One photograph of the landscape and one map image should be included.
Tone:
The nature of this series is very descriptive. Feel free to use elements of writing (such as similes, etc.) that might help convey scale, aesthetics, and other characteristics of the landscape.
III. Exploring the Evidence
Structure:
This is the most specialized of the three theme series, and can be laid out similarly to a scientific paper. Each post should begin by offering the question that motivated the research, its relevance to the LPFN, as well as some information on the institutions involved. If there is a description of methods, it should be concise and easily understood by a lay audience. The discussion of results can include references to figures, but two at most.
Because research often stands alone, in this context it is very important that the blog post addresses the “so what?” – the significance of this research for advancing landscape approaches. Please provide at least one relevant figure, and an additional photograph may also be included. You may include one or two links to further reading, but please do not provide a bibliography.
Tone:
Pay particular attention to the language in posts for this series. While the content may be technical in nature, the terms and tone should be accessible and avoid excessive jargon. Unlike in a journal article, feel free to add humor and personality (e.g. daily surveys included identifying and counting tree species, taking soil samples, and dodging the leeches that seemed to fall with every drop of rain). Have fun! IV. Voices from the Field
Structure:
There is considerable flexibility with this series in terms of structure. Some possible formats are anecdotes, interviews, or day‐in‐the‐life. These can be more contemplative or conceptual, but should connect to actual experiences working in a field related to agricultural landscapes. The post can reflect what you personally have to bring to a landscapes approach discussion based on your individual experience working with agricultural landscapes. Discussing your ideas first with a member of the blog team is strongly recommended, considering the lack of definition inherent in this series.
The challenge with the Voices posts is to convey the relationship to landscape approaches. This is your chance to take a particular position on a topic and introduce points of contention. Feel free to be provocative, voice a critique, or issue a call‐to‐action.
Tone:
Readers should be able to identify a voice in the post. The use of first person is encouraged, and the flow can have a story‐like quality. Even if the voice is representing a group, the individual should be identifiable. For example, the ‘voice’ could be that of a researcher in cocoa agroforestry system, a small‐scale farmer in the arid Sahelian region, or even a development worker seated in a UN office.
V. Review Process
Blog post submissions will go through a review and editing process prior to publication. The goal of the blog post review process is to ensure that each post is clear, concise, and relevant to the overall Initiative, blog format, and specific series for which it is written. It should reflect the author’s view on the topic, while contributing to the dialogue around and goals of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative.
After submission of a draft, a post will be edited by the EcoAgriculture blog team for consistency of style and tone. The post will then be sent back to the original author for approval and to address any comments made by the reviewer. Once the edited post has been approved by the author, it will undergo one final overview edit by a different member of the blog team and be scheduled to go live
VI. Comments
Reader comments and discussion will be encouraged on the blog. You are encouraged to check back on your post or subscribe to reader comments, and respond directly if you are so inclined. The blog moderator can provide assistance with this if needed.
Please visit the blog (http://blog.ecoagriculture.org) for samples of the style and content of the blog posts. For more information on what is meant by “Landscapes for People, Food and Nature” visit: http://blog.ecoagriculture.org/2012/03/05/terminology/.

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Growing Food
October 13, 2012

“Most people would say that agriculture is for growing food, and on one level, they are right. The point of agriculture doesn’t stop there, however. At a deeper level, the purpose of agriculture is not just to grow crops and livestock, but to grow healthy, well-nourished people.” (Beatriz Pinheiro, Embrapa)

WFO (World Farmers Organisation)
October 13, 2012

The mission of the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO) is to bring together national agricultural producer organisations and agricultural producer cooperative organisations to create policies and advocate on world farmers’ behalf, in order to improve the economic situation and livelihood of producers, their families and rural communities.

The improvement of farmers’ livelihoods and the economic viability of rural communities around the world is vital given that farmers’ incomes are often 50% or less than average incomes. The second main objective is to contribute to world food security by facilitating cooperation between member organisations. It is crucial given that world food demand is expected to increase by at least 70% by 2050 and market volatility is on the increase.

Other objectives of the WFO include facilitating the organisation of agricultural producers and enabling them to improve their positioning within the food supply chain. This will help farmers and agri-cooperatives to manage the extreme price volatility and get a better return from the market. The objectives also include ensuring coherence with other agriculture related activities, such as forestry, aquaculture, environment, trade, research and education. Finally, the Organisation aims to encourage farmers’ involvement in sustainable rural development, the environment and new arising challenges, such as climate change and the renewal of generations. (WFO,2012)

WORLD CAFE, Humid Tropic,Accra, Ghana
October 13, 2012

Worldcafe

Exchanges of knowledge and ideas that helped shape the Humidtropics proposal, one of the CGIAR Research Programs, submitted on 10 September 2010 to the CGIAR Consortium was held 9-10 August 2010 in Accra, Ghana.

 

IFPRI 2020 conference on “Leveraging Agriculture for Improving Nutrition and Health” New Delhi 11-12 February 2011
October 13, 2012

Family Farming
October 2, 2012

43% of the active world population is employed in agriculture. The percentage is increased to 53% in developing countries. In sub-Sahara Africa, 80% of farms are family owned and worked. On a world level 1500 million homes live from farming.

But Family Farming is much more than an agricultural economy model: it is the basis of the sustainable production of food, of the management of the environment and its biodiversity, a fountain of the important cultural dimensions of each people, a fundamental pillar in the integral development of nations.

Family Farming has to face a series of challenges: the difficulty of access to resources and raw materials, the aging of the population and the lack of generational take-over (abandoning of the land by children), lack of commercialising, training and financial services, price volatility, little or no participation in decision- making processes, etc. All this reflects the lack of recognition of the strategic role it carries out.

The data speaks for itself: in developing countries 3 of every four poor people live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their subsistence. Women own less than 2% of the land and receive less than 5% of the meagre technical assistance provided to farmers.

 (Foto : KFK.Kompas.com)

The food crisis which we have in recent years has brought a tendency change, causing a certain international interest in Family Farming. There is, before us, a unique opportunity to re-launch Family Farming in the world.(International Year of Family Farming Campaign, Granja Modelo s/n – 01192 ARKAUTE (Araba) – Tel: + 945 12 13 24 – Fax: + 34 945 28 14 22  – secretary@familyfarmingcampaign.net)

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