Category Archives: Sustainable Agriculture

GFAR Partners’ Assembly and GCARD3

Participants during the second day of General Assembly. Photo by IISD.

Participants during the second day of General Assembly. Photo by IISD.

ANGOC participated in the First Partners’ Assembly of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR)and to the 3rd Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD3) on 5-8 April 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Partners’ Assembly was convened to: i) understand and agree on the draft GFAR Charter, ii) understand challenges of collective action, iii) agree on governance arrangements and iv) endorse the way forward on decisions arrived at the assembly. Around 100 partners agreed on a mission to advocate for and catalyze collective actions that strengthen and transform agri-food research and innovation systems.

On the other hand, GCARD3, “No One Left Behind: Agri‐food Innovation and Research for a Sustainable World” focused on how to better align agricultural research with national development processes and priorities and with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Five themes guided the discussions on ensuring effective and impact-driven national and regional innovation systems: i) scaling-up from research to impact, ii) showcasing results and demonstrating impacts, iii) keeping science relevant and future-focused, iv) sustaining the business of farming and v) ensuring better rural futures. Among the proposed collective actions include:

  • setting up farmer-led innovation platforms;
  • producing 1000 PhDs per year with skills relevant for future agricultural research;
  • continuing professional development in agriculture for innovation and entrepreneurship;
  • developing a “culture of impact”; contributing to national measurement of progress to the SDGs and harmonizing agriculture-related indicators;
  • building value-chain partnerships while protecting small‐scale farmers’ access to resources and developing their business skills;
  • addressing public health and nutrition in agricultural research; and
  • explore the creation of “Alliance for Re‐appropriation of the Future of Rural Areas by Local Actors”

Seminar on Collective Cultivation, Role of Women in Sustainable Agriculture and Right to Land held in Mymensingh, Bangladesh

Post shared by the Association for Land Reform and Development (ALRD).

ALRD, in collaboration with Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) and Bangladesh Agricultural University and partner Gram Unnoyon Songstha [Village Development Organization] (GRAUS) organized the seminar on Collective Cultivation, Role of Women in Sustainable Agriculture and Right to Land on 23 June in Mymensingh District in Bangladesh where papers on women were presented:

  • “Women in joint cultivation and sustainable development of agriculture” by Dr. Nazim Uddin, Senior Scientific Officer, BARI
  • “Women’s Right to Land” by Sanjida Khan Ripa, Asst. Programme Coordinator, ALRD
  • “Procedure of organic farming, possibility and reality” by Dr. Ashraful Islam, Associate Professor, Horticulture, Bangladesh Agricultural University

More than 100 representatives from different organizations, NGOs, journalists, lawyers and male and female farmers participated in the seminar.

Climate change can deal blow to land tenure

Climate change and natural disasters threaten land tenure in Asia and can even deal “heavy blows” to smallholders, according to a loose coalition of civil society groups pushing for land reform in the region.

“Reactive ways of dealing with natural hazards and climate change will no longer work: it is imperative for communities to develop resilience in terms of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction,” said NGOs under the Land Watch Asia campaign in a paper examining the struggle for land rights in the region.

Climate change and hazards demand new ways of approaching land rights, the group said, noting impacts on agriculture, migration and land use. The impact of climate change and disasters on land tenure is an emerging issue, the group said.

Land Watch Asia is a regional campaign made up of 17 NGOs and People’s Movements from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and Sri Lanka all working to improve access to land and natural resources of the rural poor through policy reform and capacity building. It is convened in Asia by the Asian NGO Coalition for Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC).

“Rainfall patterns and temperatures are becoming more variable and extreme. Rains do not come as expected; or when they do it is at extremely high levels. Farmers are noticing changes in water availability, water levels and temperature, which can have adverse effects on cropping patters and crop growth,” the group said. Soil quality and water availability are also affected. Read the rest of this entry

Transnational ‘land grabbing’ now a global concern

From  Business Insight MALAYA (online), June 14, 2010

By Paul M. Icamina

LOS BANOS – Transnational “land grabbing” has become a global concern, prompting organizers of the world’s largest conference on the rice industry this year to place it on the agenda.

Among the topics during the 3rd International Rice Congress, slated in Hanoi from November 8 to12, are the latest in rice research, future technologies, trade issues and policies that define the cereal’s role in supporting poor rice-dependent communities.

The conference, the first time that the “land grabbing” issue will be addressed in a high-level meeting attended by 17 agricultural ministers, will be convened by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

Recent interest in “land grabs,” or the trans-border acquisition of land to produce rice, is sparked by a looming threat of inadequate rice supplies as many countries do not have the capacity to grow enough rice on their own land to meet existing or anticipated demand, IRRI says. (More)

Remembering the ‘Rio Conventions’ from the 1992 Earth Summit

Remembering the Three Rio Conventions

Remembering  the Three Rio Conventions By Ramesh Jaura

IDN-InDepth NewsAnalysis

BERLIN (IDN) – The botched UN conference in Copenhagen may prove to be a blessing in disguise by way of correcting the imbalance that has favoured climate change but nearly ignored desertification and biodiversity that are two other centerpieces of the three ‘Rio Conventions’ emerging from the Earth Summit in June 1992.

A closer inter-action between the three Conventions may in fact liberate the new Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres, from much of the pressure that apparently crushed Yvo de Boer and culminated in his decision to quit the job. (Click link for more)

IDN InDepthNews | Analysis That Matters.

Farmer ends hunger strike; protests pro-GMO agenda of FAO meeting

March 4, Guadalajara – Filipino farmer, Isidoro Boy Ancog, ended his hunger strike today after protesting for three days at a meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Ancog, who is one of the few farmers that were able to participate in that meeting, went on a hunger strike last March 2 after intervening in a plenary session of the 10th FAO international technical conference on Agricultural Biotechnologies in Developing Countries (ABDC-10). Ancog objected to the fact that the Conference appeared to be promoting biotechnology, including the commercial use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as the most viable solution to poverty and hunger in developing countries.

Ancog, an organic farmer from Bohol province, said, “I have observed that small scale men and women farmers and fishers, who form the majority of the poor in this world, are so underrepresented in this room. This is a manifestation of what is happening in our villages —we are targeted, we are not involved in processes. Technologies are so top-down, imposed on us with very little knowledge given, especially on their limitations and effects. I am against GMOs; my province, Bohol, publicly rejects GMOs as a policy; the organizations I represent are fighting against GMOs. Why? Because we firmly believe it is not the solution to poverty and hunger, but rather a cause of more deprivation in the future.”

Ancog’s “intervention” was noted in the Conference Report, which came out today, but the drafters did not acknowledge Ancog’s statements as coming from “farmers’ organizations”—an indication that the Conference did not recognize the contribution of farmers’ groups to decision-making processes.

In fact, the Conference was dominated by pro-GMO delegates, such as from the U.S., Brasil, Argentina, and Mexico, among others. Mexico could not have made the Conference agenda clearer than its announcement at the start of the meeting that it was holding 24 GMO field trials.

Following Ancog’s announcement that he was ending his hunger strike, he addressed the Conference, saying, “Beyond these walls, poverty and hunger still exist. Beyond these walls, peasant farmers, fisherfolks, rural women and indigenous peoples continue to be neglected and ignored in decision making processes and technology development processes. I am calling on delegates and FAO to address this gap. I propose that FAO convenes an international meeting of peasant farmers, fisherfolks, rural women and indigenous peoples to discuss about the results of this conference, but primarily to examine the appropriateness and implications of biotechnology, particularly GMOs in our lives and allow us to decide for ourselves the courses of action to take.”

The Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment (SEARICE), a regional NGO that is working to conserve and develop agricultural biodiversity in Asia, congratulated Ancog for courageously standing up for all farmers who were unable to participate in the Conference.