Smallholder innovation for resilience in the face of climate change – reports from China, India, Kenya and Peru.

“Understanding the coping and risk-management strategies of farmers who are already facing extreme climatic stresses and variation will be useful in developing strategies that can be adopted by other farmers who will face similar challenges in the future” according to a new report – Coping with Climate Change: The Roles of Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture launched last month (download here) from the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). The report launch coincided with the 15th session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture (CGRFA-15) in January 2015.

I was in Rome for that meeting and a side event that gave examples from four countries – China, India, Kenya, and Peru – of just how some farmers are being innovative in response to just such challenges. The speakers were presenting their findings at the halfway point in an EU-financed project “Smallholder Innovation for Resilience: Strengthening innovation systems for food security in the face of climate change” (SIFOR).

Krystyna Swiderska introduced the session with a brief overview of the project.

You can see her slides here

Ajay Ratogi talked of their findings on biocultural innovation in the central and eastern Himalaya in India, including the farmer who bred a large variety of radish – in picture

You can see his slides here

Alejandro Argumedo examined the responses to global challenges in the Potato Park in Peru

You can see his slides here

Yiching Song, whose project areas I’ve had the chance to visit and discussed in earlier blogs, discussed the major findings and action in community-based genetic resources conservation and management in SW China, including the creation of a new farmer seed network.

You can see her slides here

Unlike the other project areas in China, India and Peru, the work in Kenya is located near the coast. Chemuku Wekesa described the adaptations to climate change being made by the Mijikenda community.

You can see his slides here

After the presentations there was a chance for questions from the audience at the well-attended side event and you can hear them (but not quite from the start) here:

About Geoff Tansey

I curate the Food Systems Academy, a free, on-line, open education resource to transform our food systems. I was also a member of the Food Ethics Council from 2000-2021 and chaired the independent Fabian Commission on Food and Poverty, which reported in 2015.
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