21.09.2015 Helder verdienmodel kan agroforestry doen doorbreken – Vilt


Vilt

21.09.2015 Helder verdienmodel kan agroforestry doen doorbreken
Vilt
Het gezegde 'boompje groot, plantertje dood' indachtig werpen we in de jongste geVILT een kritische blik op het verdienmodel achter agroforestry. Door op eenzelfde perceel een landbouwgewas te combineren met een aanplanting van bomen kan je in …

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HomeNieuwsHelder verdienmodel kan agroforestry doen doorbreken – Vilt


Vilt

HomeNieuwsHelder verdienmodel kan agroforestry doen doorbreken
Vilt
Het gezegde 'boompje groot, plantertje dood' indachtig werpen we in de jongste geVILT een kritische blik op het verdienmodel achter agroforestry. Door op eenzelfde perceel een landbouwgewas te combineren met een aanplanting van bomen kan je in …

and more »

Verdienmodel achter boslandbouw oogt fragiel maar niet surrealistisch – Vilt

Verdienmodel achter boslandbouw oogt fragiel maar niet surrealistisch
Vilt
Landbouwers die er oor naar hebben dat één plus één meer is dan twee wanneer je aan 'boslandbouw' doet, kunnen zich dankzij het vijfjarige IWT-onderzoeksproject 'Agroforestry in Vlaanderen' grondig informeren alvorens zelf bomenrijen aan te planten in …

Plates From Fallen Leaves, Bricks From Plastic Waste and Sight Saving Mobile … – AllAfrica.com

Plates From Fallen Leaves, Bricks From Plastic Waste and Sight Saving Mobile
AllAfrica.com
As the world gears up to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) later this month, 27 trailblazing eco-enterprises are recognized at the 2015 SEED Africa Symposium in Nairobi for employing business models that bring social and environmental …

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Good Reads | Can We Level the Playing Field for Coffee Growers?

Check out Lucas Oliver Oswald’s article (August 12, 2015) in Grist: “Can we level the playing field for coffee growers?”  Oswald does an analysis about the changing coffee industry and the rise of direct trade. CAN affiliated researcher Dr. Christopher Bacon (Santa Clara University) was interviewed for the article and raised caution about direct trade. Read the article here.

Read about CAN’s alternative trade model — AgroEco® Coffee — operating under principles of participation and transparency. We build relationships to ensure that what’s behind the cup of coffee is quality of life and quality of bean.

3-day training on forestry mgmt at FRI – The Times of India – Times of India

3-day training on forestry mgmt at FRI – The Times of India
Times of India
The training module includes the techniques of seed handling and dormancy pretreatments, seed storage, different agroforestry models, nursery techniques of important tree species of UP, MP and Rajasthan, medicinal plants in agroforestry with practical …

West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand’s special needs stressed for Ganga rejuvenation – Web India

West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand's special needs stressed for Ganga rejuvenation
Web India
The ten models mooted for Bihar include soil/wildlife conservation; identification of local species for plantations including bamboo, grasses and medicinal plants; agroforestry; plantation of high quality horticulture species; nursery like Kisan

‘Win-win’ investment in Tanzania? – New Internationalist (blog)


New Internationalist (blog)

'Win-win' investment in Tanzania?
New Internationalist (blog)
However, it is not the only model for agricultural development. There are more effective ways that focus on meeting the needs of the smallholder farmers and assisting them to develop appropriate farming practices. Agroecological methods, that give

‘Glyphosate will lead to largest health scandal’ – Buenos Aires Herald


Buenos Aires Herald

'Glyphosate will lead to largest health scandal'
Buenos Aires Herald
Argentina should change its agriculture model to agroecology, a viable option even though Monsanto says it isn't, Robin said. The World Health Organization recently categorized glyphosate as a probable carcinogenic after reviewing many investigations …

Working Trees for Islands Showcases Power of Agroforestry – USDA.gov (press release) (blog)


USDA.gov (press release) (blog)

Working Trees for Islands Showcases Power of Agroforestry
USDA.gov (press release) (blog)
Breadfruit is a key component of some Pacific Islands traditional agroforestry systems, which provide a model for revitalizing food production in Hawaii. Along with other conservation partners, the Breadfruit Institute is promoting the use and

The Main Street Farmers’ Market at The Cooperage Open for the Season – PA home page


PA home page

The Main Street Farmers' Market at The Cooperage Open for the Season
PA home page
The “Ants” are working to create ecological food production systems that mimic nature and a perennial based production model that uses agroforestry and silvopasture as it's foundation. You'll find pesticide free and naturally grown seasonal produce at

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Effects of habitat types and within lake environmental gradients on the diversity of chironomid assemblages

Publication date: Available online 30 May 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Diána Árva , András Specziár , Tibor Erős , Mónika Tóth
Understanding the distribution of biotic diversity across various spatial scales and environmental gradients is important from fundamental, practical and conservation biological aspects. We applied a hierarchical diversity partitioning framework to quantify the variability of sample level α- and β 1 -diversity, and environment related β 2 -diversity of benthic chironomid assemblages within and among a priori defined habitat types, and along the gradients of individual environmental factors in a large and shallow lake (Lake Balaton, Hungary). Taxon richness (both additive and multiplicative) and Shannon index based diversity approaches yielded highly concordant results. The α-diversity was much lower and β 1 -diversity higher than predicted by null model and both measures varied substantially among habitat types and along most individual environmental gradients. The β 2 -diversity indicated a marked variability of taxon (identified at species to genus level) pool among habitat types and higher than predicted taxon turnover along all examined environmental gradients. Moreover, the observed β 2 -diversity varied greatly among individual environmental gradients. The difference between the expected and observed β 2 -diversity values suggests that taxon turnover was most influential (in decreasing order) along the algae coverage gradient, the lake bed substratum gradient and the macrophyte coverage gradient among others. We argue that within-lake environmental heterogeneity and its effect on the taxon richness should receive more attention in biodiversity assessment and conservation. Management could benefit from the identification of within lake gradients along which taxonomic turnover maximizes.

Inter-basin dispersal through irrigation canals explains low genetic structure in Diplomystes cf. chilensis, an endangered freshwater catfish from Central Chile

Publication date: Available online 19 May 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): C.P. Muñoz-Ramírez , P.F. Victoriano , E. Habit
Biotic homogenization in freshwater ecosystems is a growing concern among conservation biologists. Recent phylogeographic data has shown low genetic structure between some basins from Central Chile, hypothesizing that either current dispersal through irrigation canals or incomplete lineage sorting due to recent divergence might explain the observed patterns. However, these hypotheses remain untested despite their potential implications for freshwater biodiversity and conservation. We used a statistical, model-based framework (approximate Bayesian computation) to investigate the relative support for each of these hypotheses. Our results show strong support for the model involving current migration between basins, and rejected the model of recent divergence without migration. These results strongly suggest that irrigation canals are facilitating the dispersal between basins, posing a serious threat to biodiversity in Central Chile, an area considered a biodiversity hotspot. Finally, these results highlight the utility of model-based approaches for determining demographic processes with potential conservation implications, even with the lack of extensive molecular data.

Dietary-morphological relationships of nineteen fish species from an Amazonian terra firme blackwater stream in Colombia

Publication date: Available online 29 April 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Fernando Ramírez , Thomas Lee Davenport , José Iván Mojica
Small, oligotrophic Amazonian streams support an extremely rich fish fauna. The aim of the current study was to elucidate the relationship between diet and morphology in fishes from an Amazonian terra firme stream in the Colombian Amazon River basin near the city of Leticia. Fish specimens were collected from two locations at the Yahuarcaca terra firme stream. All fish species selected in the morphological analyses were used in the dietary analyses. We analyzed 10 to 60 adult individuals per species based on availability. Morphology and diet were correlated by direct observation (description) of morphological structures and food items found in gut. Only morphological variables presumed to be associated with prey capture and feeding were recorded for each individual. Species diets were classified into six food categories based on stomach content analysis. By comparing morphological characteristics, and dietary data, it was possible to find a relationship between structures and feeding habits and propose a model for explaining these relationships. Morphological and dietary specializations were found among some fishes inhabiting the stream examined. Internal morphological characteristics such as gill rakers, pharyngeal teeth, pyloric caeca and stomach form should be used more often in ecomorphological studies because they are directly associated with resource utilization and linked to feeding habits.

Presentation at SCAA Meeting in Seattle, Washington

Community Agroecology Network’s (CAN) Food Security & Sovereignty in Las Segovias, Nicaragua project was selected as a finalist for the 2015 Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) Sustainability Award. Roseann Cohen, executive director of CAN, Maria Eugenia Flores, project manager, Christopher Bacon, CAN affiliated researcher and assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Santa Clara University; and Merling Preza, general manager of PRODECOOP traveled to Seattle for the awards presentation at the SCAA 2015 annual meeting. While there, Maria Eugenia also presented the project at the Innovations in Sustainability Panel.

CAN’s project contributes to the long-term sustainability of the coffee industry in three ways. First, it promotes food sovereignty in coffee growing communities, which means healthy and stable families and communities who are able to stay on their land and make a livelihood from coffee and food production, and benefit from improved nutrition. This in turn makes the coffee supply stable. Second, this project supports improved coffee quality and long-term ecological sustainability of coffee production by promoting improved soil fertility and improved coffee shade management practices that also result in increased availability of diverse foods at the farm level. Finally, the project promotes stronger farmer cooperative organizations and their capacity to enhance the well-being of their members.

Project Details

The Food Security and Sovereignty Project in Las Segovias, Nicaragua is a collective initiative funded over the last 5 1/2 years by Keurig Green Mountain and implemented through a long-time partnership model integrating participatory action research and agroecology with cooperatives between CAN, PRODECOOP. R. L, a second level coffee cooperative, CIIASDENIC, a local nonprofit organization, and Nicaraguan and U.S. based universities. It aims to reduce and eventually eliminate seasonal hunger with 1,500 family farmers in 18 smallholder cooperatives. Core strategies includes sustainable solutions managed and owned by the cooperative to re-localize control over the local food system and reduce vulnerability to climate shocks.

Click here to learn more.

Temporal abiotic variability structures invertebrate communities in agricultural drainage ditches

Publication date: May 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 52
Author(s): Merrin H. Whatley , J. Arie Vonk , Harm G. van der Geest , Wim Admiraal
Abiotic variability is known to structure lotic invertebrate communities, yet its influence on lentic invertebrates is not clear. This study tests the hypothesis that variability of nutrients and macro-ions are structuring invertebrate communities in agricultural drainage ditches. This was determined by investigating invertebrate adaptations to disturbance using insect life-history strategies. Many low-lying agricultural areas contain drainage ditches which potentially provide suitable habitat for aquatic invertebrates. In the province of North Holland (The Netherlands) the extensive network of eutrophic ditches are hydrologically managed, creating seasonal variability of water quality arising from agricultural run-off and the inlet of mineral rich, river derived water. This temporal variability was analysed from monitoring data, collected over a 7 month period (February till August) and covering 84 ditches in three soil regions; sand, clay and peat. Invertebrate diversity was determined as local ( α diversity), regional ( γ diversity) and species-turnover ( β diversity). We ran canonical correspondence analysis and linear mixed models to determine correlations between invertebrate diversity, functional community composition and specific abiotic parameters, including variability (expressed as the Median Absolute Deviation). Invertebrate α diversity was positively correlated to variability in water transparency and negatively correlated to average pH, with the two parameters reflecting a water quality gradient in the environment. Insect life-history strategies expressed adaptations to abiotic variability and harsh (eutrophic) conditions. These adaptations were mainly achieved through good dispersal abilities and developmental trade-offs. The results support measures to reduce influxes of excess nutrients to this network of ditches.

Neuston: A relevant trophic resource for apple snails?

Publication date: Available online 7 April 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Lucía Saveanu , Pablo R. Martín
Apple snails are known for the strong impacts they provoke in wetlands and aquatic crops by their macrophytophagous habits. Interestingly, they are able to persist after they have eradicated most palatable aquatic macrophytes in the invaded wetlands. Pedal surface collecting is a distinctive mechanism that apple snails use to capture materials in the water surface. We were interested in knowing the relevance of neuston, the organisms associated with the air-water interface, as an alternative trophic resource. Using the invasive Pomacea canaliculata as a model, our experiments with simulated trophic resources in the laboratory showed that neuston is highly consumed even in the presence of abundant palatable macrophytes. P. canaliculata was able to grow efficiently using neuston as an alternative trophic resource both under laboratory and natural conditions. Neuston probably plays a relevant role specially when other trophic resources are inedible or absent or have been depleted by apple snails. Pedal surface collecting probably evolved in apple snails as an adaptation to cope with fluctuating trophic resources.

Habitat suitability of the invasive water hyacinth and its relation to water quality and macroinvertebrate diversity in a tropical reservoir

Publication date: Available online 7 April 2015
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Tien Hanh Thi Nguyen , Pieter Boets , Koen Lock , Minar Naomi Damanik Ambarita , Marie Ane Eurie Forio , Peace Sasha , Luis Elvin Dominguez Granda , Thu Huong Thi Hoang , Gert Everaert , Peter L.M. Goethals
In this study, we assessed the relationship between the occurrence of the invasive water hyacinth ( Eichhornia crassipes ) and water quality properties as well as macroinvertebrate diversity in a tropical reservoir, situated in western Ecuador. Macroinvertebrates and physico-chemical water quality variables were sampled at 32 locations (during the dry season of 2013) in both sites covered and non-covered by water hyacinth in the Daule-Peripa reservoir. The results indicated that, in terms of water quality, only turbidity was significantly different between sampling sites with and without water hyacinth (Mann-Whitney U-test, p < 0.01). The habitat suitability model showed that water hyacinth was present at sites with a low turbidity. The percentage water hyacinth cover increased with decreasing turbidity. The Biological Monitoring Working Party-Colombia score and the Margalef diversity index were significantly higher (Mann-Whitney U-test, p < 0.01) at sampling sites where water hyacinth was present compared to water hyacinth absent sites. However, there were no significant differences in the Shannon–Wiener index, Evenness index and Simpson index between the sampling sites with and without water hyacinth. Our results suggest that water hyacinth cover was an important variable affecting the diversity of macroinvertebrates in the Daule-Peripa reservoir, with intermediate levels of water hyacinth cover having a positive effect on the diversity of macroinvertebrates. Information on the habitat suitability of water hyacinth and its effect on the physico-chemical water quality and the macroinvertebrate community are essential to develop conservation and management programs for large tropical reservoirs such as the Daule-Peripa reservoir and the Guayas river basin, where water resources are being at high risk due to expansion of agricultural and industrial development activities.

New Model Measures Danish Agricultural Efficiency – ThePoultrySite.com


ThePoultrySite.com

New Model Measures Danish Agricultural Efficiency
ThePoultrySite.com
DENMARK – Scientists from the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University have drawn up a robust model that can put actual figures on the efficiency of the country's agricultural production and use of resources. The model uses readily-accessible data.

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New Model Measures Danish Agricultural Efficiency – TheSheepSite


TheSheepSite

New Model Measures Danish Agricultural Efficiency
TheSheepSite
DENMARK – Scientists from the Department of Agroecology at Aarhus University have drawn up a robust model that can put actual figures on the efficiency of the country's agricultural production and use of resources. The model uses readily-accessible data.

and more »

Lies and Fabrications: The Propaganda Campaign in Support of Genetically … – Center for Research on Globalization

Lies and Fabrications: The Propaganda Campaign in Support of Genetically
Center for Research on Globalization
Maingi therefore argues that the model of farming in the West is not appropriate for farming in most of Africa and that the West should invest in indigenous knowledge and agro-ecology. Growth Partners Africa works with farmers to enrich the soil with

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So You Want to Help Africa Mr Paterson? Then Stop Promoting Ideology and … – RINF Alternative News


RINF Alternative News

So You Want to Help Africa Mr Paterson? Then Stop Promoting Ideology and
RINF Alternative News
Maingi therefore argues that the model of farming in the West is not appropriate for farming in most of Africa and that the West should invest in indigenous knowledge and agro-ecology. Growth Partners Africa works with farmers to enrich the soil with

and more »

Only agroecology can tackle the global food and health crisis – The Ecologist (blog)


The Ecologist (blog)

Only agroecology can tackle the global food and health crisis
The Ecologist (blog)
The recently published Global Nutrition Report shows almost all countries face high levels of malnutrition and diet-based ill-health, writes Julia Wright. This reveals deep problems with the dominant industrial model of food production, and the need

International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition Final Report

FAO held the International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition at its headquarters in Rome on September 18 and 19, 2014. Approximately 400 people from 61 different countries (including Permanent Representatives and staff members of representations, FAO / IFAD / WFP staff members, their guests and external participants) attended the event and an additional 186 people followed the Symposium through live streaming.

Steve Gliessman, Chair of CAN’s Board of Directors, chaired the opening plenary. He noted that the focus of Agroecology was originally at the local systems level, but has gradually increased to entire food systems and is now understood as a participatory action research process that leads to sustainability and resilience, as a movement of change and justice.

Steve and Pablo Tittonell reported the key findings and emerging themes of the first one and half days to the plenary. The main findings were: “By the final wrap up session, it was clear that the ecological foundation and food system focus of Agroecology provides an action-oriented approach for simultaneously developing alternative food systems, while transforming the current industrial model. FAO is in a unique position to help build a global agroecological network. The Symposium emphatically demonstrated that the stakeholders represented have everything necessary to make this transformation happen. It only requires action, vision, responsibility towards future generations and above
all courage.”

Key Outcomes

The Symposium generated the following key outcomes:

  • a proposal to continue the dialogue initiated through three regional meetings to be held in 2015;
  • a large amount of scientific evidence and examples of best practices already adopted in many different ecologies and the commitment to finalize proceedings;
  • the recommendation to accompany countries requesting FAO’s assistance to promote national policy dialogue and research on Agroecology and expand partnership towards a local level;
  • recommendation to operationalize Agroecology into FAO’s operational Work Plan for SO2 and other SOs, and to mainstream some ongoing planned national activities and projects towards Agroecology.

Next Steps

Based on the success of the Symposium and FAO’s commitment to facilitate three regional meetings in 2015 in Latin America, Africa and Asia, FAO is looking forward to collaborate with the relevant interested actors on this action plan. More precisely, the Director-General outlined the following points as next steps for FAO:

  • FAO will organize three regional meetings in 2015 in Latin America, Africa and Asia, under the leadership of the Regional Offices (Brazilian government offered to host the Latin America meeting in collaboration with FAO-RLC);
  • The Director-General mentioned during the United Nations Climate Change Summit that participants of the International Symposium on Agroecology called for a United Nations wide initiative on Agroecology in order to help sustainably promote food security, address climate change and build resilience;
  • The Director-General appointed Ms. Maria Helena Semedo, DDG-N as the person responsible for this way forward.

To download the complete report, check here.

From ‘Good to Great’ – Ecological Farming Is Coming! – AllAfrica.com

From 'Good to Great' – Ecological Farming Is Coming!
AllAfrica.com
Also called agroecology, this knowledge-rich type of farming which protects and sustains the diversity of life on earth is gaining recognition as farmers struggle to adapt to a changing climate and the out-dated, chemically intensive model of farming

From ‘Good to Great’ – Ecological Farming Is Coming! – Greenpeace International

From 'Good to Great' – Ecological Farming Is Coming!
Greenpeace International
Also called agroecology, this knowledge-rich type of farming which protects and sustains the diversity of life on earth is gaining recognition as farmers struggle to adapt to a changing climate and the out-dated, chemically intensive model of farming

Timberland Agroforestry Project Breaks Cycle of Poverty in Haiti – Triple Pundit (blog)


Triple Pundit (blog)

Timberland Agroforestry Project Breaks Cycle of Poverty in Haiti
Triple Pundit (blog)
The community agroforestry development model SFA and Timberland put into effect in the rural Haitian community of Gonaïves has boosted agricultural output by some 50 percent, lowered input costs and significantly raised net incomes for farmers and

Natural variation of macrophyte vegetation of lowland streams at the regional level

Publication date: Available online 27 December 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Gerhard Wiegleb , Wolfgang Herr , Bärbel Zander , Udo Bröring , Holger Brux , Klaus van de Weyer
In the present study, we present a synopsis of two macrophyte surveys of physiographic units in northwest Germany carried out over one decade. Data were used to test a set of hypotheses on macrophyte distribution at the regional level. Rank-frequency curves resembled the broken stick model. Twenty-one species of the 59 most frequent species occurred at high frequencies above 15 percent. Helophytes made up a high percentage (12 of 21) of the frequent species. Phalaris arundinacea was the most frequent species in both sampling periods. Most species showed no considerable change in frequency over time, among them the core hydrophytes. Spatial variation of species frequencies among physiographical units showed a unimodal distribution in relation to frequency. Spatial variation of frequencies of functional groups was significantly lower. Most uneven distribution among physiographical units was found in cryptogams. DCA ordinations of physiographical units showed a spatial gradient from alluvial plains to higher grounds units, which remained constant over time. CCA ordination of physiographical units in relation to environmental parameters identified two main axes, an altitudinal gradient and an alkalinity gradient. Species composition of units corresponded to the main landscape pattern of alluvial plains, glacial lowlands, and higher grounds on Mesozoic rock. Species diversity showed a complex behavior. Diverse units were found both in alluvial plains and glacial lowlands of intermediate elevation. The study may help defining regionally differentiated reference states for stream management, benchmarking indicator scores of species and avoiding application of assessment methods outside their range of applicability.

A new fish-based multi-metric assessment index for cyprinid streams in the Iranian Caspian Sea Basin

Publication date: Available online 1 December 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Hossein Mostafavi , Rafaela Schinegger , Andreas Melcher , Karl Moder , Carina Mielach , Stefan Schmutz
A major issue for water resource management is the assessment of environmental degradation of lotic ecosystems. The overall aim of this study is to develop a multi-metric fish index for the cyprinid streams of the Caspian Sea Basin (MMICS) in Iran. As species diversity and composition as well as population structure in the studied streams are different to other regions, there is a substantial need to develop a new fish index. We sampled fish and environmental data of 102 sites in medium sized streams. We analysed human pressures at different spatial scales and determined applicable fish metrics showing a response to human pressures. In total, five structural and functional types of metrics (i.e. biodiversity, habitat, reproduction, trophic level and water quality sensitivity) were considered. In addition, we used 29 criteria describing major anthropogenic human pressures at sampling sites and generated a regional pressure index (RPI) that accounted for potential effects of multiple human pressures. For the MMICS development, we first defined reference sites (least disturbed) and secondly quantified differences of fish metrics between reference and impaired sites. We used a Generalized Linear Model (GLM) to describe metric responses to natural environmental differences in least disturbed conditions. By including impaired sites, the residual distributions of these models described the response range of each metric to human pressures, independently of natural environmental influence. Finally, seven fish metrics showed the best ability to discriminate between impaired and reference sites. The multi-metric fish index performed well in discriminating human pressure classes, giving a significant negative linear response to a gradient of the RPI. These methods can be used for further development of a standardised monitoring tool to assess the ecological status and trends in biological condition for streams of the whole country, considering its complex and diverse geology and climate.

Sustainable catchment restoration for reintroduction of captive bred freshwater pearl mussels Margaritifera margaritifera

Publication date: Available online 25 November 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Mark Horton , Alan Keys , Lisa Kirkwood , Francis Mitchell , Rebecca Kyle , Dai Roberts
The Ballinderry River, Co. Tyrone (SAC), is one of only six rivers in Northern Ireland that still supports a population of the globally endangered freshwater pearl mussel, Margaritifera margaritifera . Fewer than 1000 individuals still exist in the river; without intervention it is predicted the Ballinderry pearl mussel will be extinct by 2098. This paper aims to identify key catchment pressures on remaining mussel stocks and prioritise tributaries within the catchment for remediation work to ensure effective targeting of limited resources. A combination of redox assessment, river surveys and SCIMAP modelling was used to rank tributaries, taking into consideration their size and proximity to the main mussel population at the “sanctuary site”. Diffuse and point sources of sediment were identified within the prioritised catchment. The Tulnacross tributary was selected as the highest priority tributary and has been used in a pilot remediation study. A number of different hard and soft engineering techniques have been used for remediation as well as replacing cattle drinkers with pasture pumps and fencing alongside the river. Initial observations suggest river substrate is cleaner. This study is an example of how to tackle problems within a large-scale catchment with limited resources with participation of local stakeholders and riparian landowners.

Behind the Mask of Altruism: Monsanto and The Gates Foundation in Africa – RINF Alternative News

Behind the Mask of Altruism: Monsanto and The Gates Foundation in Africa
RINF Alternative News
Maingi argued that the model of farming in the West is not appropriate for farming in most ofAfrica and that the West should invest in indigenous knowledge and agro-ecology. Growth Partners Africa works with farmers to enrich the soil with manure and

Behind the Mask of Altruism: Imperialism, Monsanto and the Gates Foundation in … – Center for Research on Globalization

Behind the Mask of Altruism: Imperialism, Monsanto and the Gates Foundation in
Center for Research on Globalization
Maingi argued that the model of farming in the West is not appropriate for farming in most of Africa and that the West should invest in indigenous knowledge and agro-ecology. Growth Partners Africa works with farmers to enrich the soil with manure and

Development miracle or environmental disaster? A look behind the oil palm … – Forests News, Center for International Forestry Research (blog)

Development miracle or environmental disaster? A look behind the oil palm
Forests News, Center for International Forestry Research (blog)
Development models for this include various agroforestry techniques, patchwork developments and ecological landscape planning. The challenge, according to the authors, will be not to prevent expansion of the palm oil sector, but to encourage forms of …

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Opening a Window in the Cathedral of the Green Revolution | Steve Gliessman and Pablo Tittonell

Posted in: News   Topics: Agroecology and Food Systems,


“Agroecology is opening a window in the ‘Cathedral of the Green Revolution.” With these words, the Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Dr. José Graziano da Silva, began his closing remarks at the end of the two-day symposium titled “Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition,” held at FAO’s headquarters in Rome, Italy, September 18-19, 2014. He was referring to the impressive results of two days of presentations, discussions, and debate about how agroecology must be considered as a key focus for developing global alternatives for solving the complex issues of hunger, poverty, food production, climate change, and agricultural sustainability.

More than 400 participants from over 30 countries gathered to take part in what was a ground-breaking symposium. For the first time the FAO considered the importance of agroecology as an organizing principle for future programs in food security and nutrition. The focus was not just on increasing production. It was on understanding food systems as cultural systems, with people at the center of the system, rather than the current industrial model focused on yield maximization at all costs, the use of non-renewable resources, and using all available production technologies. Ecological and social diversity and complexity, rather than simplicity and homogeneity, were called for as alternatives to the extractive and degrading monoculture approach that dominates the world’s food systems today.

Download the complete editorial by Steve Gliessman and Pablo Tittonell. [Reprinted with permission: Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems Volume 39, issue 2 (In Press)]
.pdf

Agroecology takes center stage in Rome

Walking past the ancient Roman Coliseum on my way to the recent International Symposium on Agroecology, the surprising twists of history were on my mind. Even a few years ago, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization — host of the symposium — would never have organized such a meeting. “Agroecology” was considered far too radical and dangerous a concept to many in FAO who had dedicated long careers to exporting the chemical-intensive “Green Revolution” model of agriculture around the world.

Yet there I was, along with 400 other scientists, agri-food system researchers, farmers and social movement leaders, commencing an intensive 2-day exchange of agroecological knowledge, science and practice in the heart of Rome.

read more

Extracting Ourselves From The Extractivist Mindset: Review of This Changes … – CounterCurrents.org

Extracting Ourselves From The Extractivist Mindset: Review of This Changes
CounterCurrents.org
Community-controlled renewable energy, industrial planning with local sourcing and job protection, support for worker cooperatives, decentralized farming based on agroecology rather than industrial models—all are good places to start, she suggests.

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Extracting Ourselves from the Extractivist Mindset – Dissident Voice


Dissident Voice

Extracting Ourselves from the Extractivist Mindset
Dissident Voice
Community-controlled renewable energy, industrial planning with local sourcing and job protection, support for worker cooperatives, decentralized farming based on agroecology rather than industrial models—all are good places to start, she suggests.

and more »

Agroecology and Social Transformation


Reprinted from: Gliessman, S.R. 2014. “Agroecology and Social Transformation. Editorial.” Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. Volume 38, issue 1.

Agroecology and Social Transformation

With its foundation in the three interconnected areas of science, practice, and social change movements, agroecology must position itself to guarantee food sovereignty, food security, and food justice for all people, in rural as well as urban communities.  This will require the transformation of the current agro-food system that has created an extensive environmental, political, economic, financial, and food system crisis. This crisis faces all of modern civilization, by the expanding inequality, increasing poverty, and environmental degradation caused by the multi-national corporations that monopolize the modern food chain.   Add to this climate change and the disastrous impact of the current coffee rust epidemic in Central America, and the urgency for food system transformation is paramount. We look to agroecology for ways to ensure this transformation happens as soon as possible.

The above paragraph is a summary of the declaration drawn up by the 45 participants from 11 countries in the 15th International Agroecology Shortcourse that took place at the Estelimar Center in Estelí, Nicaragua July 6-18, 2014. Co-sponsored by the non-profit Community Agroecology Network (CAN) and The Association for Social Development of Nicaragua (ASDENIC), the course was titled “Agroecology and Social Transformation: transdisciplinarity, health, and human development.” Through a combination of lectures, community forums, posters, panel discussions, site visits, and participatory interactions in communities where agroecological transformation is in progress, participants received a broad introduction to agroecology as an action-oriented endeavor. Everyone came away with the full realization that agroecology offers important tools for transforming food systems by working at the local level and with local knowledge as a foundation. From there, science and practice can be linked to establish alternative food systems for all people, and can provide models for the transformation of our food systems to sustainability.

At the same time, course participants voiced strongly that agroecology must not be captured by or try to conform its goals and objectives to the current food system. By linking ways of knowing and different knowledge systems from which can emerge new ways of action, the transdisciplinary power of agroecology can emerge and truly transformative change will occur. To learn more about the course, visit the CAN website in English at www.canunite.org, or the ASDENIC website in Spanish at www.asdenic.org.

This important theme is highlighted in the article by Levidow et al. (2014) in this issue of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.  If agroecology is going to contribute to real change, especially away from the monocultural, large-scale, external input-intensive, socially unjust, and corporate concentration of the current industrial model of food systems, the commitment to transformational change and alignment with social movements working for food system change is paramount. The attempt to consider the approach of “sustainable intensification” as agroecology is an example of conforming with the current paradigm.  Intensification focused primarily on increasing yields and efficiency, without changing the dominant paradigm, is not sustainable nor is it agroecology in its complete definition. 

Our journal looks forward to promoting and publishing examples of “transformational” agroecology, where science, productive practice, and social change are combined. This is why we are the journal of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems.

Steve Gliessman

Editor, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems

Reference: Levidow, L., M. Pimbert, and G. Vanloqueren.  2014. “Agroecological research: Conforming – or transforming the dominant agro-food regime?” Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. 38(10): In press.

 

 

Touring organic ‘taters

Last Saturday morning, I started my day ushering traffic down a dirt road into a potato field. The Toxic Taters Coalition was hosting a field day at Larry Heitkamp’s Yellow Rose Organic Farm outside of Sebeka, MN. About twenty people gathered from surrounding counties to educate themselves about organic potato production, connect with local farmers and learn more about Toxic Taters.

Why tour an organic potato farm? Although a single, massive company — RD Offutt Company, or RDO — plants tens of thousands of acres of potatoes each year in north central Minnesota, it’s certainly not the only potato producer in the region. Local residents who live near RDO potato fields launched the Toxic Taters campaign because they know that RDO’s model of potato production isn’t the only way. Our Coalition wanted to learn more about sustainable potato production — and who better to learn from than a local farmer who is hard at work implementing organic, ecosystem-based practices on his farm?

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Internal waves and mixing in a stratified reservoir: insights from three-dimensional modeling

Publication date: Available online 2 September 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Serghei A. Bocaniov , Christian Ullmann , Karsten Rinke , Kevin G. Lamb , Bertram Boehrer
In this study, the 3-dimensional (3D) Estuary and Lake Computer Model (ELCOM) was used to model a mid-sized reservoir (Rappbode Reservoir, Germany) during the period of summer stratification to identify and illustrate the source of internal waves as well as to characterize the water exchange between the hypolimnion and epilimnion under different wind speed conditions with a focal point on one episode of high and sustained winds. The modeling revealed that wind stress was the key driver of the observed internal waves while the role of water withdrawal was negligible. Our results also showed that within the range of wind speeds considered, wind-induced upwelling greatly enhanced mixing between the hypolimnion and epilimnion with a rate that varies approximately as the square of the wind speed. This numerical correlation affirmed that processes connected to wind stress, i.e. internal waves or direct upwelling, were responsible for the mixing of the hypolimnetic water into the surface water rather than direct input of turbulent kinetic energy.

Nespresso Launches Sustainability Ambition and Sustainable Development Fund – Supply & Demand Chain Executive

Nespresso Launches Sustainability Ambition and Sustainable Development Fund
Supply & Demand Chain Executive
Nespresso plans to inset its residual operational carbon footprint and increase farm climate resilience through an extensive agroforestry programme. "Our business model enables us to be involved in every stage of coffee sourcing, production and sale.

and more »

Nespresso Launches its 2020 Sustainability Ambition and the Nespresso … – DigitalJournal.com

Nespresso Launches its 2020 Sustainability Ambition and the Nespresso
DigitalJournal.com
Nespresso plans to inset its residual operational carbon footprint and increase farm climate resilience through an extensive agroforestry programme. "Our business model enables us to be involved in every stage of coffee sourcing, production and sale.

and more »

Nespresso Launches its 2020 Sustainability Ambition and the Nespresso … – PR Newswire (press release)

Nespresso Launches its 2020 Sustainability Ambition and the Nespresso
PR Newswire (press release)
Nespresso plans to inset its residual operational carbon footprint and increase farm climate resilience through an extensive agroforestry programme. "Our business model enables us to be involved in every stage of coffee sourcing, production and sale.

and more »

Nespresso Launches Its 2020 Sustainability Ambition and the Nespresso … – SYS-CON Media (press release)

Nespresso Launches Its 2020 Sustainability Ambition and the Nespresso
SYS-CON Media (press release)
Nespresso plans to inset its residual operational carbon footprint and increase farm climate resilience through an extensive agroforestry programme. "Our business model enables us to be involved in every stage of coffee sourcing, production and sale.

and more »

Nespresso Launches Its 2020 Sustainability Ambition and the Nespresso … – PR Newswire UK (press release)

Nespresso Launches Its 2020 Sustainability Ambition and the Nespresso
PR Newswire UK (press release)
Nespresso plans to inset its residual operational carbon footprint and increase farm climate resilience through an extensive agroforestry programme. "Our business model enables us to be involved in every stage of coffee sourcing, production and sale.

Scientists Say “Yes” to Investment in Sustainable Agriculture – The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists (blog)


The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists (blog)

Scientists Say “Yes” to Investment in Sustainable Agriculture
The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists (blog)
It is also significant that scientists working in the private sector understand that agroecology is the future of successful business models in agriculture. Drs. Jason Bradford of Farmland LP and Laurel Standley of Clear Current LLC join a handful of

Quirino, KOICA hold public hearing on integrated agricultural dev’t project – Philippine Information Agency


Philippine Information Agency

Quirino, KOICA hold public hearing on integrated agricultural dev't project
Philippine Information Agency
The said four barangays Aglipay are selected for agroforestry model because they are located within the watershed areas while the two barangays of Diffun were selected for mushroom production because the villagers have already experienced venturing on …

Now What? Scientists Call for a Better Way to Invest in the Future of Agriculture – The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists (blog)


The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists (blog)

Now What? Scientists Call for a Better Way to Invest in the Future of Agriculture
The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists (blog)
It's based on the emerging science of “agroecology,” and cutting edge research is showing that it can be just as productive as the dominant industrial model while avoiding a lot of the problems that come with it. And today, UCS is launching a statement

Fine-scale climate model projections predict malaria at local levels

Fine-scale climate model projections suggest the possibility that population centers in cool, highland regions of East Africa could be more vulnerable to malaria than previously thought, while population centers in hot, lowland areas could be less vulnerable, according to a team of researchers. The team applied a statistical technique to conventional, coarse-scale climate models to better predict malaria dynamics at local levels.

Intra- and interspecific variations in life strategies of Erpobdella octoculata and Erpobdella vilnensis in different habitats along the longitudinal gradient of stream

Publication date: July 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 48
Author(s): Pavel Beracko , Alexandra Rogánska
Our study examines intra and interspecific variations in life histories, reproduction parameters, secondary production and feeding biology of two erpobdellid leech species ( Erpobdella octoculata and Erpobdella vilnensis ) across longitudinal gradient of streams. These species frequently cohabit in streams of Central Europe and present a very high niche overlap in terms of spatial distribution and trophic resources. In both species, a shift from biennial to annual life cycle was noted, as well as from iteroparity to semelparity. In general, annual erpobdellid populations invested more in reproduction than the biennial populations and E. octoculata invested more in reproduction than any E. vilnensis . The absolute individual growths of studied species were described by the von Bertalanffy growth model with seasonal oscillations. The highest values of daily growths (6.1–8.6% of dry mass per day) were noted during the first month after hatching. Annual production ranged for E. vilnensis from 3.48 to 10.01 g formalin mass m−2 year−1 and for E. octoculata from 11.29 to 19.29 g formalin mass m−2 year−1. The prey diversity and overlap of prey composition and potential prey resources of leeches indicate that, compared to older leeches, the younger leeches are more selective feeders.

Asia Green Corporation Retains Auditors to Conduct Financial Audits of … – Baystreet.ca

Asia Green Corporation Retains Auditors to Conduct Financial Audits of
Baystreet.ca
The Company is the pioneer and only company in Vietnam that uses the U.S. public company model to access international capital markets and develop a sustainable agroforestry program by planting Paulownia trees together with bananas in order to protect …

and more »

( PHIL ) Asia Green Corporation Retains Auditors to Conduct Financial Audits … – Wall Street Journal

( PHIL ) Asia Green Corporation Retains Auditors to Conduct Financial Audits
Wall Street Journal
The Company is the pioneer and only company in Vietnam that uses the U.S. public company model to access international capital markets and develop a sustainable agroforestry program by planting Paulownia trees together with bananas in order to protect …

and more »

Asia Green Corporation’s Subsidiary Acquires Agroforestry Company in Vietnam – Baystreet.ca

Asia Green Corporation's Subsidiary Acquires Agroforestry Company in Vietnam
Baystreet.ca
The Company is the pioneer and only company in Vietnam that uses the U.S. public company model to access international capital markets and develop a sustainable agroforestry program by planting Paulownia trees together with bananas in order to protect …

Birds in the trees benefit coffee crops – ABC Science Online


ABC Science Online

Birds in the trees benefit coffee crops
ABC Science Online
Agroecology approach When trees and crops share the same land, both agriculture and biodiversity can benefit, suggests a new modelling study. The computer simulation of Jamaican coffee farms shows that trees planted in between the crop can support …

Agroforestry systems can repair degraded watersheds – Phys.Org


Phys.Org

Agroforestry systems can repair degraded watersheds
Phys.Org
The study, called Modeling the effects of adopting agroforestry on basin scale surface runoff and sediment yield in the Philippines, uses a computer-based Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to simulate the effects of different land uses on watershed …

and more »

Brazil, and the World, Ought to Invest in Ecological Farming | Kumi Naidoo – Huffington Post

Brazil, and the World, Ought to Invest in Ecological Farming | Kumi Naidoo
Huffington Post
And, Brazil has a strong ecological farming movement that has already succeeded in achieving a national policy on agroecology (the science of ecological farming). They can help to lead the way. But, alongside the ecological farming model, Brazil is

Brazil, and the World, Ought to Invest in Ecological Farming – Huffington Post

Brazil, and the World, Ought to Invest in Ecological Farming
Huffington Post
And, Brazil has a strong ecological farming movement that has already succeeded in achieving a national policy on agroecology (the science of ecological farming). They can help to lead the way. But, alongside the ecological farming model, Brazil is

Brazil, and the world, ought to invest in ecological farming – Greenpeace International (blog)


Greenpeace International (blog)

Brazil, and the world, ought to invest in ecological farming
Greenpeace International (blog)
And, Brazil has a strong ecological farming movement that has already succeeded in achieving a national policy on agroecology (the science of ecological farming). They can help to lead the way. But, alongside the ecological farming model, Brazil is

Making agriculture resilient to climate change? Brazil, and the world, ought … – Greenpeace International (blog)


Greenpeace International (blog)

Making agriculture resilient to climate change? Brazil, and the world, ought
Greenpeace International (blog)
And, Brazil has a strong ecological farming movement that has already succeeded in achieving a national policy on agroecology (the science of ecological farming). They can help to lead the way. But, alongside the ecological farming model, Brazil is

Desperately seeking solutions to worst drought in decades in Brazil – The Guardian


The Guardian

Desperately seeking solutions to worst drought in decades in Brazil
The Guardian
temperature rise in the semi-arid region by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, the University of California and Embrapa was the starting point for the Adapta Sertão project, which is testing a production model based on agroforestry with a

A Network of Helping Hands


Soon 150 copies of the Manual de Alimentación con Seguridad y Soberanía Alimentaria (Food Security and Sovereignty Cookbook and Guide) will be winging their way to Nicaragua, thanks to the group of community volunteers working with the Dignity Health Marian Regional Medical Center (Dignity Health) in Santa Maria, California. These volunteers generously donated their labor and their resources to help bring to fruition this recipe and nutrition guide developed by the CAN and Union of Cooperatives San Ramón’s (UCA San Ramón) Youth Leadership and Food Sovereignty Project in San Ramón, Nicaragua.

The Manual de Alimentación con Seguridad y Soberanía Alimentaria (Food Security and Sovereignty Cookbook and Guide) was developed as part of a year-long process of capturing traditional recipes that use locally available plants and products. The aim was to revitalize traditional and local food knowledge, and integrate new knowledge about healthy food usage and nutrition into the daily diets of the 124 families involved in the project. The recipes were collected during workshops with women and youth.

Through their hard work, the volunteers made it possible to publish the cookbooks. In turn, the cookbooks make it possible to not only continue, but also expand, the project which aims to promote food security & sovereignty and healthy families in San Ramón through production diversification in home gardens, nutrition education, and the revitalization of local and traditional food production and consumption cultures.

As soon as the cookbooks arrive in Nicaragua, the staff at the UCA San Ramón Cooperative can proceed with this year’s plan to put on 5–6 more workshops with the women and youth of the 124 families. In the workshops, participants will use the books published by the volunteers in Santa Maria to learn basic nutrition principles and healthy food usage as well as food preparation using the book’s recipes and guidelines.

The collaboration between the volunteers at Dignity Health and the families in San Ramón, is a model for CAN´s mission in action, and the embodiment of our goal of connecting people in the United States, Central America, and Mexico in the struggle for social and environmental justice. Thank you to the volunteers for your invaluable contribution to the health and well-being of the families in this project. It’s a job well done by everyone.

Cultivating resilience to feed the world

Crazy weather we’ve been having this winter: monster snowstorms across New England, record-breaking freezes in the Midwest, drought, wildfires (in January!) and weirdly hot days in California. For many farmers across the country and around the world, all this extreme weather — on top of ever-intensifying environmental and economic stresses — is pushing them to their edge.

At the same time, a growing number of farmers and scientists are realizing that 1) continued reliance on the energy, water and chemical-intensive industrial model of agriculture is simply no longer an option and 2) our most robust response to today’s converging stresses lies in cultivating resilience and food democracy.

read more

Modelling Lake Kivu water level variations over the last seven decades

Publication date: Available online 13 March 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Fabrice A. Muvundja , Alfred Wüest , Mwapu Isumbisho , Mwenyimali B. Kaningini , Natacha Pasche , Päivi Rinta , Martin Schmid
This study aimed at analysing the hydrological changes in the Lake Kivu Basin over the last seven decades with focus on the response of the lake water level to meteorological factors and hydropower dam construction. Historical precipitation and lake water levels were acquired from literature, local agencies and from global databases in order to compile a coherent dataset. The net lake inflow was modelled using a soil water balance model and the water levels were reconstructed using a parsimonious lake water balance model. The soil water balance shows that 370 mm yr−1 (25%) of the precipitation in the catchment contributes to the runoff and baseflow whereas 1100 mm yr−1 (75%) contributes to the evapotranspiration. A review of the lake water balance resulted in the following estimates of hydrological contributions: 55%, 25%, and 20% of the overall inputs from precipitation, surface inflows, and subaquatic groundwater discharge, respectively. The overall losses were 58% and 42% for lake surface evaporation and outflow discharge, respectively. The hydrological model used indicated a remarkable sensitivity of the lake water levels to hydrometeorological variability up to 1977, when the outflow bed was artificially widened.

Anthropogenic land-use signals propagate through stream food webs in a California, USA, watershed

Publication date: March 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters, Volume 46
Author(s): Jonathan W. Moore , Timothy D. Lambert , Walter N. Heady , Susanna E. Honig , Ann-Marie K. Osterback , Corey C. Phillis , Angela L. Quiros , Nicolas A. Retford , David B. Herbst
Human development of watersheds can change aquatic ecosystems via multiple pathways. For instance, human rural development may add nutrients to ecosystems. We used naturally occurring stable isotopes in stream food webs to investigate how land use affects stream ecosystems across a gradient of land development in the San Lorenzo watershed, California. Road density was used as a proxy for land development. We found that streams in watersheds with higher road densities had elevated concentrations of phosphate and nitrate. Furthermore, algal δ15N values increased as a function of nitrate concentration, but saturated at approximately 6‰. This saturating pattern was consistent with a two-source mixing model with anthropogenic and watershed sources, fit using Bayesian model fitting. In sites that had >2.6 km roads km−2, anthropogenic sources of N were estimated to represent >90% of the N pool. This anthropogenic N signal was propagated to stream consumers: rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss ), signal crayfish ( Pacifasticus leniusculus ), and benthic invertebrate δ15N were positively correlated with algal δ15N. Even relatively low density rural human land use may have substantial impacts on nutrient cycling of stream ecosystems.

Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement Globalizes Struggle and Hope – Toward Freedom

Brazil's Landless Workers Movement Globalizes Struggle and Hope
Toward Freedom
So instead, the MST is calling for 'popular agrarian reform', with a new model of agriculture based on agroecology, co-operation and an alliance of the working class. The aim is to produce healthy and organic food that benefits the workers. The

Jovenes SobAl Project: Update


We are closing Year 3 of the CAN and the UCA San Ramón collaborative Youth Leadership and Food Sovereignty Project in eight coffee cooperatives in San Ramón, Nicaragua. Year 3’s  achievements include:

  • Increase in the number of home vegetable gardens — from 24 to 45 gardens.
  • Further diversification of production from basic grains, coffee, and garden vegetables, to vine crops, diversified fruits, and forest fruits.
  • Establishment of a pilot food storage and distribution center (CADA) in the Ramon Garcia Cooperative. Basic grains are stored at the center for distribution at below-market prices during the “thin” months season.
  • Establishment of a pilot seed bank in the Ramon Garcia Cooperative. The seed bank will ensure the availability of quality seed for use by the cooperative. The first seed that is being stored is a variety of local heirloom bean, which will be planted next season. 
  • Increase in the number of school gardens from two to five gardens.
  • Individual knowledge exchange and workshops to promote vegetable seed-saving practices among the 45 women managing home gardens.
  • Women gardeners took their excess garden produce to sell at ten farmers markets in San Ramón.
  • Developing and publishing a cookbook focused on local knowledge and plants.
  • Eight youth leaders took on increased leadership roles in their cooperative, and at the level of the UCA San Ramón and the San Ramón municipality.

Year 4 of the project, set to begin in March 2014, will include some exciting new developments:

  • Home gardens will increase from 45 to 72 gardens.
  • A new focus on protein production for increased protein consumption and for income diversification.
  • Two women’s rural business plans will be financed through a revolving fund, with a focus on promoting the production and sale of value-added products by women in the project.
  • Diversification of markets for excess production, including linking the project with a new café in San Ram Ramón  to be run by a cooperative women’s group. The café will offer space to sell value-added products from the project.
  • A second CADA will be developed and established in the Silvio Mayorga and Amigos de Bonn cooperatives, which are the most isolated and poor cooperatives in the project.
  • The basic grains seedbank in Ramon Garcia Cooperative will be expanded to include corn.
  • The eight cooperatives will be exploring models of community seedbanks for vegetable seeds.

News from the Field | San Ramón, Nicaragua


San Ramón, Nicaragua: In early February, the Denis Gutierrez cooperative and the women’s group in La Pita participated in an exchange with a sesame and coffee cooperative and related women’s group in Achuapa, Nicaragua. The goal of the exchange was two-fold: (1) to learn from the experience of this cooperative in collective fertilizer-making; and (2) to learn from the experience of the women’s group in promoting women’s collective and individual rural enterprises.

Following the exchange in Achuapa, the La Pita women’s group met and discussed their ideas for developing a collective fertilizer-making initiative that would serve the dual purpose of putting economic power in the women’s hands, and of improving soil fertility.  The cooperative is beginning its efforts to replant 8.4 hectares (about 12 manzanas) of coffee destroyed by the coffee leaf rust (la roya) and accompanying anthracnose infestations that have plagued Central America as a whole over the past two years.  The cooperative’s efforts and the support of the UCA San Ramón Cooperative are critical at this point in time. Although the Nicaraguan government has launched a coffee renovation program aimed at helping smallholder coffee farmers replant up to 0.7 hectares (1 manzana) of coffee, at the same time, there is a seed shortage that is affecting the reach of the program and of the coffee renovation efforts in general in the country.  Furthermore, the government program provides cash to farmers to cover some of the costs of inputs, but not all necessary inputs. This is particularly challenging because farmers in times of crisis are more likely to invest the cash in necessities, such as food for their families.  Thus the decision of the women’s group in La Pita to develop a collective organic fertilizer-making business that they own and run, together with the coffee seed provided by the UCA San Ramón, will fill a large need in the cooperative.  Of the 12 manzanas of coffee to be replanted by cooperative members, about half of those will be specifically dedicated to agroecological management. This is an experimental model that the farmers themselves have proposed.  The women plan to produce both bocacchi fertilizer and foliar fertilizers to benefit the agroecologically-grown coffee. 

CAN and our partner Ético: The Ethical Trading Company, Ltd met with the Denis Gutierrez Cooperative and the La Pita women’s group on February 7, 2014 to hear their plans and support their development. The women want to develop a model in which they collectively produce organic fertilizers, which they then sell to the cooperative members (13 men and two women). The cooperative members will use the Sustainable Agriculture Fund, which is built directly into the price paid to the cooperative for AgroEco® Coffee, to pay the women’s group for the fertilizer according to the going price for fertilizer. In this way, the Sustainable Agriculture Fund, which is 5% of the AgroEco® Coffee price, will incentivize agroecological coffee production in La Pita, as well as strengthen family livelihoods in the entire community of La Pita. The next steps for the women’s group and the cooperative include a workshop on February 26–27 to develop a detailed business plan, budget, and work plan for developing the fertilizer business, as well as formalizing the women’s group with a name for the group.

In the meeting with the cooperative on February 7, Heather Putnam of CAN also presented a proposal for the annual purchase of AgroEco® Coffee from the cooperative.  The cooperative unanimously approved the following price proposal, which includes investment in the Sustainable Agriculture Fund and the Fund for the Recognition of the Unpaid Work of Women. The proposal also offers a price well above that of Fair Trade Organic certified coffee, recognizing the high production costs that small farmers assume.

UCA San Ramón, San Ramón, Nicaragua Proposed 2014 breakdown
TOTAL purchase price to UCA San Ramón per lb $2.20 100%
CECOCAFEN Commercialization $0.09 4%
Milling & Processing  $0.10 4%
Municipal Taxes (1%) $0.02 1%
UCA San Ramón Administrative Costs $0.11 5%
Fund for the Unpaid Work of Women $0.10 5%
Sustainable Agriculture Fund $0.10 5%
Price paid to farmer  $1.69 77%

 

Agroforestry in India: new national policy sets the bar high – The Guardian


The Guardian

Agroforestry in India: new national policy sets the bar high
The Guardian
Over 1,000 delegates from 80 countries gathered between 10-14 February for the World Congress of Agroforestry. Held in New Delhi, India, the congress brought together leading thinkers to discuss how to harness the contribution of trees to human
Agroforestry key to farming future: Indian president Jakarta Post


Inculcate agroforestry into policies for environmental solutions spyghana.com
Trees must be restored in farms and business models included in policies Energy Bangla

all 4 news articles »

Agroforestry key to farming future: Indian president – Jakarta Post


spyghana.com

Agroforestry key to farming future: Indian president
Jakarta Post
Indian President Shri Mukherjee has said that countries need to implement innovative models that encourage investment in the agroforestry sector rather than being discouraged by long gestation periods normally associated with agroforestry projects.
Inculcate agroforestry into policies for environmental solutions spyghana.com


Trees must be restored in farms and business models included in policies Energy Bangla

all 3 news articles »

(Pics) Agro-forestry hit by lack of policy incentives: President – Oneindia


Orissadiary.com

(Pics) Agro-forestry hit by lack of policy incentives: President
Oneindia
New Delhi, Feb 10: Development of agro-forestry in India has been hampered by lack of policy incentives, President Pranab Mukherjee said Monday, noting that there was need of innovative models that encourage investment in the sector. Inaugurating the 
Agro-forestry needs more investment: Pranab Mukherjee Business Standard


Odisha student Nisitha Pattnaik conferred first prize in Essay Competition on Orissadiary.com
Mukherjee emphasises on agro-forestry for sustainable development – TruthDive TruthDive

all 12 news articles »

Anthropogenic land-use signals propagate through stream food webs in a California, U.S.A, watershed

Publication date: Available online 9 February 2014
Source:Limnologica – Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Author(s): Jonathan W. Moore , Timothy D. Lambert , Walter N. Heady , Susanna E. Honig , Ann-Marie K. Osterback , Corey C. Phillis , Angela L. Quiros , Nicolas A. Retford , David B. Herbst
Human development of watersheds can change aquatic ecosystems via multiple pathways. For instance, human rural development may add nutrients to ecosystems. We used naturally occurring stable isotopes in stream food webs to investigate how land use affects stream ecosystems across a gradient of land development in the San Lorenzo watershed, California. We used road density as a proxy for land development. We found that streams in watersheds with higher road densities had elevated concentrations of phosphate and nitrate. Furthermore, algal δ15N values increased as a function of nitrate concentration, but saturated at approximately 6‰. This saturating pattern was consistent with a two-source mixing model with anthropogenic and watershed sources, fit using Bayesian model fitting. In sites that had >2.6 km roads km−2, anthropogenic sources of N were estimated to represent >90% of the N pool. This anthropogenic N signal was propagated to stream consumers: rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss ), signal crayfish ( Pacifasticus leniusculus ), and benthic invertebrate δ15N were positively correlated with algal δ15N. Even relatively low density rural human land use may have substantial impacts on nutrient cycling of stream ecosystems.

President says that agro-forestry is hampered due to lack of policy incentives – Business Standard

President says that agro-forestry is hampered due to lack of policy incentives
Business Standard
Development of agro-forestry in India has been hampered by lack of policy incentives, President Pranab Mukherjee said Monday, noting that there was need of innovative models that encourage investment in the sector. Inaugurating the world congress on