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Roger Samson REAP - Canada Box 125 Maison Glenaladale Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC, Canada, H9X 3V9 T: (514) 398-7743; F: (514) 398-7972 W:

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Presentation on theme: "Roger Samson REAP - Canada Box 125 Maison Glenaladale Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC, Canada, H9X 3V9 T: (514) 398-7743; F: (514) 398-7972 W:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Roger Samson REAP - Canada Box 125 Maison Glenaladale Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC, Canada, H9X 3V9 T: (514) 398-7743; F: (514) 398-7972 W: ; E: The Agro-Ecological Village Development Model: Experiences in the Philippines, China and the Gambia

2 REAP-Canada Helps rural communities in Canada and developing countries meet the challenges of ecologically sound production of food, fibre and fuel. The organization began its participatory on-farm research and farmer-to- farmer training on ecological farming in Canada in 1986.

3 Agro-Ecological Village (AEV) Development Project Partnerships Aim to improve the economic & social well being of marginalized farming communities & women, while also protecting & enhancing the natural resource base SNSADP Project, Philippines (1997), PDG and the MAPISAN Farmers Alliance WCAEV Development Project, China (2002), Ministry of Water Resources, Peoples Republic of China GAEV and GEAD Development Project, Gambia (2003), NATC and Village AID

4 Agricultural Problems in the Philippines Extreme weather Soil erosion and poor soil fertility Deforestation and loss of watersheds Agrarian land reform struggles Monoculture production systems

5 Agricultural Problems in North Central China Severe erosion Loss of soil organic matter Overgrazing and excessive use of wood & crop residues for household energy Low rainfall and risk of drought Vulnerability of the environment to desertification and global warming Salinization

6 Agricultural Problems in the Gambia Agricultural production decreasing due to deteriorating soil fertility & rainfall Monoculture production of peanuts All crop residues are removed Free ranging goats destroy vegetation Forest cover has seriously declined

7 Why The Agro-Ecological Village? A holistic and integrated approach that builds the social, ecological and technological infrastructure of communities. Addresses the challenges of food security and improving livelihoods by rehabilitating the natural resource base through ecological farming systems development & farmer to farmer training.

8 The Agro-Ecological Village An interdependent community of individual households that are largely self-reliant through the creation of ecological food, fiber & energy systems.

9 The Agro-Ecological Village (AEV) Rural Development Approach AEV Approach Emphasizes local self-reliance through the development of diversified and ecological agricultural systems Empowers farmers through participatory assessment, training and research that is farmer led Lowers cost of rural development Conventional Approach Focus generally is on expanding exports of cash crops Loans used to “fuel” rural development Focus is on production with limited attention to natural resource issues Problems identified by outside experts Training provided using “top down” approaches

10 The Agro-Ecological Village Ecological System Conventional System Food Supply Farm production of principal food crops and vegetables Imported prepared foods and animal feeds Soil tillagePerennial crops, animal draft powerAnnual crops, tractors for cultivation SeedsCommunity seed banking and plant material improvement Hybrid seeds, transgenic GMO seeds Soil fertilityBiological N fixation, compost, crop rotation, green manures Purchased chemical N,P,K fertilizer PestsMechanical weeders, crop rotations, intercropping, bio-controls, compost herbicides, insecticides, fungicides MarketingHousehold food security & income crops for local markets Mainly cash crops for exports

11 Agro-Ecological Village Development Activities 1. Baseline Data Gathering & PRA 2. Institution Building 3. Capacity Building 4. Farm Planning and Development

12 1. Baseline Data Gathering & Participatory Rural Appraisal Assess the communities status with agro-ecological and socio-economic surveys Through a Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), the community analyzes & deepens their understanding of their local situation. The project team and local villagers identify causes & possible solutions to local problems, through PRA and Participatory Action Planning (PAP).

13 2. Institutional Building Ensure communities are sufficiently well organized before project activities are initiated Ground project activities with community leaders & organizers who facilitate the communities awareness, understanding and uptake of the project

14 3. Capacity Building Farmer to farmer training network Ecological Training Modules Gender Development

15 Farmer-to-farmer training Development of participatory Farmer to Farmer Training network Selection of first liners and second liners Training of trainers in farm development and effective training techniques Inclusion of women as trainers

16 Participatory Training Modules Training materials need to be customized to local needs identified through the PRA and through on going assessments as the trainings evolve. The process can begin with a basic ecological farming module including: Soil Fertility Management Cropping systems Weed management Pest & disease management Soil & water conservation

17 Sensitize communities around gender equality Involve active participation of both genders in project activities as trainers and participants Increase women's role in decision making in communities Ensure gender issues are incorporated into all project activities. Gender Development

18 4. Farm Planning and Development Farm planning and “Learning Farms” Soil and water conservation Food Footprint Appropriate Technology

19 Learning Farms A farm in the community that is used for education and farmer led research while remaining a “working farm.” They can include: Adaptability Trials Crop Improvement On-farm Demonstrations Community Seed banks and tree nurseries Farmer-led plant breeding Livestock Management

20 Adaptability Trials The testing of new crops or varieties to assess their adaptability to the environmental and management conditions on small farms.

21 Crop Improvement in North Central China In the Western China AEV Project in Gansu Province, farmers tested a total of 43 different varieties of 7 field crops. They are now scaling up production of the leading new varieties.

22 On-Farm Demonstrations Farmers demonstrate E.F.S. (Ecological Farming systems): Crop Rotations Green Manures Multiple Cropping Composting Live Fencing

23 Community Seed banks and Tree Nurseries Farmers collect and preserve seeds to conserve genetic diversity Farmers also learn how to propagate plant material and develop plant material improvement programs

24 Farmer-Led Plant Breeding Farmers learn how to breed varieties adapted to their local environment and growing conditions. In the Philippines, one achievement has been the development of ECO-RICE varieties that combine SRI techniques, Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF) and ratooning.

25 In ecologically devastated areas, free-range livestock management can cause irreparable damage. Farmers learn ecological and sustainable methods for: Benefits of intensive/ semi-intensive management Fodder Crop Production Animal health and nutrition Livestock Management

26 Soil and Water Conservation Contour farming Drip Irrigation Checkdams Windbreaks

27 Food Footprint 1. Assess the quantity of food consumed annually and the landbase needed to produce the households basic foods 2. Diagram seasonal fruits and vegetable production and identify gaps 3. Discuss opportunities for creating a healthier diet 4. Identify strategies to maximize efficiency of land use based on optimizing production

28 Appropriate Technology Farmers need access to low cost appropriate tools for developing their farms ecologically. REAP has worked to help support farmers organizations manufacture their own tools.

29 Appropriate Technology In the PRA process, communities identify their most urgent and basic technological needs. To help solve the fuelwood crisis in the Philippines, REAP developed the Mayon Turbo stove, a low cost, advanced combustion rice hull stove.

30 The AEV model is a logical evolution for rural development programming. It integrates the best management practices in rural development with sustainable knowledge in ecological farming systems training and development. Summary

31 Thank you!

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