Agroecology is highly knowledge-intensive, and is based on techniques that are not delivered top-down but developed on the basis of farmers’ knowledge and experimentation. Agroecology depends on context-specific knowledge.
Farmers are not only producers accepting and adopting technology. They are also innovators, building on their knowledge, when the right conditions exist. Agroecological innovations leads to local alternatives that are based on indigenous and traditional knowledge and on the practices of community, tested and proven over time. However, farmers need space, time and resources to experiment, test and validate the small innovations that they are making to bring about positive change to their farming systems. Supportive policies and adequate funding for public participatory research on agroecology is needed to support farmers and their innovations.
There are many innovative farmers practising low external input agriculture. Some are constantly innovating and serve as role models. There are many more who are silently innovating on their farms. There are also NGOs and institutions that are encouraging farmers to experiment and innovate through participatory processes. On the other hand, there are individuals and institutions that are developing innovative tools and practices that could be of use to small farmers. In such a scenario, how should we support farmer innovators? How should we create a social and economically conducive environment for farmer innovation and farmer- researcher collaboration? How to scale up farmer innovation? In the December 2018 issue of LEISA India we would like to include interesting innovations, by farmers, institutions or individuals and would also like to look at the policies and approaches that support such innovations.
Articles for the December 2018 issue of LEISA India should be sent to the Editors before 10th November 2018. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org