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Sources – Family Farming: A way of life

Small Farmers, Big Change: Scaling up impact in smallholder agriculture

Baden Sally, Harvey Claire, Wilson David, Wilson Kirsty (Ed.), 2011, Practical Action Publishing, Oxfam GB, ISBN 9781853397127

Support for smallholder agriculture is increasingly important, both to boost productivity during food crises and to raise the incomes of rural poor people. In 2005, Oxfam launched the Global Agriculture Scale Up Initiative (GASUI) with the aim of empowering smallholder farmers to improve their own livelihoods. A workshop was held in Oxford in 2009 which brought together 23 participants from 17 country and regional programmes and three Oxfam affiliates. This book is an outcome of that learning process. Small Farmers, Big Change will help NGOs build their capacity to identify the most strategic pathways and leaders for change, while working with small farmers as the key agents. The book presents very practical examples of achieving wider change in smallholder agriculture, documented by Oxfam programme staff.

Facing the Challenges of Climate Change and Food Security The Role of Research, Extension and Communication for Development

Occasional papers on Innovation in Family Farming, FAO 2013, ISBN 978-92-5-107737-5 (print), E-ISBN 978-92-5-107738-2 (PDF)

This document is a revised and shortened version of the study of Leewis and Hall “ Facing the challenges of climate change and food security: the role of research, extension and communication institutions”. Its purpose is twofold: (1) to serve to sharpen the climate change focus of the Research and Extension Branch, FAO in developing effective and relevant support activities with its partners and (2) to communicate the need for new climate change support activities and promote possible strategies and approaches that will enhance the role of extension, research and communication institutions and services for climate change adaptation.

Besides the more explicit focus on climate change research, extension and communication needs, some practical examples were added in this revised edition of the report. It first discusses the context of climate change adaptation and its linkages with food security and the analytical framework which has been used for the study (chapter 2 and 3). Subsequently, it describes the lessons learned from the case-studies, followed by a sketch of a new-style agriculture innovation support services in the face of climate change and food security challenges (chapters 4 and 5).

Enduring Farms: Climate Change, Smallholders and Traditional Farming Communities

Miguel A Altieri and Parviz Koohafkan, 2008, Third World Network, 131 Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia, ISBN: 978-983-2729-55-6

Many rural and traditional farming communities seem to cope well with climatic extremes. In fact, many farmers adapt and even prepare for climate change, minimizing crop failure through increased use of drought-tolerant local varieties, water harvesting, extensive planting, mixed cropping, agroforestry, opportunistic weeding, wild plant gathering and a series of other traditional farming techniques. This points to the need to re-evaluate indigenous knowledge as a key source of information on adaptive capacity centred on the selective, experimental and resilient capabilities of farmers in dealing with climatic variability.

Understanding the agroecological features and coping/adaptation mechanisms employed by traditional societies provides useful insights into the relationship between the climate and agricultural systems in diverse geographical and agroclimatic regions of the world. This booklet describes the impacts of climate change on smallholder/traditional family farming communities, and the agro ecological features of indigenous agricultural systems which could serve as the foundation for the design of resilient agricultural systems and strategies for food security and poverty reduction in an era of climate change.