The 130th RIHN seminar

You are warmly invited to the upcoming RIHN Seminar:

Date: May 30th, 2016 (Monday) 15:00 - 17:00
Place: Lecture Hall, RIHN( → Access)
Lecturer: Professor Miguel Altieri
(Professor, University of California, Berkeley / RIHN Invited Scholar)
Lecture Schedule
Title: Agroecology and food sovereignty: experiences from Latin America
Language: English *Consecutive Interpretation
Capacity: 70 seats available *Pre-registration required
⇒ Registration Form(Excel / PDF

The growing push toward industrial agriculture and globalization―with an emphasis on export crops, lately transgenic crops, and with the rapid expansion of biofuel crops (sugar cane, maize, soybean, oil palm, euca­lyptus, etc.)―is increasingly reshaping the world’s agriculture and food supply, with potentially severe economic, social, and ecological impacts and risks. Such reshaping is occurring in the midst of a changing climate expected to have large and far-reaching effects on crop productivity pre­dominantly in tropical zones of the developing world. Hazards include increased flooding in low-lying areas, greater frequency and severity of droughts in semiarid areas, and excessive heat conditions, all of which can limit agricultural productivity.

In the face of such global trends, the concepts of food sovereignty and ecologically based production systems have gained much attention in the last two decades. New approaches and technologies involving application of blended modern agroecological science and indigenous knowledge systems spearheaded by thousands of farmers, NGOs, and some government and academic institutions have been shown to enhance food security while conserving natural resources, biodiversity, and soil and water throughout hundreds of rural communities in several regions.The science of agroecology―the application of ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agricultural ecosystems―provides a framework to assess the complexity of agroecosystems.This approach is based on enhancing the habitat both aboveground and in the soil to produce strong and healthy plants by promoting beneficial organisms while adversely affecting crop pests (weeds, insects, diseases, and nematodes).

For centuries the agricultures of developing countries were built upon the local resources of land, water, and other resources, as well as local varieties and indigenous knowledge. This has nurtured biologically and genetically diverse smallholder farms with a robustness and a built-in resilience that has helped them to adjust to rapidly changing climates, pests, and diseases. The persistence of millions of agricultural hectares under ancient, traditional management in the form of raised fields, terraces, polycultures (with a number of crops growing in the same field), agroforestry systems, etc., document a successful indigenous agricultural strategy and constitutes a tribute to the “creativity” of traditional farmers. These microcosms of traditional agriculture offer promising models for other areas because they promote biodiversity, thrive without agrochemicals, and sustain year-round yields.

Contact: TAKEHARA Mari E-mail