Posted on October 14, 2014 by RSO-Guests
By Marc Wegerif. PhD Candidate, Rural Sociology Group Wageningen University, carrying out research on food provisioning in Dar es Salaam. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
I immediately thought of Wageningen and multifunctional agriculture when I visited the Mila Soa farm (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mila-soa-page-officielle/232818760177070 ) in Madagascar. Richard Rabetrano was showing me around. He is a local farmer and farmer organiser who is part of the leadership of the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF – http://www.esaff.org/). Richard had asked if I wanted to see a farm with pigs, dairy cows and fish.
When we arrived we parked next to an events hall that is used for weddings and other functions. The pigs and chickens are in sheds built on the hillside opposite the main part of the farm, I suppose they do not make the best accompaniment in sound or smell for your special day, whether it be saying I do or graduating from university. Most of the fish are tilapia and the farm is experimenting with new methods of hatching the fish eggs and different feeding regimes as well as adding more fish ponds. Continue reading
Filed under: Agriculture, Multifunctionality | Tagged: Madagascar, Small holder farms | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 24, 2014 by RSO-Guests
By Maria Alice F. C. Mendonça, Ph.D. student in Rural Development at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul/Brazil and Wageningen University/The Netherlands
Below my contribution to the IFOAM Global newsletter on Participatory Guarantee Systems published bimonthly. See the IFOAM PGS webpage for more information. Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) are locally focused quality assurance systems that certify producers based on active participation of stakeholders and are built on a foundation of trust, social networks and knowledge exchange.
The Brazilian regulation for organic and agroecological production was introduced in the 1990’s in response to international restrictions on Brazilian organic products. Nevertheless, the agroecological movement stayed prominent and actively participated in discussions and negotiations with the government. As a result of this interaction between government and the agroecological movement, a series of laws, decrees and federal regulatory instructions for organic and agroecological production was enacted, e.g. the Organic Law and its respective regulatory instructions. Moreover, the National Policy on Organic Production and Agroecology (Política Nacional de Agroecologia e Produção Orgânica) and the National Action Plan for Organic Production and Agroecology (Plano Nacional de Agroecologia e Produção Orgânica) were released in 2012 and 2013 respectively. They settle the strategies for government investments in the expansion of agroecological production.
Currently, Brazilian farmers have three options to ensure the organic and agroecological quality of their produce: 1) Third-party certification; 2) Participatory Assessment Bodies; and 3) Social Control Organizations. These last two are systems operate at a local level and rely on the active participation of stakeholders. However, only the Participatory Assessment Bodies are considered as Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) in the legal sense and authorized for the use of the national organic label, which is required for non-direct sales of organic products. In contrast, the Social Control system does not grant the right to use the national label and allows only the direct sale from small-scale family famers to the final consumers.
Filed under: Agriculture, Food, Policy | Tagged: Agro-ecology, Brazil, Certification, IFOAM, Participatory Guarantee Systems, PGS, quality assessment | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 4, 2014 by RSO-Guests
I am Maria Alice Mendonça, a PhD-student from the Univerity of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil). I’m interested in the markteting and certification of agroecological food products. I’m staying at the Rural Sociology Group to study the certification of origin and organic food products in the Netherlands.
Certification can play an important role in the transition towards more sustainable food and agriculture. Yet, at the same time, rigid standards may constrain farmer innovation. To many small scale farmers certification is moreover a large financial burden. I want to investigate two or three different major certification schemes in the Netherlands. Interviews will be conducted with agroecological farmers to find the various benefits and constraints faced for different certification schemes.
I’m now looking for a MSc-is student with an interest in the topic that can assist from May 2014 onwards. Seen the interviews, preference is given to a Dutch speaking MSc student studying for example Organic Agriculture, Rural Development and Innovation, International Development Studies or Management, Economics and Consumer Studies.
If you are interested contact me: email@example.com or Dirk Roep: firstname.lastname@example.org
Filed under: Agriculture, Education | Tagged: Agro-ecology, Certification, organic certification, Thesis and internship possibilities | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 8, 2014 by RSO-Guests
By Marc Wegerif. PhD Candidate, Rural Sociology Group Wageningen University. Marc Wegerif is carrying out research on food provisioning in Dar es Salaam.
Diagrams made by Jerryt Krombeen, a freelance designer and advisor working with own company (http://jerryt.nl/) on: design, urbanism, landscape architecture, and public space. Jerryt is completing his Masters at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture (http://www.ahk.nl/en/architecture/ ) and joined a group of students in a project on planning for food markets in Dar es Salaam.
It is 5am, still dark, I am at the Shikilango people’s market in Dar es Salaam, a variety of vehicles are arriving and stopping in the street next to the market, the clucking of chickens fills the air. Motorbikes with two large woven baskets on the back, tied on top of each other, park. The baskets carrying up to 50 chickens each are arranged on the ground. Small Suzuki pick-up trucks and other vehicles with wood and wire frames on the back arrive with hundreds of chickens, the various buyers crowding around them as the morning business picks up and the sun begins to light the sky. Some customers are buying directly from the vans and motorbikes. Some of the butchers, identifiable in their white overalls and boots, are also buying direct from the vehicles to fill orders they already have. I watch the scene while sitting on a large rock on the edge of the road. The man sitting next to me on the rock is selling plastic bags of different sizes and cigarettes to customers and traders. Most of the people with the vans and motorbikes also have a stall in the market or cooperate with someone who does. The chickens not sold directly in the morning are transferred to the market and sold there through the rest of the day.
Under a high roof that covers a raised concrete platform there are thousands of chickens in lines of cages four levels high. The alley ways left between the cages are busy with people selling and buying chickens, negotiating or just talking. There is an alley at a lower level between the platform and six white tiled chicken slaughtering and cleaning areas that run along two sides of the platform.
Filed under: Food | Tagged: chicken, Dar es Salaam, food provisioning, Jerryt Krombeen, market, urban provisioning | 5 Comments »
Posted on December 17, 2012 by RSO-Guests
By Birgit Boogard, former RSO-staff member, now Post-doctoral fellow at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) currently working on the imGoats project that has the objective to: ‘increase incomes and food security in a sustainable manner by enhancing pro-poor small ruminant value chains in India and Mozambique’. (email@example.com).
Meat: the good, the bad and the complcicated (IFPRI Infographic)
The International Food Policy Institute recently published an interesting info-graphic on meat production and consumption in the world entitled ‘Meat: the good, the bad and the complicated’ . The debate about meat production and consumption is a very interesting one in many ways. I don’t need to remind us of the recent discussion at Wageningen UR on ‘the good’ of intensified animal production ‘to feed the world’. In response to such arguments, ‘the bad’ are brought into the debate (see for example earlier blog by Petra), which are subsequently answered by the animal production sector with defensive responses. Continue reading
Filed under: Agriculture | Tagged: Animal production systems, Feeding the world, Food security, Goats, ILRI, Meat, Mozambique | 1 Comment »