PUTTING LESSONS INTO PRACTICE:

SCALING UP PEOPLE'S BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT FOR FOOD SECURITY

Project Location

Project Duration

2012 to 2015

With the aim to uphold, strengthen and mainstream the rights and technical capacities of indigenous peoples and smallholder farmers (IPSHFs) and to influence local to global policies and institutions on the sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food security under conditions of climate change, the project was implemented in three countries (Vietnam, Peru, and Zimbabwe) from 2012 to 2015.

1. To develop locally appropriate adaptation strategies for food security by bridging traditional knowledge and science on plant genetic resources and incorporating local perceptions on climate change;


2. To empower indigenous peoples and smallholder farmers (IPSHF) to influence local, national, regional and international food, agriculture and climate change policies toward realizing the right to food (RtF);


3. Strengthen the adaptive capacities of smallholder farmer communities and indigenous peoples in plant genetic resources conservation, and access and sustainable use, by scaling up successful and/or innovative models.

A. Enhancement of the Capacity of IPSHFs to Adapt to Climate Change

The program gave due recognition on the need for  collaborative effort
with other stakeholders in agriculture, with the technical and scientific dimension among such areas identified for collaboration.

The program provided venues where technical information were shared and learned by IPSHFs and agricultural technicians alike. One such venue is the Farmer Field School (FFS) for participatory Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) conservation and management, specifically on Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB). The FFS was used as an approach to facilitate experiential learning for IPSHFs and with the particular focus on PGR conservation and management (through PPB) as subject matter in recognition of farm production among the many impact areas of climate change and it being something that IPSHFs can easily relate to as this is their livelihood.

The technical knowledge and skills generated by the IPSHFs subsequently enabled them to select, develop, and rehabilitate varieties that suit their preferences in the context of the community situation and needs. Such include varieties that are tolerant to various stresses (salinity, submersion/flooding, drought, pests and diseases), of short growth duration (due to climate variability and to allow for additional cropping period) of high yields and good eating quality (for food, seeds and commercial purposes) and varieties of cultural significance (traditional varieties).

For the bridging of science and traditional knowledge to be possible, facilitators of the conducted FFS-PPB also underwent similar capacity-building activities prior to their deployment in the communities.

Mr. Rene Salazar (left), technical operations adviser from Oxfam-Novib, was the resource person during the refresher ToT. Ms. Doi Khanh Ha  (right) of SRD translating (into Vietnamese) some of the inputs.

 IPSHFs from Bach Ha Commune discussing to the visiting team about the field studies they are doing.

B. Intensified Policy Advocacy Works towards Recognition to the IPSHFs' Right to Food

The program gave due recognition on the need for a supportive policy environment that can contribute to the sustainability of all interventions and innovations of IPSHFs communities.​​

The baseline study presented that among the issues concerning IPSHFs’ communities is climate change. Results showed that in recent history, normal weather and climate patterns have changed and that these changes have adversely impacted on agricultural production and IPSHFs, substantiating global declarations on food systems as climate change impact areas and on IPHSFs as among the sectors most vulnerable.

Climate change is one of the topics discussed during the FFS
activities conducted. Here, it is explained to all FFS participants that this form part of the underlying reasons behind the technical skills on plant breeding they were learning. This is one way in which the program created the opportunity for communities to understand their situation which is integral in any policy advocacy work given that it should be the community members themselves who are at the forefront of advocacy.

Farmers’ Field Day (FFD) in Yen Bai Province with local authorities and media personnel in attendance.  PHOTO CREDIT: SRD

C. Increased the IPSHFs' Adaptive Capacities on Sustainable PGR Conservation and Use by Using Innovative Models and Tools

Past interventions and SEARICE programs like the CBDC-BUCAP and DARE saw that IPSHFs can contribute
positively to addressing food security. With this in mind, the program was horizontally scaled by reaching out to other communities not involved in the earlier programs to be able to reach more people and where the benefits gained, given some commonalities of the aforementioned programs with the current, can likewise also expand.

With the inclusion of farming techniques like SRI (principles) in the FFS-PPB discussions, IPSHFs had the chance to test new farm management methods. Such adoption of methods as well as changes in rice varieties used for instance enabled average yield per hectare to increase by 10- 27.9%, reduction in the amount of seeds used for planting by 40-60%, reduction in the amount of fertilizer utilized by 30% and the use of pesticides. For those who sell part of their produce, profits increased by at least 10%.

Some crop (rice) varieties also found their way into farming systems where they were not previously cultivated made possible by the materials introduced and used during the FFS. The communities have added 18 additional varieties in their fields with these varieties selected by the IPSHFs themselves based on field trials and studies they themselves conducted.

These achievements also improved the access of IPSHFs to seeds as availability has also improved due to the increase in number of varieties, increased potential of saving seeds (due to lessened amount of seeds used in SRI), capability of IPSHF to develop varieties and the increase of seed sources with the formation of seed production groups.

SEARICE Partners:

Vietnam: Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD), a non-government organization based in Hanoi, Plant Protection Department (PPD) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Field Crops Research Institute (FCRI) of the Vietnamese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS)

Donors:

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PUTTING LESSONS INTO PRACTICE:

SCALING UP PEOPLE'S BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT FOR FOOD SECURITY

Project Location

Vietnam, Zimbabwe, and Peru

Project Duration

2012 to 2015

With the aim to uphold, strengthen and mainstream the rights and technical capacities of indigenous peoples and smallholder farmers (IPSHFs) and to influence local to global policies and institutions on the sustainable use of plant genetic resources for food security under conditions of climate change, the project was implemented in three countries (Vietnam, Peru, and Zimbabwe) from 2012 to 2015.

The specific objectives of the project include:

1. To develop locally appropriate adaptation strategies for food security by bridging traditional knowledge and science on plant genetic resources and incorporating local perceptions on climate change;


2. To empower indigenous peoples and smallholder farmers (IPSHF) to influence local, national, regional and international food, agriculture and climate change policies toward realizing the right to food (RtF);


3. Strengthen the adaptive capacities of smallholder farmer communities and indigenous peoples in plant genetic resources conservation, and access and sustainable use, by scaling up successful and/or innovative models.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

A. Enhancement of the Capacity of IPSHFs to Adapt to Climate Change

The program gave due recognition on the need for  collaborative effort
with other stakeholders in agriculture, with the technical and scientific dimension among such areas identified for collaboration.

The program provided venues where technical information were shared and learned by IPSHFs and agricultural technicians alike. One such venue is the Farmer Field School (FFS) for participatory Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) conservation and management, specifically on Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB). The FFS was used as an approach to facilitate experiential learning for IPSHFs and with the particular focus on PGR conservation and management (through PPB) as subject matter in recognition of farm production among the many impact areas of climate change and it being something that IPSHFs can easily relate to as this is their livelihood.

The technical knowledge and skills generated by the IPSHFs subsequently enabled them to select, develop, and rehabilitate varieties that suit their preferences in the context of the community situation and needs. Such include varieties that are tolerant to various stresses (salinity, submersion/flooding, drought, pests and diseases), of short growth duration (due to climate variability and to allow for additional cropping period) of high yields and good eating quality (for food, seeds and commercial purposes) and varieties of cultural significance (traditional varieties).

For the bridging of science and traditional knowledge to be possible, facilitators of the conducted FFS-PPB also underwent similar capacity-building activities prior to their deployment in the communities.

Mr. Rene Salazar (left), technical operations adviser from Oxfam-Novib, was the resource person during the refresher ToT. Ms. Doi Khanh Ha  (right) of SRD translating (into Vietnamese) some of the inputs.

 IPSHFs from Bach Ha Commune discussing to the visiting team about the field studies they are doing.

B. Intensified Policy Advocacy Works towards Recognition to the IPSHFs' Right to Food

The program gave due recognition on the need for a supportive policy environment that can contribute to the sustainability of all interventions and innovations of IPSHFs communities.​​

The baseline study presented that among the issues concerning IPSHFs’ communities is climate change. Results showed that in recent history, normal weather and climate patterns have changed and that these changes have adversely impacted on agricultural production and IPSHFs, substantiating global declarations on food systems as climate change impact areas and on IPHSFs as among the sectors most vulnerable.

Climate change is one of the topics discussed during the FFS
activities conducted. Here, it is explained to all FFS participants that this form part of the underlying reasons behind the technical skills on plant breeding they were learning. This is one way in which the program created the opportunity for communities to understand their situation which is integral in any policy advocacy work given that it should be the community members themselves who are at the forefront of advocacy.

Farmers’ Field Day (FFD) in Yen Bai Province with local authorities and media personnel in attendance.  PHOTO CREDIT: SRD

C. Increased the IPSHFs' Adaptive Capacities on Sustainable PGR Conservation and Use by Using Innovative Models and Tools

Past interventions and SEARICE programs like the CBDC-BUCAP and DARE saw that IPSHFs can contribute
positively to addressing food security. With this in mind, the program was horizontally scaled by reaching out to other communities not involved in the earlier programs to be able to reach more people and where the benefits gained, given some commonalities of the aforementioned programs with the current, can likewise also expand.

With the inclusion of farming techniques like SRI (principles) in the FFS-PPB discussions, IPSHFs had the chance to test new farm management methods. Such adoption of methods as well as changes in rice varieties used for instance enabled average yield per hectare to increase by 10- 27.9%, reduction in the amount of seeds used for planting by 40-60%, reduction in the amount of fertilizer utilized by 30% and the use of pesticides. For those who sell part of their produce, profits increased by at least 10%.

Some crop (rice) varieties also found their way into farming systems where they were not previously cultivated made possible by the materials introduced and used during the FFS. The communities have added 18 additional varieties in their fields with these varieties selected by the IPSHFs themselves based on field trials and studies they themselves conducted.

These achievements also improved the access of IPSHFs to seeds as availability has also improved due to the increase in number of varieties, increased potential of saving seeds (due to lessened amount of seeds used in SRI), capability of IPSHF to develop varieties and the increase of seed sources with the formation of seed production groups.

PARTNERS

Vietnam: Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SRD), a non-government organization based in Hanoi, Plant Protection Department (PPD) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Field Crops Research Institute (FCRI) of the Vietnamese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS)

DONORS

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Southeast Asia Regional Initiatives for Community Empowerment

 

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Photos are contributed by SEARICE staff and partner organizations and government agencies.