The Inga Foundation: Changing Lives in a Revolutionary Way

Mike Hands of the Inga Foundation, a Regeneration International (RI) partner, works in Honduras with slash-and-burn farmers who average 20 acres (eight hectares) of land holdings. That’s considerably larger than most slash-and-burn farms, which Mike estimates are no bigger than five acres (two hectares). 

If you use that two-hectare figure as a benchmark, and multiply it by the 300 million slash-and-burn farms worldwide, you’ve got 1.5 billion acres. That’s a lot of slash-and-burn acreage—acreage that with better farming practices, could be turned into carbon-sequestering farms.

According to Hands, converting from slash and burn to the Inga Foundation’s Guama (Spanish for inga tree) farming method sequesters about 35 tons of carbon per acre per year over a 12-year period.

Multiply that by 1.5 billion acres, and if every slash-and-burn farm worldwide were to convert to the Inga Foundation’s Guama model, it could sequester as much as 52.5 billion tons (gigatons) of CO2 over a 12-year period.

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, one gigaton of carbon sequestration lowers atmospheric carbon levels by almost .5 parts per million. 

So, if all slash-and-burn farmers worldwide were to switch to the Inga Foundation’s Guama model, it would be enough to lower the world’s perilously high carbon level of 400 parts-per-million (ppm) by about 25 ppm, to about 375 ppm, bringing us that much closer to the level of 350 ppm that is calling for in order to stabilize the world’s climate. 

Clearly, the Inga Foundation is on to something.

The Guardian newspaper seems to think so. It ranked Mike Hands #44 on a list of the 100 most important people for saving the world—ahead of such luminaries as Henry David Thoreau, Mahatma Gandhi, Charles Darwin and the Dalai Lama. That’s pretty heady company.

The Inga Foundation is active in Costa Rica, the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar and the U.K.. But the foundation’s biggest project is in Honduras, where it’s working with 300 family farmers. That’s a far cry from 250 million. But it’s a start. And it’s growing. 

When I spoke with Mike from his base in the U.K., he said Honduran farmers who have seen the crop yields of their Guama-employing neighbors are lining up to learn Guama techniques and to get Inga Foundation help with getting started—especially in the wake of a major 2016 storm that caused widespread flooding and literally washed away the farms of many non-Guama slash-and-burn farmers. 

Slash-and-burn farms tend to be on hillsides, often steep hillsides, where rough terrain, difficult access and vulnerability to washout makes the land less desirable and lessens competition for the land. All of these factors combine to offer at least some degree of protection from the large and expanding palm oil biofuel plantations that often use violence and even murder to displace farmers on the coastal plains of Honduras.

But those advantages come at a cost, and when Guama-employing farmers bounced back from the 2016 storm and a devastating drought that followed the storm, their neighbors took notice, and interest in the Inga Foundation’s methods spiked.

The Guama basics are not hugely complicated. You plant rows of Inga trees—which have extensive, shallow and fast-growing roots systems—between rows of crops, in a method known as alley cropping. This increases soil retention, especially in the face of challenges such as intense rain, droughts and hurricanes. Then you supplement soil nutrition with decomposing foliage of the Inga trees and with mineral supplements, most importantly rock phosphate—not regular, standard phosphate, which washes away much more quickly.

Slash-and-burn is hard on farmers because the land it clears loses soil nutrition so fast that farmers have to clear new lands every 5-7 years. That’s hard work. It disrupts families and family life. And the endless search for new lands to clear and cultivate brings farmers into sometimes violent conflict with other farmers, landowners and indigenous peoples.

Plus every time farmers slash and burn an hectare of land (2.5 acres), at least 100 tons of carbon are released into the atmosphere, according to Mike Hands. And right now the world is watching in horror as this process is being played out—and accelerating—in the Amazon rainforests of Brazil and Bolivia, particularly in Brazil, where the new far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro is turning a blind eye to, or even encouraging, what is often land theft and subsequent illegal burning.

It’s a long way from the Inga Foundation’s 300 families to the global figure of 250 million slash-and-burn farmers. Not surprisingly, Hands says the biggest challenge to the Inga Foundation’s growth is funding. And government bureaucracies aren’t helping either. In Honduras, a Foundation shipment of 18,800 kilos of rock phosphate has been held up in customs since 2017. And the customs and storage fees keep rising, making eventual release of the rock phosphate less and less likely and further and further out of reach.

Despite all the challenges facing the Inga Foundation, Mike Hands is optimistic. “The Guama Model is changing lives and livelihoods in a revolutionary way,”Mike told me. “We estimate that families in our Land for Life Program have planted over 3 million trees since 2012.” 

That sounds like a pretty good start.

Lawrence Reichard is a freelance journalist. To keep up with news and events, sign up here for the Regeneration International newsletter.

Structurally Complex Forests Better at Carbon Sequestration

Forests in the eastern United States that are structurally complex – meaning the arrangement of vegetation is highly varied – sequester more carbon, according to a new study led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University.

The study demonstrates for the first time that a forest’s structural complexity is a better predictor of carbon sequestration potential than tree species diversity. The discovery may hold implications for the mitigation of climate change.

“Carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, is taken up by trees through the process of photosynthesis and some of that ‘fixed’ carbon is allocated to wood,” said Chris Gough, Ph.D., corresponding author on the study and an associate professor in the Department of Biology in the College of Humanities and Sciences. “Our study shows that more complex forests are better at taking up and sequestering carbon in wood and, in doing so, they leave less carbon dioxide in the air.”


RI’s Mexico Team Takes Part in First Mexican Congress of Agroecology Conference

On January 1, 1994, Mexico’s Zapatista revolution exploded onto the world stage and instantly grabbed the attention and imagination of progressives and activists around the world.  Among those caught up in the Zapatista revolution were activists and academics pushing back against an almost global corporate takeover of agriculture.  Suddenly a new, different world was possible.

It was only fitting then that the First Mexican Congress of Agroecology was held May 12 to 17 this year in San Cristobal de las Casas, capital of the Mexican state of Chiapas, and ground zero for the vision of a new Mexico launched by the Zapatista revolution. The Congress brought together more than a thousand people from peasant, academic, student and activist communities, and organizations from all over Mexico and around the world—including Regeneration International.

The cross-cutting premise of the Congress was to bring academia and existing grassroots agroecological processes together in a social and collaborative way, while creating the opportunity for rural communities themselves determine their real needs and implement actions to address those needs.

The Intercultural University of Chiapas (UNICH) and the College of the Southern Border (ECOSUR) were the prime movers and organizers of the Congress.  Since 2018, UNICH and ECOSUR have worked closely together to strengthen the exchange of traditional knowledge and experience between rural communities and academia.

From the very beginning and throughout the Congress, during discussions on the origin and history of agroecology in Mexico, peasant communities were spoken of as guardians of agrobiodiversity and as the driving force behind the survival of many of the seeds and plants that have existed in the Americas from pre-Hispanic times until today.

The Congress grappled with the history of agroecology, with an emphasis on the need to build a common future based on the great potential that Mexico has in implementing agroecological techniques.

Participants also worked on organizing a common front to present proposals that feed state and national public policies beneficial to the community at large—policies that create resilience and can reverse the harmful effects that the agro-industrial model has on food quality, food sovereignty, soil, water, air and ecosystems as a whole.  There was also much discussion of agro-industry’s substantial contribution to climate change, and resultant forced migration, an issue that has dominated the news and galvanized public opinion in Mexico, the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.  

The wide variety of program topics and the heterogeneity of Congress participants underlined the need to reconcile the multiple perspectives that exist on agroecology in Mexico, in particular the Mayan vision, which from generation to generation has opted for a construction of knowledge and resistance, as well as the academic vision, in Mexico represented by the figure of the well-known late Mexican ethnobotany teacher Efraim Hernández Xocolotzi .

With this goal in mind, of integrating and weaving together Mexico’s many rich and diverse perspectives, Congress roundtables discussed these principal topics: food sovereignty, international experiences in agroecology and good living, farmers’ markets, agroecological production strategies, agroforestry systems, silvopasture and wildlife management, milpa systems, family gardens, pest management, public policy and governance, soils and seeds, women, agroecology and feminism, maize under siege, water and soil, seeds and resilience, and peasant schools, among other topics.

The closing ceremony was held at the historic Teatro Zebadúa in the center of San Cristóbal de las Casas. Speakers at the closing roundtable included Dr. Víctor Suárez Carrera, Mexican Undersecretary of Food Self-Sufficiency of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Dr. Crispim Moreira, U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative to Mexico; and Dr. Luis García Barrios, director of the southeast region of the National Commission of Science and Technology.

In a packed auditorium, the public peppered authorities with questions on the real capacity for change posed by the Fourth Transformation, a broad proposal put forth by the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador to solve the problems that the Mexican Revolution—the Third Transformation—left unresolved. It became clear that agroecology must be part of the real transformation of the Mexican Republic, and that this will occur to the extent that a strong and organized society demands the necessary changes so that the public policies that the government implements integrate agroecology as a substantial part of that change.

Ercilia Sahores is a member of the Regeneration International steering committee and Latin America Director. To keep up with news and events, sign up here for the Regeneration International newsletter.

Expertos instan a integrar la agroecología con otras formas de producción

Roma, 3 jul (EFE).- La agricultura ecológica debe integrarse con otros métodos de innovación con el fin de que los sistemas alimentarios se vuelvan sostenibles, afirmaron este miércoles asesores de la ONU en un nuevo informe.

El Grupo de expertos de alto nivel del Comité de Seguridad Alimentaria Mundial (CSA), un foro intergubernamental de Naciones Unidas en el que también participan el sector privado y la sociedad civil, presentó en Roma las conclusiones de un estudio centrado en la agroecología.

En las últimas décadas ese concepto “dinámico” se ha expandido del terreno a los paisajes y a los sistemas alimentarios en general, dijo en el acto el jefe del equipo encargado del informe, Fergus Sinclair.

Entre los principios generales por los que se rige la agroecología a nivel local están el reciclaje, la reducción de insumos externos, la salud del suelo y de los animales, la diversificación económica, la gobernanza de los recursos naturales y la participación de distintos actores.


Agroecology as Innovation

On July 3, the High Level Panel of Experts of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its much-anticipated report on agroecology in Rome. The report signals the continuing shift in emphasis in the UN agency’s approach to agricultural development. As outgoing FAO Director General Jose Graziano da Silva has indicated, “We need to promote a transformative change in the way that we produce and consume food. We need to put forward sustainable food systems that offer healthy and nutritious food, and also preserve the environment. Agroecology can offer several contributions to this process.”

The commissioned report, Agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that enhance food security and nutrition, two years in the making, is clear on the urgent need for change. “Food systems are at a crossroads. Profound transformation is needed,” the summary begins. It goes on to stress the importance of ecological agriculture, which supports “diversified and resilient production systems, including mixed livestock, fish, cropping and agroforestry, that preserve and enhance biodiversity, as well as the natural resource base.”

It is not surprising, of course, that those with financial interests in the current input-intensive systems are responding to growing calls for agroecology with attacks on its efficacy as a systematic approach that can sustainably feed a growing population. What is surprising is that such responses are so ill-informed about the scientific innovations agroecology offers to small-scale farmers who are being so poorly served by “green revolution” approaches.

One recent article from a researcher associated with a pro-biotechnology institute in Uganda was downright dismissive, equating agroecology with “traditional agriculture,” a step backward toward the low-productivity practices that prevail today. “The practices that agroecology promotes are not qualitatively different from those currently in widespread use among smallholder farmers in Uganda and sub-Saharan Africa more broadly,” writes Nassib Mugwanya of the Uganda Biosciences Research Center. I have come to conclude that agroecology is a dead end for Africa, for the rather obvious reason that most African agriculture already follows its principles.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. As the new expert report shows, and as countless ecological scientists around the world can attest, agroecology brings much-needed innovations to prevailing smallholder practices. With a long track record of achievements in widely varying environments, the approach has been shown to improve soil fertility, increase crop and diet diversity, raise total food productivity, improve resilience to climate change, and increase farmers’ food and income security while decreasing their dependence on costly inputs.

The failing policies of the present

The predominant input-intensive approach to agricultural development can hardly claim such successes, which is precisely why international institutions are actively seeking alternatives. The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) is the poster child for the promotion of input-intensive agriculture in Africa. At its outset 13 years ago, AGRA and its main sponsor, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, set the goals of doubling the productivity and incomes of 30 million smallholder households on the continent.

There is no evidence that approach will come anywhere near meeting those worthy objectives, even with many African governments spending large portions of their agricultural budgets to subsidize the purchase of green revolution inputs of commercial seeds and synthetic fertilizers. National-level data, summarized in the conclusion to my book Eating Tomorrow, attests to this failure:

  • Smallholders mostly cannot afford the inputs, and the added production they see does not cover their costs.
  • Rural poverty has barely improved since AGRA’s launch; neither has rural food insecurity. Global Hunger Index scores remained in the “serious” to “alarming” category for 12 of the 13 AGRA countries.
  • Even in priority crops like maize and rice, few of AGRA’s 13 priority countries have seen sustained productivity increases.
  • Production increases such as for maize in Zambia have come as much from shifting land into subsidized maize production as from raising productivity from commercial seeds and fertilizers.
  • There is no evidence of improved soil fertility; in fact, many farmers have experienced a decline as monocropping and synthetic fertilizers have increased acidification and reduced much-needed organic matter.
  • Costly input subsidies have shifted land out of drought-tolerant, nutritious crops such as sorghum and millet in favor of commercial alternatives. Crop diversity and diet diversity have decreased as a result.

recent article in the journal Food Policy surveyed the evidence from seven countries with input subsidy programs and found little evidence of sustained—or sustainable—success. “The empirical record is increasingly clear that improved seed and fertilizer are not sufficient to achieve profitable, productive, and sustainable farming systems in most parts of Africa,” wrote the authors in the conclusion.

Agroecology: Solving farmers’ problems

Branding agroecology as a backward-looking, do-nothing approach to traditional agriculture is a defensive response to the failures of Green Revolution practices. In fact, agroecological sciences offer just the kinds of innovations small-scale farmers need to increase soil fertility, raise productivity, improve food and nutrition security, and build climate resilience.

Do these innovations sound backward looking to you?

  • Biological pest control: Scientist Hans Herren won a World Food Prize for halting the spread of a cassava pest in Africa by introducing a wasp that naturally controlled the infestation.
  • Push-pull technology: Using a scientifically proven mix of crops to push pests away from food crops and pull them out of the field, farmers have been able to reduce pesticide use while increasing productivity.
  • Participatory plant breeding: Agronomists work with farmers to identify the most productive and desirable seed varieties and improve them through careful seed selection and farm management. In the process, degraded local varieties can be improved or replaced with locally adapted alternatives.
  • Agro-forestry: A wide range of scientists has demonstrated the soil-building potential of incorporating trees and cover crops onto small-scale farms. Carefully selected tree varieties can fix nitrogen in the soil, reduce erosion, and give farmers a much-needed cash crop while restoring degraded land.
  • Small livestock: Reintroducing goats or other small livestock onto farms has been shown to provide farmers with a sustainable source of manure while adding needed protein to local diets. Science-driven production of compost can dramatically improve soil quality.

These innovations and many others are explored in depth in the new HLPE report, the full version of which will be available in English in mid-July. Those advocates of industrial agriculture would do well to read it closely so they can update their understanding of the sustainable innovations agroecological sciences offer to small-scale farmers, most of whom have seen no improvements in their farms, incomes, or food security using Green Revolution approaches. Many farmers have concluded that the Green Revolution, not agroecology, is a dead end for Africa.

Posted with permission from Food Tank

Primer Congreso Mexicano de Agroecología: frente común para revertir los efectos nocivos del modelo agroindustrial

Del 12 al 17 de mayo de 2019 se celebró en San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, México, el Primer Congreso Mexicano de Agroecología.

En el encuentro participaron más de mil personas integrantes de las comunidades campesina, académica, estudiantil, activista y de diversas organizaciones nacionales e internacionales, entre ellas Regeneration International.

La principal premisa que fungió como hilo transversal del Congreso fue la necesidad de que la academia se sume a los procesos agroecológicos de base ya existentes, que se una con un sentido social y colaborativo y que su contenido nazca desde las necesidades de las propias comunidades y esté a su servicio.

Cabe destacar que los organizadores principales de este Congreso fueron la Universidad Intercultural de Chiapas (UNICH) y el Colegio de la Frontera Sur (ECOSUR), instituciones que desde 2018 trabajan de manera cercana, firmando convenios de colaboración que apuntan a reforzar este intercambio de saberes y conocimientos entre comunidad y academia.

En la apertura del Congreso se hizo un repaso de la génesis y la historia de la agroecología en México: se habló de las comunidades campesinas como guardianes de la agrobiodiversidad y responsables de la subsistencia de muchas de las semillas y plantas que desde tiempos prehispánicos existen y perduran hasta nuestros tiempos. Con una mirada que fue recorriendo la historia y la memoria de la agroecología, se hizo énfasis en la necesidad de construir un futuro conjunto partiendo de la base del gran potencial que tiene México en técnicas agroecológicas y la importancia de organizarse en un frente común para presentar propuestas que alimenten políticas públicas estatales y nacionales beneficiosas para la comunidad en general; que creen resiliencia y puedan revertir los efectos nocivos del modelo agroindustrial en la calidad de la alimentación y la pérdida de la soberanía alimentaria, la degradación de ecosistemas, la pérdida de suelos, la contaminación de agua y aire, el cambio climático y las migraciones forzadas.

En la integración del programa y la heterogeneidad de la asistencia quedó de manifiesto la necesidad de conciliar las múltiples perspectivas que existen sobre la agroecología en México, en particular la mirada maya que de generación en generación ha apostado por una construcción de saberes y resistencia; así como la académica, simbolizada en México en la figura del maestro Xocolotzi.

Con este objetivo, en el programa se integraron por diferentes mesas: soberanía alimentaria, experiencias internacionales en agroecología y el buen vivir, mercados y tianguis, estrategias de producción agroecológicas, sistemas agroforestales, salvopastoriles y manejo de fauna, sistema milpa, huertos familiares, manejo de plagas, política pública y gobernanza, suelos y semillas, mujeres, agroecología y feminismos, el maíz bajo asedio, agua y suelo, semillas y resiliencia, escuelas campesinas, entre otros temas.

El acto de clausura se realizó en el Teatro Zebadúa, en el centro de San Cristóbal de las Casas. En la mesa de cierre participaron como ponentes el Dr. Víctor Suárez Carrera, Subsecretario de Autosuficiencia Alimentaria de la Secretaría de Agricultura y Desarrollo Rural, el Dr. Crispim Moreira, representante de FAO en México, y el Dr. Luis García Barrios, Director de la región Sureste de la Comisión Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología.

En un auditorio lleno, donde no faltaron las interpelaciones entre público y autoridades acerca de la capacidad real de cambio propuesto por la cuarta transformación del gobierno de Andrés Manuel López Obrador, quedó de manifiesto que la agroecología debe ser parte de la transformación real de la República y que esto ocurrirá en la medida en que una sociedad  fuerte y organizada proponga los cambios necesarios para que las políticas públicas que el gobierno implemente integren a la agroecología como una parte sustancial del cambio.

Regeneración: noticias locales para un movimiento global

Desde su creación en 2015, Regeneration International ha estado trabajando de manera local para fortalecer un movimiento de solidaridad global. Hasta el momento, 218 proyectos regenerativos ubicados en 55 países forman parte de la Red Internacional de Afiliados de Regeneration.

Desde comienzos del año se han realizado diversos talleres, conferencias y encuentros regionales e internacionales que nutren y conectan el movimiento de regeneración global. Queremos por este medio compartirte información para que sepas más de lo que está ocurriendo y puedas acercarte y formar parte de este movimiento. Regeneration Belice celebró su primera Asamblea General, en Kenia, estaremos presentes en la Semana Mundial del Suelo y en Chiapas, México, participaremos del Primer Congreso Mexicano de Agroecología.

Sigue leyendo para saber más sobre estos eventos regenerativos internacionales.

BELICE: Regeneración Belice celebra su primera reunión general anual en Belmopan

Regeneración Belice celebró su primera Asamblea General el 13 de febrero en la sala de conferencias de la Feria Nacional de Agricultura y Comercio en Belmopan.

Regeneración Belice es el resultado del esfuerzo común de productores, educadores, consumidores y educadores de Belice y aliados internacionales. El primer paso para la conformación de este grupo se dio durante la Primera Conferencia de Agricultura Tropical que tuvo lugar en Belmopan en noviembre de 2018.

El 19 de marzo, Regeneración Belice organizó un taller de biocarbón a cargo de Christopher Nesbitt de Maya Mountain Research Farm e integrante de la junta de Regeneración Belice, con una participación de 51 personas. Se está planeando un taller de preservación de semillas para junio con la asistencia de RI, Sustainable Harvest International (SHI), el Ministerio de Agricultura y otros involucrados en la preservación de semillas. Regeneración Belice continúa desarrollando numerosos eventos para 2019, desde su Segunda Conferencia sobre Agricultura Tropical Regenerativa en noviembre, como su participación en el Día Mundial de la Alimentación en octubre.

URUGUAY: ¡El movimiento de regeneración está ganando terreno en Uruguay!

El 14 de febrero tuvo lugar el taller “José Ignacio, Faro Regenerativo: agua y suelo libres de agroquímicos” en las instalaciones del restaurante la Excusa, en José Ignacio, Uruguay. El evento se llevó a cabo conjuntamente con la Feria Gastronómica local, patrocinada por varias organizaciones locales, nacionales e internacionales y ONG’s, incluida Savory International.

Los talleres sobre prácticas agrícolas regenerativas se llevarán a cabo mensualmente, a fin de difundir el movimiento regenerativo en todo Uruguay. Para más información, llame o WhatsApp: 598-98106116.

ESTADOS UNIDOS: Global Earth Repair Conference, Port Townsend, Washington (EE. UU.), 3-5 de mayo de 2019

La Global Earth Repair Conference (Conferencia Global de Reparación de la Tierra) reunirá a unas 500 personas para hablar sobre la reparación de la tierra a nivel local, regional, estatal, nacional e internacional. La Conferencia Global de Reparación de la Tierra facilita el intercambio de información entre los profesionales de la reparación de la tierra.

El evento de este año se centrará en cómo aplicar la reparación de la tierra en áreas urbanas, tierras de cultivo, bosques, pastizales, estepas arbustivas, desiertos, arroyos, ríos, arrecifes de coral, océanos y otros ecosistemas. Recolección de semillas, movimientos de tierras, curvas de nivel, viveros, plantas nativas, establecimiento de plantas, árboles, estacas vivas, siembra de retoños y mucho más estará en el menú.

MEXICO: 1er. Congreso Mexicano de Agroecología, San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, 12-17 de mayo de 2019.

Regeneración Internacional y la Asociación de Consumidores Orgánicos (ACO), junto con la Red de Semillas de México, participarán en el Primer Congreso Mexicano de Agroecología con una serie de actividades relacionadas con la defensa de las semillas y la agrodiversidad.

El miércoles 15 de mayo, habrá talleres sobre producción de semillas y sobre la tortilla 100% nixtamalizada. También habrá una presentación de “SIEMBRA!”, Una serie educativa sobre la producción de semillas y un intercambio de semillas.

El jueves 16 de mayo, participaremos en una mesa titulada “Semillas y resiliencia: aprendizaje, resistencia y construcción a través de la defensa, conservación y producción de semillas”, que contará con oradores del sector público y académico y organizaciones sin fines de lucro.

AFRICA DEL ESTE: Global Soil Week, Nairobi, Kenya, May 27-30, 2019

La Global Soil Week (Semana Mundial del Suelo) reunirá a científicos y profesionales del suelo para deliberar sobre cómo crear entornos que permitan la neutralidad de la degradación de la tierra en África. Precious Phiri, de Regeneration International, se asociará con la Oficina Federal Alemana para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (Viridiana Alcántara) para llevar a cabo una visita al Savory Hub de Kenia en las tierras de Masai Mara. Este evento mostrará el potencial para la regeneración de la salud del suelo en las tierras secas de Kenia. La esperanza es que esto genere interés entre los científicos para asociarse con Savory Hubs en proyectos orientados a la regeneración de los pastizales.

ESTADOS UNIDOS: el Green New Deal enciende la esperanza de un cambio integral en la política agrícola

Desde Regeneration International apoyamos el Green New Deal (GND) o Nuevo Acuerdo Verde, una propuesta de movilización para los próximos 10 años para combatir el cambio climático al tiempo que promueve medidas para reducir la desigualdad económica en Estados Unidos. El GND ofrece una oportunidad sin precedentes para finalmente unir a los activistas de justicia ambiental, climática, alimentaria, laboral y económica en los EE. UU. en torno a una plataforma de políticas que ofrece soluciones para las múltiples crisis que enfrentamos.

En los EE. UU., RI está trabajando tras bambalinas para crear una coalición nacional de agricultores y ganaderos a favor del GND con el objetivo de redactar y generar apoyos para las principales reformas de política agrícola para enfrentar el calentamiento global y otras crisis, como el deterioro de la salud pública y la contaminación del agua, el colapso de las granjas familiares y sus comunidades, la pérdida de la vida silvestre y la biodiversidad, y los bajos salarios de los trabajadores del campo y la industria alimentaria.

Haremos algunos anuncios importantes sobre nuestra asociación con el Movimiento Sunrise en los próximos meses. Por ahora, si vive en los EE. UU., favor de utilizar este formulario para pedir a sus miembros del Congreso que apoyen el Green New Deal.

¿Eres un granjero o ganadero en los Estados Unidos? Por favor firme esta carta al Congreso instando a que se apoye un Green New Deal.


Elige FAO a México para impulsar agroecología y erradicar el hambre

El Gobierno de México debe contemplar en los programas que forman parte de su Plan Nacional de Desarrollo, el impulsar un modelo de producción agroecológico sustentable, que permita alcanzar los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible, planteados en la agenda 2030 de la ONU para erradicar la pobreza y hambre cero, y mejorar la calidad de vida de las familias campesinas.

Crispin Moreira, representante de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y Agricultura en México (FAO), informó que para lograrlo se requiere de un marco legal, un mayor presupuesto, control social, intrumentos operativos y políticas públicas que favorezcan el fortalecimiento de este modelo agroecológico.

Anunció que México junto con Senegal y la Indía, fueron elegidos durante el II Simposium que realizó la FAO en Roma,  para impulsar una agenda más concreta, sobre producción agroecológica que permitan alcanzar los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible de la ONU, en la erradicación de la extrema pobreza y hambre cero.


Ecological Agriculture Needs to Be Made a Priority

The number of farmers moving to ecological agriculture in its various forms — agroecology, organic, biological, biodynamic, regenerative — continues to grow as farmers and consumers become more aware of the harm pesticides and synthetic fertilisers cause to health and the environment.

Alan Broughton takes a look at this phenomenon and asks why the majority of farmers are still holding on to chemical methods and what can be done to increase the ecological uptake.


At an organic soil management class that I taught in Shepparton, Victoria, I asked each of the dozen participants why they were interested in organics. Everyone of them told me their prime motivating factor was personal and family health.

Secondary reasons included concern for the environment, animal health, the high cost of inputs and a desire to be proud of their produce.


All Africa Synthetic Pesticide Congress and the Eastern Africa Conference on Scaling up Agroecology and Ecological Organic Trade Mutually Merge

The “1st All Africa Synthetic Pesticide Congress” organized by the World Food Preservation CenterÒLLC merges with the Eastern Africa conference on “Scaling up Agroecology and Ecological Organic Trade” organized by Biovision Africa Trust, IFOAM Organics International and their Partners to become the 1st International Conference on Agroecology Transforming Agriculture & Food Systems in Africa”.


Photo credit: Unsplash

The “1st All Africa Congress on Synthetic Pesticides, Environment, Human and Animal Health” has expanded its goals by the recognition of Agroecology as a means of combatting synthetic pesticide and fertilizers contamination in the African continent and ensuring actions towards true sustainable agriculture and food systems. The “Agroecology and Ecological Organic Trade” equally see the need to address threats to sustainable agriculture and food systems.

The conference has attracted world leading scientists on both the impact of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers on the African people, their animals, and environment and advocates for Agroecology as a means of producing food without the need for synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. This rare consortium of leading world scientists, practitioners and other players will chart a course to substantially and sustainably reduce synthetic pesticide and fertilizer contamination in Africa. We invite you to participate in and contribute to this seminal event.


Among the keynote speakers at the conference are Professor Hans Herren, the first Swiss to receive the 1995 World Food Prize and the 2013 Right Livelihood Award (alternate Nobel Prize) for leading a major biological control effort. Also, Professor Tyrone Hayes, UC Berkley, who has pioneered in establishing that the herbicide atrazine is an endocrine disruptor that demasculinizes and feminizes male frogs. Other keynote speakers at the congress are on the forefront of research on the impact of synthetic pesticides and GMOs on the health of humans, animals, and the environment. Also, world leading scientists will be speaking on regenerative agriculture and food sovereignty.


The “1st International Conference on Agroecology Transforming Agriculture & Food Systems in Africa: Reducing Synthetic Pesticides and Fertilizers by Scaling Up Agroecology and Promoting Ecological Organic Trade ” will be held at the Safari Park Hotel & Casino, Nairobi, Kenya on June 18-21, 2019.


You can register here.


Charles L. Wilson, Ph.D., Founder World Food Preservation CenterÒLLC, Charles Town, WV, USA

David Amudavi, Ph.D., Director, Bivision Trust, Nairobi, Kenya


About World Food Preservation Center:

To feed the world’s exploding population, we MUST save substantially more of the food that we already produce. Up until now we have invested a disproportionate amount of our resources in the production of food (95%) while only (5%) in the postharvest preservation of food. This has left us with tremendous postharvest “Skill Gaps” and “Technology Gaps” in developing countries. ​The World Food Preservation Center® LLC is filling these gaps by: (1) promoting the education (M.S. and Ph.D.) of young student/scientists from developing countries; (2) having young student/scientists from developing countries conduct research on much needed new postharvest technologies adaptable to their native countries; (3) organize continent-wide postharvest congresses and exhibitions for developing countries; (4) publish much needed new texts/reference books on postharvest technologies/methods for developing countries; and (5) develop a comprehensive database on all postharvest knowledge relative to developing countries with access portals for researchers, students, administrators, industry, businesses, and farmers.


About Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT):

Biovision Africa Trust (BvAT) is a not-for-profit organization established in Kenya in 2009 by the Biovision Foundation for ecological development in Switzerland and supported by the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Nairobi. The Trust’s goal is to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Kenya and other African countries through supporting dissemination of information and knowledge on appropriate technology to improve human, animal, plant, and environmental health. Agricultural output and food supply are however hindered by various environmental factors and lack of information and relevant training for the African smallholder farmers. Plant pests, for instance, are responsible for up to 80% of crop losses. Ecologically sustainable solutions are a practical alternative for African farmers to achieve good crop yields without relying on expensive chemical fertilizers and pesticides. What is lacking, however, are effective dissemination pathways to deliver relevant information to the farmers.