Importance of small farms

We had the good fortune to come across this very interesting article written by Dr. Miguel Altieri from the University of California at Berkeley, titled “Agroecology, small farms and food sovereignty” via the LEISA’S FARM blog.

Dr. Altieri in this article discusses the significant contribution small farms (usually no bigger than 2 hectares), make in food production, protecting biodiversity, ensuring resource conservation, and safeguarding indigenous knowledge.  He provides us with many examples from different parts of the globe.

This article also highlights that farmers involved in traditional farming systems are much more prepared for extreme weather conditions.  Altieri states:

<quote> In traditional agroecosystems the prevalence of complex and diversified cropping systems is of key importance to the stability of peasant farming systems, allowing crops to reach acceptable productivity levels in the midst of environmentally stressful conditions. In general, traditional agroecosystems are less vulnerable to catastrophic loss because they grow a wide variety of crops and varieties in various spatial and temporal arrangements. Researchers have found that polycultures of sorghum/peanut and millet/peanut exhibited greater yield stability and less productivity declines during a drought than in the case of monocultures. <unquote>

Interested in reading more? Click here.

Interested in reading other books on the subject by Dr. Altieri?  Please find following a list of books available here at Bioversity Library.

Altieri, M.A. 1993.  Crop protection strategies for subsistence farmers. Boulder, CO (USA): Westview Press. 197 p.
Call No:    632.9 Al7

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Altieri, M.A.; Hecht, S.B. 1990.  Agroecology and small farm development. Boca Raton, FL (USA): CRC Press. 262 p.

Call No:    631.95 Al7

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Altieri, M.A. 1994.  Biodiversity and pest management in agroecosystems. New York, NY (USA): Food Products Press. 185 p.
Call No:    632.9 Al71

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Altieri, M.A. 1995.  Agroecology. The science of sustainable agriculture. 2. ed. Boulder, CO (USA): Westview Press. 433 p.
Call No:    631.95 Al71

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About Bioversity Library

Maintained by staff at Bioversity International Library, this blog aims to provide readers with updates on new information resources within the field of plant genetic resources (PGR), agrobiodiversity and conservation; [with a little fun thrown in as well].
This entry was posted in Biodiversity, Climate change, Farmers, Indigenous knowledge, Livelihoods, Research. Bookmark the permalink.

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