September 2022 – Building farm resilience

Transforming our food system to make it less susceptible to disturbances is key to building farm resilience. Small scale farmers have been the most vulnerable to external shocks and stresses, like droughts, famines, climate change, pest attacks etc. While some are predictable and short term, others are not. While the disruption caused by COVID-19 was sudden and unexpected, climate change is a long term challenge that farmers face.

Building resilience is all about equipping farmers to absorb and recover from shocks and stresses to their agricultural production and livelihoods. There are ways to build resilience. For instance healthy soils which have lot of organic life in it and not susceptible to erosion are the foundation of agricultural resilience. Without them, a prosperous agriculture is impossible. For small holder farm family, farm diversity offers resilience, providing  food and nutrition, sustainable incomes, and gainful engagement throughout the year.  Another basic step to increasing resilience of our food system is to generate on-farm renewable energy and reduce dependency on non-renewable sources of energy.

What does agroecology – as a science, movement and practice – have to offer here? Certainly agroecology offers ways to cope with and prepare for threats such as increasingly uncertain and extreme weather events. Agroecology builds resilience as it is grounded in local and relevant knowledge, low external inputs and both biological and cultural diversity. Agroecological practices support biological processes that drive the recycling of nutrients, biomass and water within production systems. Recycling and reuse of resources also means increasing the autonomy of producers and reducing their vulnerability to market and climate shocks.

The September 2022 issue of LEISA India will explore the strategies that family farmers and civil society are developing to adapt and transform, thereby building resilience. How do these strategies feed into the science of agroecology? How do farmers perceive and deal with changes in their environment, be it climatic, social or economic? How did farmers cope during COVID-19 situation? We are particularly interested in hearing about grassroots experiences where family farmers have innovated or revived old farming practices to cope with extreme shocks and disturbances.

Articles for the September 2022 issue of LEISA India should be sent to the editors before 31st  August 2022 at

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