23 Nov Agroecology Awareness innovation debrief
This week the Southern Africa Food Lab hosted an Agroecology Awareness innovation debrief along with 17 Shaft Education & Conference Centre at the Hoedspruit Hub in the Mopani district, Limpopo. We met with 14 other organisations and 18 agroecology trainers. We discussed the future of this science, movement, practice, and art. The group mapped out their places in the context of agroecology and discussed how they could connect to one another and contribute as individuals and organisations to furthering agroecology. The potential of in-community extension networks played a central role during discussions on the first day, whilst the second day was dedicated to challenges, but predominantly proactive and creative solutions to further agroecology amongst smallholder farmers in South Africa.
The group also heard feedback from Masters student, Amy Giliam, who looked into the impact of agroecology training on the adaptability of smallholder farmers to the effects of climate change in the Mopani district, Limpopo. She specifically introduced agroecology trainers to the concept of adaptive management to replace reactive coping strategies and consequently better prepare for climate change effects. As part of a baseline study for 17 Shaft’s Monitoring & Evaluation System, the group also contributed critical feedback to continuously improve the agroecology leadership training.