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Farming Matters, Cultivating Diversity | March

Agricultural biodiversity plays a huge role in maintaining resilient local economies, balanced diets and balanced ecosystems. The rapid disappearance of agricultural biodiversity and the lack of measures to protect it are therefore great causes of concern. Although mainstream agricultural policies threaten such agricultural biodiversity, in recent years many promising initiatives have been launched around the world that aim to preserve and manage agricultural biodiversity.

Small-scale family farmers often play a central role in these initiatives. But other actors and institutions also play important roles: farmers and researchers are taking up joint research initiatives, and farmers’ organisations are engaging in dialogues with policymakers, pushing for policies that enhance agrobiodiversity.

Issue 30.1 of Farming Matters looks at these emerging initiatives and at the insights gained from the efforts to up-scale these experiences. It focuses on agricultural biodiversity from different angles, including the importance of local seeds and breeds, enabling policy landscapes, and creating resilient communities. In the International Year of Family Farming, this edition explores the close interconnection between agricultural biodiversity and family farming.