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Editorial - Co-creation in the practice, science and movement of agroecology

Knowledge building is central to agroecology rooted in family farming. But why? What type of knowledge, and whose knowledge is mobilised? This issue of Farming Matters explores what we really mean by co-creation of knowledge in agroecology, why it is so essential for today’s challenges, and how it takes place around the world.

In agroecology, farmers continuously build situation-specific knowledge that allows them to develop under unpredictable and changing circumstances. There are no  fixed prescriptions in agroecology about how to produce, process, market or store food, feed, medicine and fibre. Rather, different practices work in different ways depending on each specific context and ecosystem. This is why agroecology is knowledge-intensive and why the combination of different types of knowledge is so essential in agroecology.

Knowledge co-creation is especially relevant and urgent in the context of climate change. Developing climate resilient agriculture is all about building knowledge related to locally rooted adaptation strategies. Farmers’ knowledge of seeds, land, water and other local resources are absolutely central in this process.

Solutions to problems or ways of improving production emerge through experimentation, practice and learning with others, especially because different types of actors generate different types of knowledge. Bringing people with various perspectives, experiences and questions together can facilitate creativity and innovation. Co-creation of knowledge happens when such new knowledge emerges from sharing, learning and working together with other people.

Title of publication: Co-creation of knowledge
Volume: 32
Issue: 1
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Page range: 6-8
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Author: Jessica Milgroom
Other authors: Janneke Bruil, Cees Leeuwis
Organization: ILEIA, Center for Learning on Sustainable Agriculture
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Year: 2016
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Country/ies: India, Mexico, Netherlands, Rwanda
Geographical coverage: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Central American Integration System (SICA), Community of Latin America and Caribbean States (CELAC), European Union (European Union), Latin America and the Caribbean
Type: Magazine article
Content language: English
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