Family Farming Knowledge Platform


The Resources section holds archived publications and multimedia materials related to family farming general issues.

The external references on this page are provided for informational purposes only - they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by FAO.

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Blog article
Repurposing Farm Machinery

Many farmers in Europe and North America are burdened with debts due to the heavy investments they have made over the years to buy farm machinery. A new tractor easily costs 100,000 Euro or more. New agricultural policies often force farmers to change as well.
2020 - AgroInsight

Policy brief/paper
Encircling gillnet recognized as very selective

Fishers find their voice in the Netherlands: their traditional gear is finally recognized.
2020 - NetVISwerk, LIFE

Policy brief/paper
Thriving in diversity: smallholders organising for climate resilience

With their ability to mobilise 1.5 billion smallholder producers, forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) can help drive a paradigm shift away from large-scale monocultural systems, which are vulnerable to climate change and highly inequitable. FFPO businesses embody greater diversity and equity, pursuing market opportunities for a diverse basket of...
Bolivia (Plurinational State of) - Ecuador - Ghana - Guatemala - Kenya - Madagascar - Nepal - Netherlands - Togo - Viet Nam - Zambia
2019 - International Institute for Environment and Development

Blog article
Inspirational ideas: Crop diversification - multiple benefits for dairy farm

Two years ago, Dutch dairy farmer Matté Eikelenboom started exploring crop diversification in his grazing land, to stimulate soil life and improve the health of his cows. His mixed pastures show promising results for the quality of his feed and the health of his animals. The variety of species also...
2019 - Eip Agri

DUTCH CSA CONFERENCE 2018 (13 – 14 January 2018, De Eemlandhoeve, Bunschoten-Spakenburg)

This plenary session of the conference was dedicated to the question ‘What is the added value of CSA to you?
Every year either Netherlands or Belgium hosts the bi-national CSA Conference. This year it was held in Amersfoort, in the center of the Netherlands and close to several CSAs. It was a fully sold out event (125+) with a plenary meeting, workshops, a meal and a movie and on Sunday we...
2018 - Urgenci

Concerns rise over electric pulse fishing

A meeting in Nieuwpoort, Belgium on September 1st, organized by Belgian inshore fisherman Jan De Jonghe and attended by a variety of commercial fishermen from the UK, Belgium and Holland as well as staff from the Low Impact Fishers of Europe Platform [LIFE] and researchers from the Marine Institute, highlighted the...
Belgium - Netherlands - United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
2017 - Low Impact Fishers of Europe

Blog article
Inspirational ideas: Concrete solutions for sustainability and animal welfare

Dirty stable floors where manure is difficult to remove lead to increased emissions and is problematic for animal welfare as infection can spread quickly. A number of companies are working on improving existing building solutions to reduce emissions and improve animal welfare
2017 - EIP Agri Agriculture & Innovation

Case study
Innovations in Agroecology – a case study from the Netherlands

In Noord-Brabant, a region in South-West Netherlands, Govert van Dis and his wife Phily Brooijmans are running an organic arable farm of around 100 hectares. They run the farm together and actively follow innovations in agroecology. Crops are grown without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, therefore crop rotation forms the...

Future farmers in Europe

"Go for it. Choose the rural alternative. Reclaim the fields!" All around Europe, young urban people with no agricultural background decide to start a farm, often using principles of agroecology and community supported agriculture. Despite the many difficulties these new farmers face, their practices are innovative, viable and sustainable. Representing...
France - Germany - Ireland - Netherlands
2017 - Cultivate!

TBTI @ MARE ‘People and the Sea IX’ Conference.

The main purpose of this half-day meeting is to gather feedback on the ‘SSF Governability Index’, a new assessment tool being developed by TBTI to help country gauge what needs to be done to improve governability and achieve sustainability of SSF. The forum will also be an opportunity to build...
2017 - Too Big to Ignore

Magazine article
Opinion: Learning from citizens

Knowledge held by citizens provides insights about new food cultures and practices. While acknowledging the usefulness of top-down tools, Oliver De Schutter argues that the state should also embrace the need to learn, observe and be surprised by citizen-led initiatives.Knowledge held by citizens provides insights about new food cultures and practices. While acknowledging the usefulness of top-down tools, Oliver De Schutter argues that the state should also embrace the need to learn, observe and be surprised by citizen-led initiatives.
The transition towards sustainable food systems has often been conceived on the basis of two sets of instruments: legal regulations that impose certain ways of acting and prohibit others, or economic incentives such as taxes and subsidies to reward good practices and discourage less good practices. This classic view of transition...
2016 - ILEIA - centre for learning on sustainable agriculture

New entrants into farming

A collection of short examples of initiatives/projects related to new entrants into farming (mostly small scale)
Belgium - Bulgaria - Czechia - European Union - Finland - France - Germany - Hungary - Ireland - Italy - Netherlands - Slovakia - Spain - United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
2016 - EIP-AgRI Agriculture & Innovation

Survival of Sea Bass and Small Scale Handliners in the Balance

ICES Advice for Sea Bass in 2017: Zero catches based on precautionary approach?
Scientific assessment and observations from small-scale fisheries highlight the poor state of sea bass stocks, and raise major concerns about the survival of the resources and of the fishers who depend on them.
France - Netherlands - United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
2016 - Low Impact Fishers of Europe

Blog article
New study seeks to identify needs of EU young farmers

Nearly 61% of EU young farmers consider the availability of land for purchase and 57% the availability of land for rent as the most difficult challenges they face, often due to issues such as land ownership laws, inheritance rules and land prices, according to a new external report published by...
Austria - Belgium - Bulgaria - Croatia - Cyprus - Czechia - Estonia - European Union - Finland - France - Germany - Greece - Hungary - Ireland - Italy - Latvia - Luxembourg - Malta - Netherlands - Poland - Portugal - Romania - Slovakia - Slovenia - Spain - Sweden - United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
2016 - European Commission

Book part
How is the life of family farms in Europe? Presentation of the Netherlands

Association of private farming of the Czech Republic organized an International Conference on family farms and Common Agricultural Policy of EU. The event was held in Brno on 4 - 6th of April 2016. 10 European countries attended the conference. Herewith volume 2. Presentation of the Netherlands

Magazine article
Potato breeding in the Netherlands: successful collaboration between farmers and commercial breeders

The Dutch potato breeding model, which involves a partnership between family farmers and commercial breeding companies in a modern, Western context, is unique. While there are other examples of collaborative relationships between farmers and breeders in Europe, the Dutch potato breeding model stands out in terms of its long track...
2016 - ILEIA - centre for learning on sustainable agriculture

Magazine article
Conclusions: Learning from farmer-led access and benefit sharing

This special issue of Farming Matters magazine has explored the ways in which access and benefit sharing of plant genetic resources can work for family farmers. On one hand it presents cases that demonstrate the limited extent to which family farmers have been able to benefit from the ‘formal’ ABS...
Brazil - China - Costa Rica - Ecuador - Netherlands
2016 - ILEIA - centre for learning on sustainable agriculture

Magazine article
Inspired by peers: Farm Talks in biodynamic agriculture

In the Netherlands, a peer review method for farmers arose as an alternative to the biodynamic certification system. By collectively observing and discussing sitespecific challenges, these biodynamic farmers experience first-hand the power of collaboration and drive commitment to sustainability beyond the standards of biodynamic certification.e
2016 - ILEIA - centre for learning on sustainable agriculture

10th European Organic Congress

Transforming food and farming through organics
Almost a decade after the first Congress, IFOAM EU is celebrating its 10th European Organic Congress in the Netherlands this April 2016. The theme of this year’s Congress is transforming food and farming through organics. We want to look at how organic and agro-ecological approaches can really lead future agri-food...

Magazine article
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....
India - Mexico - Netherlands - Rwanda
2016 - ILEIA, Center for Learning on Sustainable Agriculture
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