Agro-Biodiversity for Smallholder Farmers' Livelihood and Food Security
(University of Naples), Elisabetta Gotor (Bioversity International), and
Mauricio Bellon (Bioversity International).
Conserving agro-biodiversity on-farm is important in the pursuit of globally
resilient agricultural and food systems and increasingly relevant in the
face of climate change (Bellon and van Etten 2013). These socio-biological
systems depend crucially on smallholders farmers’ preferences, incentives,
knowledge, management practices, institutions and social organization
Agro-biodiversity conservation and
its use can be a valuable option for smallholders farmers not only in terms
of income opportunities, but also for diet diversification, community
involvement and health (Bellon et al., 2006; Meinzen-Dick et al., 2009;
Smale et al., 2008; Sthapit et al., 2008), and for the sustainable
management of agricultural systems (Frison et al., 2011; Jackson et al.,
2007; Mijatović et al., 2012). However, maintaining crop diversity on-farm
can entail important costs to smallholder farmers, and increasingly there
are incentives associated with new opportunities, brought about by economic
development and cultural change, that encourage them to abandon this
diversity (Bellon 2004; Gotor et al., 2010; Zimmerer 2010).
For these reasons the preservation of
agricultural biodiversity as a means to empower small scale farmers in
developing countries and improve their livelihood has attracted many
research and in the last 20 years many projects to support farmers in
maintaining the diversity have been implemented worldwide (Gotor et al.,
2013). However there has been very little systematic assessment, of the
extent to which on-farm conservation interventions have actually made a
difference beyond what de facto conservation is already delivering.
In this track we would like to invite
researchers, scientists and policy makers, to exchange idea, discuss
strategies and priorities and to share their research on use and
conservation of agricultural biodiversity for smallholder farmers.
Primarily attention will be given to
contributions that concern the following themes:
1. Approaches for increased
resilience and risk reduction on smallholder farms through greater use of
agricultural biodiversity and local forest resources;
2. Methodological and empirical
evidence of how agricultural biodiversity can contribute to dietary
diversity and nutrition, as well as to improved livelihoods for smallholders
3. Case studies for developing
markets for local biodiversity-derived products;
4. Conceptual frameworks or
quantitative methods to assess the effectiveness of projects supporting
For more information on this session,
please contact one of the chairs (firstname.lastname@example.org;
Bellon MR, van Etten J 2013 in Plant Genetic Resources and Climate Change,
eds Jackson M, Ford-Lloyd B, Parry, ML (CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK and
New York, USA) pp 137-150, in press.
Bellon MR, 2004, Conceptualizing
interventions to support on-farm genetic resource conservation. World
Bellon, M. R., Adato, M., Becerril,
J., Mindek, D., 2006, Poor farmers’ perceived benefits from different types
of maize germplasm: The case of creolization in lowland tropical
Mexico,World Development 34, 113-129.
Frison E., Cherfas, J., Hodgkin, T.,
2011, ‘Agricultural Biodiversity Is Essential for a Sustainable Improvement
in Food and Nutrition Security’, Sustainability 3(1), 238-253.
Gotor, E., Caracciolo, F., Cantoa
G.M.B, Al Nassiri, M., 2013. “ìImproving rural livelihoods through the
conservation and use of underutilized species: evidence from a community
research project in Yemen , International Journal of Agricultural
Sustainability. 1-16, DOI:10.1080/14735903.2013.796173.
Gotor, E., Caracciolo, F., Watts, J.,
2010. The Perceived Impact of the In-Trust Agreements on CGIAR Germplasm
Availability: An Assessment of Bioversity International’s Institutional
Activities, World Development, Volume 38, Issue 10, October 2010, Pages
Jackson, L. E., Pascual, U., Hodgkin
T., 2007, Utilizing and conserving agrobiodiversity in agricultural
landscapes, Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 121, 196-210.
Meinzen-Dick, R. S., Devaux, A.,
Antezana, I., 2009, Underground assets: potato biodiversity to improve the
livelihoods of the poor, International Journal of Agricultural
Sustainability 7, 235-248.
Mijatović, D., Van Oudenhoven, F.,
Eyzaguirre, P., Hodgkin, T., 2012, The role of agricultural biodiversity in
strengthening resilience to climate change: towards an analytical framework,
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 1-13.
Smale, M., Katungi E., Edmeades S.,
2008, Gender, social capital and information exchange in rural Uganda’,
Journal of International Development 20, 35-52.
Sthapit, B., Rana, R., Eyzaguirre,
P., Jarvis, D, 2008, ‘The value of plant genetic diversity to resource-poor
farmers in Nepal and Vietnam’, International Journal of Agricultural
Sustainability 6, 148-166.
Zimmerer KS (2010) Biological
diversity in agriculture and global change. Annu Rev Env Resour 35:137-66.