Popular articles

The vitality of everyday food (Sherwood, S., M. Paredes and A. Arce. Farming Matters, April 2017: 43-47)

A great deal of energy has been invested in attempts to influence the thinking in science and government on the problems of industrial food and the benefits of agroecology and food sovereignty. Meanwhile, people everywhere must take responsibility for creating the changes they want to see through daily food practices in their families, neighbourhoods and social networks. In addition to organising for ‘resistance’, we call for greater attention to the latent potential in daily living and being, or existence.


Giving new life to peasant seeds in Ecuador (Ross Mary Borja and Pedro J. Oyarzún, Farming Matters, April 2016)

In the Ecuadorian provinces of Bolivar, Chimborazo, and Cotopaxi, family farmers are building new capacity to conserve and use the biodiversity on their farms. By participating in action research they gain a greater understanding and control of their plant genetic resources. This results in increased resilience to climatic and other shocks and takes them further on the path towards food sovereignty.


250,000 Families! Reconnecting urban and rural people for healthier, more sustainable living. (Sherwood, S and C. Cane. Urban Agriculture, 29, 2015: 68-69.)

Much energy has been invested in informing political leaders about the problems of industrial food and the benefits of agro-ecology. Following three decades of focusing primarily on good farming, Ecuador’s Colectivo Agroecológico now believes that people, as “consumer-citizens”, can and must take responsibility for a better future. Such a grassroots counter-response to “modern food” may play a key role in the transformation towards a sustainable and just city-region food system in Ecuador.


Desarrollo 3.0: Hacia una práctica coherente (Paredes, M. and S. Sherwood, 2013. Revista Allpa. No 9: 26-28.)

En todo el mundo hay gente que está explorando transiciones hacia una tercera vía al desarrollo, basado en la búsqueda de formas de vida coherentes, construidas desde la práctica por los mismos actores a nivel familiar y comunitario. A esto es a lo que llamamos el “Desarrollo 3.0”. En un mundo crecientemente dominado por la agricultura industrial, ciertos movimientos sociales operando en familias y comunidades, han logrado sus propias prácticas de producción y alimentación saludables y auto-sostenibles. El punto central de este nuevo paradigma es la aproximación al desarrollo como algo que emerge de los procesos sociales locales y es resuelto a nivel local por sus propios actores, en lugar de un desarrollo que está en primer lugar estimulado, facilitado o dirigido desde afuera. Una consecuencia de este nuevo paradigma es la necesidad de repensar la ciencia, política y profesionalismo en el desarrollo frente a esta nueva capacidad de auto-organización local.


Ser la diferencia puede hacer la diferencia: es hora de parar de hacer “fortalecimiento de capacidades”?  (Paredes, M and Sherwood, S. 2013. LEISA Revista de Agroecologia 29(3).)

Este artículo explora una tercera fase en el desarrollo rural (3.0); Desarrollo que busca soluciones desde dentro de la propia comunidad y que ve el investigador y facilitador como un actor social en el proceso más que una figura de autoridad.


Local Food Systems: Tzimbuto and Canasta Utopía (Lema, F., Oyarzun, P., Borja, R., Zambrano, S.  2013. Local Food Systems: Tzimbuto and Canasta Utopía. Farming Matters. 29(2):38-40) 

The Canastas Comunitarias, a movement started by families to address their concerns over food prices provides a clear example of how people themselves organize for social change. Today, the movement has expanded to six cities in Ecuador and has diversified to address new concerns, but remains a perfect example of the benefits of local food systems.


Development 3.0: Development practice in transition (Sherwood, S., C. Leeuwis, and T.A. Crane. 2012.  Farming Matters 28(3):40-41)  

Following over a half-century of “technology transfer” and “participation”, the paradigm of agricultural modernisation appears to have reached a limit. Directly related to growing concerns over the world’s food systems, there is a sense of welcomed change taking place. At the center lays a commonly neglected resource: the creativity embedded in peoples’ daily practices and self-organisation.


People (Sherwood, S.  2010. People. Farming Matters 26(4):10-11)

The establishment of strong and efficient partnerships can contribute enormously to family farming, in many different ways. All efforts to enhance learning, however, must ensure that local people remain in control of the process. External agents need to be very aware of the role they want to take and of the role they are, in effect, taking.


Katalysis: ayudando a los agricultores andinos a sobrellevar el cambio climático (Sherwood, S., P. Oyarzun, R. Borja, M. Ochoa, and C. Sacco. 2009.  LEISA. March. 24(4):22-24)  

Este artículo explora cómo los campesinos andinos creativamente la recoleccionan y retienen el agua frente a la variabilidad de precipitaciones debido al cambio climático.