Food security and production systems in Field Schools for Adaptation

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  1. The rural school for he adaptation are part of the leaning strategy that makes easier to rescue the gathered knowledge by farmers trough out generations. They form a instrument of teaching and learning based on the farmers reality complemented with the knowledge and experience of the trained personal, at the same time knowledge transfer are eased between farmers and indigenous people.
  2. The planning at the beginning by the ECAs changed mostly because the farmers and indigenous managed their own peace of land; thanks to the process now they articulate traditional methods (as the species and seed selection with scientific technologies (as the bio-factory), articulated to help to improve the access to safe food at any season an to learn to adapt to climate change.
  3. The close supervision by promotors and/or technicians the rural schools is a decisive factor for achieving or not the implementation of the adaptation measures. To have protocols (methodologies and instruments), as they ease the organization with people.
  4. The linkages between the families and rural schools must be explicit, to be based on technical aspects, cultural, socials and to have in mind the community history, all of this is going to help guarantee the quality in Th. Selection and participation of Th. Families in the adaptation project.

Purpose of the activity

The food security activities were proposed for the adaptation measure named “secure food on a changing climate”. Its about implementing a production system on a sustainable way that improves availability, access and quality of the products trough the management of traditional production systems and the establishment of arrangement of the land that increases the diversification, association and diminish vulnerability against climate changes.

Original issue addressed by the activity

At the vulnerability analysis framework that was made by the Joint Programme at the pilot zone were characterization of productive systems implemented by the rural and indigenous communities in that zone:

  1. Three productive systems are implemented there: a) intensive (commercial), b) traditional, c) a mix of both.
  2. The most sensitive system us the intensive and the mix at the cold páramo by the negative effects of cattle farming, the deforestation that increases the effects of the wind the cold the heat mostly in crops like the potato, corn, strawberry, peas and grass.
  3. Access to Resources: The capacity for adaptation of the productive systems in the high watershed of the Cauca river, although it presents strengths because of the water and soil resources, at each of the following three productive systems and at each one of the four dermic floors, high limitations for their access for production there is equity in the cost benefit as the prices paid to farmers are too low that barely cover the cost.
  4. As for the adaptation capacity of the productive systems to the climate change and the capability of adaptation analysis presents a generalized medium qualification.
  5. In general, the traditional systems presents a lowers sustainability, this is explained by the kind of productive arrangement that were developed: diversification and multi-stratus, escalating grow, alternation, rest for the soil, use of proper seed, natural cycle of nutrients and resources recycling but it is the most vulnerable in economical terms.
  6. The hypothesis that if in the parcel of land actions of environmental, social, cultural and economical sustainability are applied, people will be more prepared to manage variability to the climate change

Strategy chosen to address the issue

  1. The strategy to implement the food security actions was the setting of “rural schools for the adaptation (ECA’s, in spanish), the rural schools dor the adaptation were an pedagogical alternative to qualify the teams of local promotors, support teams, social organization and related participant families with:
    1. The strengthening of traditional production systems for the security and sovereignty of food
    2. The implementation of systems for the exchange of the excess of agrarian production at the local and zonal leve
    3. The implementation of actions of conservations and management of bio diversity for the improvement and keeping of the environmental offer, the ECA’s are based on the learn by doing system trough the current situation analysis, the knowledge development and definition of new routs for intervention that includes improvement of skills, for management and use for a better future, more humane, sustainable and with better guaranties for the communities and families life.

Implementation of the strategy

Three kinds of parcels were design as mother schools, daughter parcels and granddaughter parcels. A escalating relation was stablished

  1. . The mother school was thought as an experimental center for adaptation according to territorial, cultural and family conditions. In these were developed in the same parcel: improvement of production and productivity of the families trough the establishment of practices and productive arrangement that improve access to water, continuity and connectivity of ecosystems at the regulated areas.
  2. The daughter parcels were located close one to each other, to ease the communication and knowledge exchange and experiences of the families, in these parcels demonstratives experiences were develop to imitate.
  3. . The granddaughter parcels were located at more extensive areas and in thoses were implemented focused arrangements to guarantee the food security. The close companion by specialized technical assistance was provides by a gourp of promotors and technicians along with the families of the daughter families

Five phases were implemented by the technical team and the participant families:

  1. Focus, definition of roles from the context the advances in the program and its learned lessons
  2. Motivation and induction of the local team
  3. Focus on the adaptation measures
  4. Design of the arrangement of the adaptation measures “safe food at a changing environment” and some components as “management for adaptation of the territory”

# Training for the adaptation measures in the field

In summary the the training plan of the schools set each content developed at the mother parcel, the participant families would replicate in two weeks after the training at the daughter parcel and from them the granddaughter parcel would learn it

Results and Impacts

  1. Six (6) mother schools, 57 daughter parcels and 844 granddaughter parcels implemented at rural and indigenous communities of seven social organizations, all of them were trained at the implementation of adaptation and variability of climate change
  2. Methodological design validated: Rural schools of the adaptation ECA’s, with linked communities, two rural communities and five indigenous reserves according to the modules: 1. Planing and bio factory; 2. Secure water and nutrition; 3. Grass production systems; 4. Soil management; 5. Integral management of plagues and diseases in the context of adaptation of traditional farming and monoculture
  3. 120 parcels with approximate of 200 Hs of coverage with grass production system strengthened by; 1. Electric fence; 2. Forage bank; 3. Multi-propose barrier; 4. Ecological troughs
  4. 800 parcels with planing schemes and perspectives for the adaptation and variability of the climate change
  5. Trends of improvement at the grass and milk production plus a general improvement on the quality of life
  6. Bio factories were built with technologies of organic fertilizer, essential for the organic crops and improvement of forage
  7. The rural and indigenous organization consolidated a design of planing the parcels according to thermal floors
  8. The set of methodologies and instruments that the technicians and promotors designed to implement the companion were validated and can be considered as protocol of generic actions that can be adapted to other experiences
  9. Toward the necessity of improving the food security and sovereignty families knew about the information of the product from the region and how helpful they are for health improving their knowledge and increasing the possibilities of a better diet for the family
  10. Eight plans for sustainability of the adaptation measures, elaborates by each of the rural organizations and each indigenous chapter and to by the ATE (CREPIC and F-RP)

Next Steps

The indigenous authorities and rural organizations will look after the continuity of the learned techs as the key practices toward the food security at a changing climate. Activities will be develop to raise funds as more will be needed to follow this initiative. It is hoped that by escalation and by observing the results of the ECA’s other families and communities get motivated to learn and adopt the tech for food security and sustainable productive systems. More families will help care about the seeds at the traditional farms to recover the native and resistant crops.

Potential replication/application

The implementation of actions of food security and sustainable production systems available trough the ECA’s is effective for the application to any other community or context.

The articulation of traditional knowledge and scientific-technical are the key of the ECA’s being able to work. It is preferable the the professional get involve with the traditional knowledge.

Information products

A document of the JP: “exchange of knowledge for the adaptation to the climate change”. Document of stigmatization of the experience of implementation measures, conservation and food security for the adaptation to the climate change. At the high watershed of the Cauca River atL the document of the JP: “rural schools for the adaptation” at:

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