Farmers are often absent from discussions about how policies and programs impact sustainable agricultural production. At the IAF, we are investing in a regional effort, in conjunction with the University of British Columbia, that will give voice to farmers and directly support them in collecting, analyzing, and presenting data that they can incorporate into their operations to manage their farms more efficiently. Movimiento de Economía Social y Solidaria del Ecuador (MESSE) is an innovator in connecting producers directly to consumers to improve farmers’ quality of life and consumers’ food security. It works with communities to advance sustainable agricultural production, participatory certification systems, fair-trade markets, community tourism, and the inclusion of women and youth. The results of this regional project will inform agricultural support organizations, government extension experts, farmer groups, and policymakers with context-specific data about how to encourage the transition to sustainable agricultural practices to improve food security, enhance farmer livelihoods, and minimize environmental degradation.
This is part of the IAF’s strategic initiative for sustainable agriculture.