‘Future farmers in the Spotlight’ is a project to raise awareness for the need of young farmers and more sustainable food production systems in the European Union.
Describing the idea with the words of project founders Juliane Haufe and Joris van der Kamp:
“Many farmers are reaching the age of retirement: only 6% of Europeans farmers is currently below the age of 35. Young people are needed to take over to sustain food production!
But how can a young future farmer nowadays start up an inspiring farming project? Which options are there to get involved in food production? Which (new) concepts will make a farm sustainable in an ecological sense, will provide an adequate income and will create an added value for the civil society?
These questions urgently need an answer!
Future farmers in the spotlight is looking for these answers! We are visiting already existing farming initiatives all around Europe and make short documentaries!”
To find out more about the project and to watch interesting video clips about the troubles and joys of young farmers across Europe, please visit future-farmers.net
After a longer posting-pause in which I finalized my first research phase, identifying supporters of rural grassroots development initiatives in the Province of Soto, here a new update of my activities in Colombia:
Time is flying and I am finalizing my second research phase, asking grassroots development initiatives to evaluate the support they are receiving to build joint capacities. To be able to speak with rural development initiatives, I was invited to spend a week with a peasant family in the vereda St. Ana of Santa Cruz de la Colina.
Over the last 3 years, we have been carrying out research in the Westerkwartier concerning global influences on rural regional development.
The Westerkwartier, Groningen Province, The Netherlands
This research was carried out as part of the European project DERREG. The Westerkwartier was involved in two work packages of the project: 1. Investigating arrangements through which public support for joint learning and innovation is provided to development initiatives active in the region (WP4) and 2. Investigating global networking activities among rural businesses in the Westerkwartier (WP1).
In the summer and fall of this year, three film students from the University of Aberystwyth in Wales made their way around Europe to visit all case study areas and to film the present development activities. In the Westerkwartier, the film focuses on our research conducted for WP4 (joint learning and innovation). In this film, several supporters as well as the beneficiaries were interviewed. Their stories describe the development activities in the Westerkwartier very lively and give a feeling of the enthusiastic and motivated engagement of the denizens in developing their Westerkwartier. The film is available on YouTube and can be viewed here. Enjoy!
Together with Imre Kovach and Catherine Darrot, I will be hosting a workshop at the IFSA symposium in Aarhus, Denmark from the 1st of July until the 4th of July 2012.
The workshop is aimed at exploring the multiple meanings of semi-subsistent food production strategies in different cultural context. Two questions are at the centre of attention: 1) How has the meaning of semi-subsistent food production changed over time for producers, society and institutions? and 2) What recommendations can be derived from the research for policy makers of multi-state institutions (e.g. EU?). We invite researchers from diverse countries to present their empirical research in order to stimulate a fruitful discussion and knowledge exchange.
The deadline for submitting abstracts is the 31st of December 2011. More information and a link to submitting your abstract can be found here. I hope to see you there!
In order to be able to do an in-depth study of a) how support for joint capacity building in rural areas is organized and b) how this support is evaluated by its beneficiaries, I narrowed my case study area down to one municipality: Floridablanca.