In addition to the two-page columns issued in the Farming Matters magazine of the past two years, the joint Hivos and Oxfam Novib agrobiodiversity @ knowledged programme has co-produced the recently released issue of Farming Matters on agricultural biodiversity. The issue looks at initiatives that promote and enhance the use, management and conservation of agricultural biodiversity, and at the insights gained from the efforts to scale up these experiences.
The lead article describes the importance of agricultural biodiversity, especially for those living on smallholder family farms. These farmers have the right to a sustainable livelihood in the areas they currently live in, and building biodiverse and resilient farming systems often provides them with a strategy to claim that right. Analyzing case studies and learning from emerging successes of scaling up are essential for understanding the factors that could catalyze large-scale change. This colourful magazine is full of such inspirational stories, ranging from the establishment of living gene banks in Iran to the revival of the Ankole Longhorn cattle in Uganda. With more than three hundred thousand readers in 172 countries, this Farming Matters edition can be considered another step towards breaking the “glass house” that prevents such positive examples from around the world from being applied at a larger scale.