Saving the Seed: Genetic diversity and European agriculture (Natural Resource Management Set)

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Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. Most research, including social science research, largely overlooks the question of how women and men, rich and poor, young and old, are dealing with the changes the country is undergoing. The politically charged questions of who gains, who loses and why are mostly overlooked or unanswered.

The Chinese government is trying hard, but rural realities seem to be running ahead constantly. Policy makers are finding it difficult to keep up, let alone design forward-looking policies.

Original Articles

This book aims to address some of these under-researched, underestimated, or neglected issues. We argue that a cooperative and complementary relationship between poor farmers and their ways of organizing the key features of rural life — and the world of formal rural development policy making and the national agricultural research system — is urgently needed to address the challenges of food security, well-being, sustainable natural resource management and biodiversity conservation facing China as a whole and Guangxi in particular.

Such a relationship would stand in sharp contrast with the current situation of either no connection or antagonism and conflict. Decentralization of the formal system and meaningful involvement of women and men farmers in the design, development and implementation of processes for innovation are essential to stimulate collaboration and the creation of much-needed synergies between the two systems. Of course, this is easier said than done.

Natural Resource Management Set

It requires vision and courage, effort and time and persistence. Through participation with farmers, plant breeders and other scientists in the formal system gain new insights into criteria, objectives and evaluation techniques used by farmers, as well as the differences between regions.


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  8. For examples from around the world, see Vernooy, ; Almekinders and Hardon, In this book, we describe and reflect on the efforts of several groups of women farmers, a number of rural villages, township extension stations, two formal plant breeding organizations in the Chinese national agricultural research system and the Center of Chinese Agriculture Policy CCAP to change things through a sustained, action-oriented, participatory research effort. This experience illustrates the successes and challenges of linking community-based action research with policy making processes by increasing efforts to engage key decision makers in the rural development policy arena at local, provincial and national levels.

    It shows that change can be achieved, but that it takes time and energy; in other words, the make-ability or changeability of society is not without constraints and limits. The book highlights how field experiments to improve maize and, later, other crops have proved to be effective in strengthening interaction, communication and collaboration among stakeholders. These experiments have also strengthened the local-level organizational and decision-making capacity of farmers, far beyond the maize fields and varieties used for the experiments. Among the formal plant breeders involved in the research, there has been an impressive change in attitude — the needs and interests of farmers are now considered and included in the breeding plan and research priorities of the institutions.

    However, these changes did not come about overnight. Many women are at the forefront of this work: farmers, extension agents and researchers.

    They were enthusiastic right from the beginning and have been active thinkers and doers during the whole process. The research process has served as a catalyst for change among most of those involved, especially the farmers and not only women farmers. The joint research efforts have strengthened the social fabric of local relations and those beyond the local. They have also created a framework for addressing issues and talking openly and face to face with policy makers and other decision makers.

    Farmers and extension agents have travelled to Nanning and Beijing to speak out to officials. Based on almost 10 years of participatory action research in China, this book also presents some reflections on the Chinese practice and theory of rural development. Just as we are trying to create synergies in the area of everyday rural life, we wish to create synergies at the level of academic performance.

    Towards resilience through systems-based plant breeding. A review | SpringerLink

    In most countries, most crop research and extension work continues to be guided by on-station experimentation. This is nearly always carried out under favourable environmental conditions and experiments are designed and executed by plant breeders or agronomists. Increased yield is the main and often single variable used to measure the value of a crop variety.

    Following a series of on-station testing cycles, improved varieties are then released to extension agents who channel them to farmers. Underlying this still-dominant research and extension practice, although at times more implicit than explicit, are a number of important notions about how science and society operate: positivism, centralization and reductionism. Conventional crop research is strongly positivist in nature. A logical positivist or empiricist research paradigm seeks the accumulation of objective knowledge through the production of empirically testable hypotheses.

    This paradigm is mirrored in a so-called reproductive learning perspective Van der Veen, that assumes that there is a body of objectively verifiable knowledge and that it can be taught by breaking down content into its essential elements. However, alternatives exist.

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    This view postulates that all social action is open to multiple interpretations, none of which is superior in any objective sense. Thus, social constructionist learning assumes that important features of the external world are uncertain and disputed and that people actively construct their understanding of it.

    Rediscovery and innovation, not repetition, are essential parts of this construction process. During its practice, researchers and development workers often assume roles as facilitators, rather than instructors. They encourage work in groups and shared planning, action and reflection.

    A social constructivist perspective can also be informed by transformative learning Mezirow et al. Through the learning process, they jointly transform some part of their worldview, for example, their understanding of social relations in their own community. Such transformation is often stimulated by communicative learning, but goes beyond it, in terms of internalization and transformation of understanding. Manifestations of transformative learning in natural resource management include, for example, new values or patterns of decision making that farmers generate and apply outside the immediate arena of the learning intervention Vernooy and McDougall In most countries, conventional crop research is largely centralized.

    Key research decisions are made at the top of the organizational hierarchy: which crops to focus on, which researchers to fund, which methods to use. Experiments take place at one or a few experimental stations. Variety release requires approval from a central body and regulations are defined centrally. This practice is characterized by top-down decision making and information flow.