Nibbles: Milpa revival, Cretan olive, Lost apples, Moche meals, African agroecology, Global Tree Knowledge Platform, Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity

  1. Marketing the milpa.
  2. Marketing a traditional Cretan olive variety.
  3. Finding lost apples in New England. Now to market them.
  4. Taking new passion fruit varieties to market in Australia.
  5. Deconstructing Moche history, society and culture through compost and struggle meals. No sign of markets.
  6. Reviewing the state of agroecology in Africa. Does “economic diversification” count as marketing?
  7. The Global Tree Knowledge Platform must have stuff on marketing somewhere.
  8. The books series ISSUES IN AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY, now free to download, has lots on marketing.

One Reply to “Nibbles: Milpa revival, Cretan olive, Lost apples, Moche meals, African agroecology, Global Tree Knowledge Platform, Issues in Agricultural Biodiversity”

  1. Quotes and comments on agroecology report.
    1). “Agroecology is a farming approach that’s inspired by natural ecosystems, combines local and scientific knowledge, and focuses on the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment” [from Agroecology TPP]
    But just which `natural systems’ inspire the farmer? Agroecologist continue to look in the wrong places for natural vegetation for fields to mimic, choosing species-diverse systems. Wrong choice: species in such systems are too weak to outcompete their neighbours to become monodominant, weakness is not a good heritage for fields crops.
    In contrast, in areas of high ecological stress (high disturbance, fire, flood, dry season, salinity) a few species will adapt better than others: these are the tough species, capable of monodominance (and good candidates for domestication). For example, large seed is a survival strategy, as large seeds can survive frequent fire by becoming well-buried in the soil (a feature of some cereal ancestors).
    2). “The viability of practices and systems cannot be understood by careful selection of metrics and indicators alone. Opinions and points of view matter…” As `points of view’ is not an indicator or measure of success, then the result is mumbo-jumbo rather than science.
    3). “Many aspects of agroecology are contentious, and we are not attempting to resolve arguments here.” (Thereby accepting contentious reasoning!)
    4). The main method used by traditional farmers in their `operationalization of agroecological principles’ is claimed to be `input reduction’ (Table1). How on Earth is `input reduction’ an agroecological principle? Farmers worldwide do the opposite: trying to increase inputs. For example, grazing livestock to manure stubble, burning stubble for nutrients, collecting bush for burning on the plot (citemene), slash-and-burn for tropical woodland for added nutrients, bunding paddy for silt and water collection (standing water being the selective agent in rice monodominance), using kitchen waste on home gardens; intercropping with legumes for nitrogen, ploughing and tilling to control competition. More mumbo-jumbo.
    5). Agroecologist, in their attempts to `transform’ traditional farming, are `one hand clapping’, cherry-picking some dubious principles and ignoring that formal research (and traditional farmers) have done much better for far longer.
    6). No mention of the CGIAR, although some funding for the TTP project came from the CGIAR research programme (CRP) on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA).

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