The Agro-Ecological Village Development Model: Experiences in the Philippines, China and the Gambia. Roger Samson REAP - Canada Box 125 Maison Glenaladale Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC, Canada, H9X 3V9 T: (514) 398-7743; F: (514) 398-7972 W: www.reap-canada.com ; E: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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The Agro-Ecological Village Development Model:Experiences in the Philippines, China and the Gambia
REAP - Canada
Box 125 Maison Glenaladale
Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC, Canada, H9X 3V9
T: (514) 398-7743; F: (514) 398-7972
Helps rural communities in Canada and developing countries meet the challenges of ecologically sound production of food, fibre and fuel.
The organization began its participatory on-farm research and farmer-to-farmer training on ecological farming in Canada in 1986.
Agro-Ecological Village (AEV) Development Project Partnerships
Aim to improve the economic & social well being of marginalized farming communities & women, while also protecting & enhancing the natural resource base
SNSADP Project, Philippines (1997), PDG and the MAPISAN Farmers Alliance
WCAEV Development Project, China (2002), Ministry of Water Resources, Peoples Republic of China
GAEV and GEAD Development Project, Gambia (2003), NATC and Village AID
Soil erosion and poor soil fertility
Deforestation and loss of watersheds
Agricultural Problems in the Philippines
Agrarian land reform
Agricultural production decreasing due
to deteriorating soil fertility & rainfall
Monoculture production of peanuts
All crop residues are removed
Free ranging goats destroy vegetation
Forest cover has seriously declined
A holistic and integrated approach that builds the social, ecological and technological infrastructure of communities. Addresses the challenges of food security and improving livelihoods by rehabilitating the natural resource base through ecological farming systems development & farmer to farmer training.
An interdependent community of individual households that are largely self-reliant through the creation of ecological food, fiber & energy systems.
Emphasizes local self-reliance through the development of diversified and ecological agricultural systems
Empowers farmers through participatory assessment, training and research that is farmer led
Lowers cost of rural development
Focus generally is on expanding exports of cash crops
Loans used to “fuel” rural development
Focus is on production with limited attention to natural resource issues
Problems identified by outside experts
Training provided using “top down” approaches
The Agro-Ecological Village
1. Baseline Data Gathering & PRA
2. Institution Building
3. Capacity Building
4. Farm Planning and Development
The project team and local villagers identify causes & possible solutions to local problems, through PRA and Participatory Action Planning (PAP).
Farmer to farmer training network
Ecological Training Modules
Development of participatory Farmer to Farmer Training network
Selection of first liners and second liners
Training of trainers
in farm development
and effective training
Inclusion of women as trainers
Training materials need to be customized to local needs identified through the PRA and through on going assessments as the trainings evolve.
The process can begin with a basic ecological farming module including:
Soil Fertility Management
Pest & disease management
Soil & water conservation
Sensitize communities around gender equality
Involve active participation of both genders in project activities as trainers and participants
Increase women's role in decision making in communities
Ensure gender issues are incorporated into all project activities.
Farm planning and “Learning Farms”
Soil and water conservation
A farm in the community that is used for education and farmer led research while remaining a “working farm.” They can include:
Community Seed banks and tree nurseries
Farmer-led plant breeding
The testing of new crops or varieties to assess their adaptability to the environmental and management conditions on small farms.
In the Western China AEV Project in Gansu Province, farmers tested a total of 43 different varieties of 7 field crops. They are now scaling up production of the leading new varieties.
Farmers demonstrate E.F.S. (Ecological Farming systems):
Farmers learn how to breed varieties adapted to their local environment and growing conditions.
In the Philippines, one achievement has been the development of ECO-RICE varieties that combine SRI techniques, Biological Nitrogen Fixation (BNF) and ratooning.
In ecologically devastated areas, free-range livestock management can cause irreparable damage.
Farmers learn ecological and sustainable methods for:
Benefits of intensive/ semi-intensive management
Fodder Crop Production
Animal health and nutrition
1. Assess the quantity of food consumed annually and the landbase needed to produce the households basic foods
2. Diagram seasonal fruits and vegetable production and identify gaps
3. Discuss opportunities for creating a healthier diet
4. Identify strategies to maximize efficiency of land use based on optimizing production
Farmers need access to low cost appropriate tools for developing their farms ecologically. REAP has worked to help support farmers organizations manufacture their own tools.
In the PRA process, communities identify their most urgent and basic technological needs.
To help solve the fuelwood
crisis in the Philippines,
REAP developed the Mayon
Turbo stove, a low cost,
advanced combustion rice
The AEV model is a logical evolution for rural development programming. It integrates the best management practices in rural development with sustainable knowledge in ecological farming systems training and development.