custodian farmers attributes roles and responsibilities
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
Custodian Farmers Attributes, Roles and Responsibilities

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 30

Custodian Farmers Attributes, Roles and Responsibilities - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

a perspective from the Andean R egion. Custodian Farmers Attributes, Roles and Responsibilities. H. Gruberg , S. Padulosi and G, Meldrum. Outline. Introduction Cachilaya case study (Bolivia) Custodian farmers ´ attributes Custodian farmers ´ roles and responsabilities

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Custodian Farmers Attributes, Roles and Responsibilities' - sheryl

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
  • Introduction
  • Cachilaya case study (Bolivia)
  • Custodian farmers´ attributes
  • Custodian farmers´ roles and responsabilities
  • Individual vs. Communityapproach
  • Migration and Knowledge
  • Conclusions
  • Different names: seed experts, nodal farmers, seed curators, ‘curiouso’, conservationists, innovators, seed keepers , custodians…
  • De factoconservationist
  • Strategic role in safeguarding both genetic and cultural diversity
Who are custodian farmers?

[…]specialpeoplewhohavechosentokeepalivetheirculture, theirtradition and theirknowledgebyconservingseed, thepersonification of theirway of life.

-VandanaShiva et al. 1995 p. 39

  • A custodian farmeris someone who has a vocation to conserve. He/she is the one that brings seeds, plant them and tests them. He /she is the one that uses, likes [to conserve], and shares [the planting material].. .
  • - Juana Flores 2012, field technician from PROINPA (Bolivia)
who are custodian farmers
Who are custodian farmers?
  • A poorresearchedtopic
  • Disperse anecdotal data in grey literature
  • Ambigousdefinitionon roles and responsibilities
Who are custodian farmers?

What are the socio-economiccharacteristics of a custodian farmer?

What are theattributes of a custodian farmer?

What are custodian farmers´rolesand responsibilities?

What are theirmotivationsto share?

Bibliographic hyphotesis

bolivian andes cachilaya1
Bolivian Andes - Cachilaya

some of cachilaya s crops
Some of Cachilaya´scrops





three life stories
Three life stories

Don Ricardo Vargas

Potato (15)

Oca (6)

Quinoa (1)

Barley (1)

Forage (1)

Doña Viviana Herrera

Potato (90)

Quinoa (11)

Cañahua (2)

Barley (1)

Wheat (2)

Bean (12)

Don Elias Vargas

Potato (38)

Quinoa (3)

Cañahua (3)

Oca (9)

custodian farmers attributes
Custodian farmers´ attributes

Not the ones holding the highest level of agro-biodiversity!


  • Vast knowledge about agro-biodiversity and interested in sharing and expanding it.
  • Legitimated by the community.
Whatmotivatesthemto share
  • Social responsibility
  • To obtain something in return
  • To perpetuate common heritage and culture
  • To help securing their livelihoods and that of their community and society at large.





Custodian farmers´ attributes

Innovative, experimentative and open to change

  • Eager to experiment with new varieties, practices and technologies.
  • Willing to travel to other locations to collect material.
  • Usually they are key informants.

Communicative and leadership

  • Not always the case.
  • Shyness, lack of interest and time.
Custodian farmers´ socio-economiccharacteristics


  • Middle to middle-low class families.
  • More land than the poorest but less income to buy food than the richest  diversified diet.

Prestige and endowment

  • Wealth has become detached from the field.
prestige and endowment1
Prestige and endowment
  • Not completly lost
  • Prestige is linked to participating and winning in Agro-biodiversity Fairs.
migration knowledge
Migration & knowledge

Custodian farmers´ socio-economiccharacteristics


Nottheelders (>55 yearsold)

  • Do not have children with them.
  • Physically incapable to cultivate bigger plots and take.
  • Care of different varieties.

Not the youth (18-25 years old)

  • Do not have many children and access to varieties.
  • Prefer higher yielding or modern varieties.
  • Most of them do not live in the community.
  • They are no interested in agro-biodiversity..
Custodian farmers´ socio-economiccharacteristics


Yes! Adults (25-55 yearsold)

  • Already settle a family and have children.
  • They tend to cultivate more varieties to assure a more diversified and nutritious diet for their family.
  • Age range of the Farmers Association in Cachilaya.
  • Literature is women oriented.
  • Gender distribution of tasks, roles and power over resources.
  • Shared custodianship.
do a viviana
Doña Viviana
  • She is part of the farmers´ association board and is treated differently from men.
  • She owns the second largest collection of varieties in Cachilaya.
  • She is a single mother.
roles and responsibilities
Roles and responsibilities
  • All farmers are responsible of selecting and conserving seeds.
  • Some farmers conserve agro-biodiversity but share only inside their kinship boundaries.
  • Few farmers besides of conserving agro-diversity have a sense of responsibility of keeping and sharing agro-biodiversity, traditional knowledge, heritage and culture towards their families, communities and the society in general.


some responsibilities
Some responsibilities
  • Recuperating seeds and reproducing them.
  • Conserving the gene pools of their communities in the communal gene banks.
  • Be the link between the community and the National Genetic System.
  • Knowing the agro-biodiversity of the region.
  • Keeping the ommunal biodiversity registers.

Should not be an obligation!

concept of custodian farmer
Concept of “custodian farmer”
  • Problem with the concept of “custodian”.
  • In Spanish language “custodian” means someone that guards, cares and saves.
  • People relate this concept to

“watch dog”

individual vs community
Individual vs. Community
  • Conservation of biodiversity is not an isolated activity.
  • Shared custodianship.
  • Trade-offs of working only with custodian farmers.
  • Collective action.
conclusions recomendations
Conclusions & recomendations
  • CF do not necessarily hold highest levels of diversity.
  • Major attribute/responsibility willingness to share
  • Those farmers who do not share seeds should not be marginalized because often they hold vast GD/IK
Conclusions & recomendations
  • Evident the existence of a “share custodianship” among the members of a household and even among the community as part of a collective phenomenon.
  • Important to work with households and with the whole community in order to promote collective actions.
Conclusions & recomendations
  • General lack of understanding and agreement on the roles and responsibilities of custodian farmers. This is a is limiting factor in promoting on farm conservation..
  • However, the establishment of the roles and responsibilities and local definition of custodian farmers should rest with the community.
Conclusions & recomendations
  • Attributes may vary according to the intrinsic personality of each custodian farmer and to the broader social context.
  • Re-value agro-biodiversity across generations, social levels and regions.
  • We advocate greater involvement of younger generation in conservation activities, but in order to achive that we first need to understand their perceptions, needs and demands in relation to agriculture and agricultural knowledge.