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Smallholder innovation for resilience (SIFOR)

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For centuries, small-scale farmers and indigenous people have developed new tools and strategies to cope with their harsh environments — resilient crop varieties, genetically diverse seed systems and resource-conserving technologies. Many of these could prove vital in the effort to adapt agriculture to climate change. And yet most agricultural investment focuses on ‘top-down’ research and development, weakening the capacity of local people to innovate for independent adaptation. Through participatory action-research, tools development and capacity building, the SIFOR project will help redress the balance: nurturing smallholder advances and traditional knowledge, identifying innovations that enhance productivity; and linking small-scale farmers with crop scientists in four focal countries.

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Publication information

  • IIED code: G03557
  • Published: 2012 - IIED
  • Theme: Biodiversity
  • Language: English

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Project information

IIED worked with partners in China, India, Kenya and Peru to revitalise traditional knowledge-based – or 'biocultural' – innovation systems of smallholder farmers in order to strengthen food security in the face of climate change. Traditional farmers continually improve and adapt their crops and farming practices in response to new challenges, using local knowledge and biodiversity, generating new technologies and practices.

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Smallholder innovation for resilience (SIFOR)

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