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Ardila Galvis, Camilo Andres, 2016. Building resilience through food : the case of the Network of Agroecological Peasants' Markets of Valle del Cauca (Red MAC), Colombia. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of People and Society



The dominance of conventional (chemical and industrial) agriculture has eroded the ecological, economic and socio-cultural conditions to sustain production for a growing population, undermining humanity´s capacity to feed itself (Gliessman, 2007; Altieri & Toledo, 2011). As a consequence, we have a decoupled global food system: the social is decoupled from the ecological; farmers are decoupled from the land; farmers and consumers are decoupled from each other; and culture is decoupled from agri-culture. However, the foundations of a renewed and sustainable food system, or rather food systems, are being built by the resistance, struggles and practices of both farmers and consumers. An expression of these efforts are Alternative Food Networks, as food-driven localized initiatives, aimed at re-connecting consumers, producers, and landscapes under new or different governance models on the basis of a new culture of sustainability.
Bearing in mind the increasing dynamic, complex and interconnected nature of our world, it is desirable that these alternatives position resilience as one of their core elements. In Colombia, specifically, this has the potential of contributing to sustainable rural development and peacebuilding. In light of this, the research seeks to analyze how alternative food systems can build resilience in rural Colombia. The research examines the case of the Network of Agroecological Peasants´ Markets of Valle del Cauca (Red MAC), and uses a combination of qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews, participant observation and PRA tools. The analysis is shaped by agroecology, and uses concepts and frameworks from Alternative Food Networks, Social-Ecological Resilience, and Seeds and Agro-biocultural diversity.
The findings suggest that agroecological networks like Red MAC have a great potential for contributing to both resilience and sustainability. In particular, agricultural and social diversity offer the seeds for new opportunities amid change, and increase the options for coping with disturbances and dealing with uncertainties and surprises. Similarly, the use of agroecological practices like agroforestry, home-made composting, and botanical or natural pesticides, contributes to the ecological resilience at the farm level. Furthermore, Red MAC is enabling spaces for learning and exchange and generating participatory and trust building processes around food, through which it has been able to exercise collective action. Finally, the conservation and promotion of agro-biocultural diversity appears as a fundamental element for the resilience of food systems, since it enlarges the knowledge and materials available to respond to change; it delivers significant ecosystem services; and has a potential to improve human health and nutrition.
The study and examination of the processes and challenges of these initiatives are of utmost importance for the peacebuilding process in Colombia, as they can inform how to implement the peace agreements on the basis of principles of social-ecological resilience and sustainability.

Main title:Building resilience through food
Subtitle:the case of the Network of Agroecological Peasants' Markets of Valle del Cauca (Red MAC), Colombia
Authors:Ardila Galvis, Camilo Andres
Supervisor:Hofny Collins, Anna
Examiner:Carlsson, Georg
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2016
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM005 Agroecology - Master's programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of People and Society
Keywords:Alternative Food Networks, social-ecological resilience, agroecology, food systems, collective action, agro-biocultural diversity, Colombia
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agrarian structure
Deposited On:17 Aug 2016 08:21
Metadata Last Modified:22 Aug 2016 11:13

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