The 17th International Agroecology Shortcourse

Agroecology Training Course in Mozambique
Mumemo, Marracuene, Mozambique

October 10-19, 2016

Course Theme: Agroecology and Climate Change in Africa: An Agroecology Training Course in Mozambique 

Summary of Course Goals and Outcomes

In the midst of structural tendencies in Africa of land consolidation, the influx of new green revolution technologies on smallholder production landscapes, and intensifying climate change, agroecology emerges as a key tool for local organizations and intergovernmental organizations working in the region to ensure sustainable and resilient food systems that not only feed the population, but also respect local cultures and promote justice. 

FAO Shortcourse

Flaida Macheze (União Nacional de Camponeses) discussing gender as a cross-cutting issue in agroecology.

The 17th Annual Agroecology Shortcourse integrated agroecology as a transdisciplinary science, practice, and movement into FAO-affiliated networks and initiatives by engaging and supporting locally-based ecology and culture, strengthening local networks, and building the ongoing capacity of local organizations to promote agroecology in Mozambique.

The course was jointly organized by the Community Agroecology Network (CAN) and FAO, with support from Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security of Mozambique and financed by Global Environment Facility. It was one activity within the project “Strengthening capacities of agricultural producers to cope with climate change for increased food security through the Farmers Field School approach.”

The course had three main goals:

  1. generate knowledge on agroecology and climate change in Mozambique;
  2. exchange and share knowledge of agroecology and climate change; and
  3. build a network of knowledge sharing around the topics of agroecology, climate change, and sustainable food systems.

John Nzira (Ukuvuna) discussing diversification through agroforestry and permaculture.

The course successfully explored agroecology in the context of climate change as a global movement as well as a science and a practice. In addition, the course constructed a base of shared knowledge, building from participants’ own experiences, and strengthened existing networks and fomented emerging ones around agroecology, climate change, and sustainable food systems in Mozambique and throughout Africa.

Topics explored in the course included:

  • Foundations of agroecology, and the five stages of agroecological transformation;
  • History and narratives of agroecology in Africa, and especially in Mozambique;
  • The role of agroecology in sustainable food systems, economies, and food sovereignty;
  • Gender equity and agroecology: experiences and tools;
  • Agroecology and climate change resiliency: experiences and practices for soil health, agrobiodiversity, ecosystem services, and water management;
  • Linking agroecology and the Farmer Field School approach;
  • Social innovation, knowledge production, and justice in agroecology; and
  • Moving agroecology forward in Mozambique and beyond.

Methodologies: Four primary methodologies were used to promote agroecological knowledge generation and exchange among participants throughout the course:

  1. horizontal exchange of knowledge and experiences among participants;
  2. panel discussions with local and regional organizations pertaining to the various subtopics;
  3. instructor presentations on basic agroecological concepts; and
  4. in-depth learning exchanges in the field with local organizations.

All of these course methodologies relied on the active participation of course participants, and all participants were encouraged to engage in discussions, ask questions, share relevant experiences, and contribute to the base of shared knowledge of agroecology, climate change, and sustainable food systems.

FAO Shortcourse

Roberta Jaffe (CAN co-founder) speaks to the 46 participants of the Agroecology Training Course in Mozambique during a panel discussion on building education programs to support agroecology and sustainable food systems. The panel members from left to right: Roberta Jaffe (CAN), Steve Gliessman (CAN), Velia Lucidi (Slow Food), and Inácio Nhancale (Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security).




Community Agroecology Network (CAN) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
CAN co-founder Steve Gliessman was interviewed by Rodger Wasson on “Farm to Table Talk” and discussed the agroecology shortcourse in Mozambique and CAN’s work in Mexico and Central America. Click here to listen.