Democracy and participation, Environment and sustainability

Agro-Perma-Lab: The Mazovia Roundtable

From farmers to agri-governors: dialogue of scales and perspectives at the intersectorial Roundtable training in Agrecology and Food Sovereignty for Leaders and Practitioners of Mazovian food system.

Creators

Who is behind this?

Joanna Bojczewska

Agro-Perma-Lab

http://agroekologia.edu.pl

Poland

Who is joining forces?

Ecological Folk Highscool (EUL)

http://eul.grzybow.pl

Poland


Living Earth Coallition​ (KŻZ)

http://koalicjazywaziemia.pl

Poland


Nyeleni Polska Food Sovereignty Movement in Poland (NP)

http://nyeleni.pl

Poland


The fourth partner is Schola Campesina (SC) (https://www.scholacampesina.org). The four partners have been working together, and represent 4 scales of perspective on the civic engagement.

Idea

Idea pitch

Both the degraded soil and civic space of our region are becoming deserts! By organizing our Agro-Perma-Lab Mazovia Roundtable training we want to make the soil and civic space of the region alive again! We will empower farmers to become active civic society agents, via dialogue of scales, generations and perspectives at the intersectorial Roundtable training in Agrecology and Food Sovereignty for Leaders and Practitioners of Mazovian food system.

Where will your project idea take place?

Grzybów near Słubice, north Mazovia Voydevodship

What is the local challenge?

The challenge: people in our countryside, where food production naturally takes place, don't have access to healthy, sustainably produced and adequately priced food.
Three reasons:
1. The number of small agroecological family farms is declining rapidly with domination of big agri-players who agglomerate the land. The multi-sectoral dialogue around trans-local factors and consequences of this process does not take place.
2. The small agroecological farms become food-producing peripheries for Warsaw, with its absorbent market for organic produce. Yet the dialogue with rural and agricultural communities is not two-way - farmers' voices are not heard by governors, urban based lobbyists and NGOs.
3. The civic engagement disproportions & economic inequalities between city and the villages.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

Our project will:
1. build an intersectoral network, collaboration and understanding of key partners from within a region, using a peripheral rural municipality as a base for observing the scales of impact
2. create common framework, vision and a 'way of understanding' using Food Sovereignty and Agroecology and methods for Social Transformation
3. strengthen the capacity for shared dialogue of diverse perspectives using democratic, peer-to-peer training methods
4. put an emphasis on inter-generational transfer of knowledge and experience in all "fields" (farming to agricultural governence), thus bridging gaps to strengthen the emergence of the new generation of agroecological farmers
5. connect civic stakeholders around "Roundtable" of shared vision for Mazovia's Food Sovereignty

Who are you doing it for?

The project will strengthen Food Sovereignty network and civic partnerships of Mazovia through a multi-stakeholder approach. It will create dialogue and lasting solidarity relationships between critical organizational actors across scales, specifically and especially small-scale food-producers’ organisations from diverse sectors (organic, traditional-peasant, family, permaculture farming), and also local and regional governors, Agricultural Training Centers, Food Cooperatives, Agri-Food NGOs and Ecological Organizations and village-scale associations.
Bringing in the global perspective will allow the stakeholders and target groups to see that their struggles are embedded in global trends and phenomena.

How do you plan to get there?

PHASE 1: Planning, coordination, participants' selection, on-line and offline preparation for the training, writing and consulting the programme (November-March 2020/2021).

PHASE 2: AGRO-PERMA-LAB Mazovia Training (April 2021)
9-day training for 20 agroecological leaders/educators selected through a recruitment process, at EUL Farm. Training based on Schola Campesina methodology. Aimed at developing multi-stakeholder dialogue of diverse knowledges and shared vision for Agroecology and Food Sovereignty from Słubice to Mazovia.

PHASE 3: Follow-up workshops in the local communities of all of the participants (May-July 2021)

PHASE 4: Evaluation, reporting, dissemination, advocacy, mentoring and check-ins with participants (August-November 2021).

What are the expected results?

We believe that thanks to our project:

1) the regional networks of organic farmers and local communities will be strengthened to the degree that people in our countryside and the region of Mazovia will have access to healthy, sustainably produced and adequately priced food,

2) we imagine a vibrant, civically active community of Food Sovereignty and Agroecology supporters working together to advocate for changes in food production, both locally and nationally, since APLab Mazovia will be a regional case study to scale up for other regions.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

1. The leaders (our graduates) will bring change of attitudes and values to their local communities, they will spread the values of civic engagement,
2. The truly democratic society should give voice to all its unheard excluded social groups, farmers included.
3. Food sovereignty addresses the problems of poverty, and, as known from research and history, democracies are more sustainable in countries with less social and economic inequalities.
4. Negative externalities of the current food system harm the most vulnerable groups of society.
5. Food sovereignty is also about controlling the mechanisms and policies related to food (control that should be given to society within a democratic system).

What is your story?

Although it is a fundamental issue (everybody needs to eat!), paradoxically, the design of food systems is the most overlooked topic in public debate at all civil society levels. We strongly believe that food sovereignty and agroecology are the key elements in strengthening the feeling of empowerment, democracy and health in our community, Poland and in the world. People in the countrysides, where food production naturally takes place, don't have access to healthy, sustainably produced and adequately priced food, yet those in the cities do. We want to be an example of how a local roundtable in our region can inspire other regions and the national government to start a serious conversation about how we produce and distribute food.

€ 27500,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 28500,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Accounting and financial administration- 1400EUR
Office space, expenses- 700EUR
The salary of the main international trainer- 2000EUR
Activist trainers- 2200EUR
Facilitation- 1800EUR
Coordination- 6500EUR
Accommodation and food costs- 6200EUR
Travels- 1500EUR
Promotion materials & website- 1800EUR
Support for follow-ups- 3200EUR
Publications- 500EUR
Translation- 700EUR

The difference between the total budget and requested budget will be covered thanks to volunteering work.

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We will be happy to hear from all the participants and organizers of Civic Europe!
1) How to engage with farmers organisations who are from non-organic standard agricultural practices?
2) How to encourage local governments to support the non-organic standard agricultural practices?

Team

Agro Perma Lab

Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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