FFCC Scotland and partners launch new government funded, peer-led programme for 2022
By Jane Campbell
20th January 2022
The first in a series of learning opportunities designed to give farmers, growers, crofters and land managers in Scotland a taste of agroecology will kick off on Thursday 3rd February.
Funded by the Scottish Government’s Knowledge Transfer and Innovation Fund, and facilitated by a unique partnership of organisations, this peer-led programme of 15 free events from January to March, will be open to all and delivered by farmers and crofters already producing food through agroecology and its regenerative practices.
Both farming and crofting are in a period of transition in Scotland adapting to new systems, practices and solutions to deliver solutions to some of the most pressing challenges faced by the nation, across climate, nature, health and the economy. The potential of agroecology and its regenerative practices - farming with nature fairly and sustainably - to chart this course is gaining in recognition and support both among individual farmers and crofters and across the food and farming sector as a whole.
FFCC Scotland's Coordinator, Lucie Wardle, explains: "Agroecology and its regenerative practices present pathways for all Scottish farmers, growers, crofters and land managers to be a force for change, delivering for the nation on food security, climate adaptation and mitigation and for a flourishing natural environment, and as the backbone of thriving and resilient local economies.”
“At its core, agroecology is about the application of ecological principles to farming and land use,” says David McKay, Head of Policy at Soil Association.
“It ensures that land is managed in a way that delivers environmental benefits such as improved biodiversity, soil health, clean water and fresh air. On a practical level, this could mean the use of techniques such as nutrient cycling, ecological pest control and agroforestry.”
FFCC Scotland's Coordinator, Lucie Wardle, adds: "Agroecology and its regenerative practices present pathways for all Scottish farmers, growers, crofters and land managers to be a force for change, delivering for the nation on food security, climate adaptation and mitigation and for a flourishing natural environment, and as the backbone of thriving and resilient local economies.”
In support of growing awareness around agroecology’s benefits, this project is designed to help a wide range of farmers and crofters in sharing practical knowledge, from those already using agroecological approaches to those who are new to the concept and keen to learn more.
Nikki Yoxall, Research Coordinator at Pasture for Life Association, says: “We know that farmers and crofters really value seeing new ideas in practice, so we want to help explore new ways of doing things by showcasing the successes and learning experiences of others. There are lots of farmers and crofters in Scotland already well down the agroecological path, so connecting them with others is a really powerful way to help establish a supportive community.”
This project is part of wider collaborative work amongst partner organisations which aims to further the uptake of agroecological practices in Scotland, build an evidence base for the value of agroecology and support policy reform.
The collaborative learning programme aims to support this growing recognition and allow more farmers and crofters to dip their toe in the water and learn something new, through a range of 15 online and in-person free events over February and March 2022 - designed to appeal to a wide range of farmers and crofters and open to all.
For more information, contact FFCC Scotland Co-ordinator Lucie Wardle.
More about the project
Faciliating mindset change is a Knowledge Transfer Innovation Fund project led by Nourish Scotland in partnership with the Landworkers Alliance, Soil Association Scotland, the Food Farming and Countryside Commission, Pasture for Life and the Nature Friendly Farming Network. A full list of the themes and events can be found here.
More about FFCC Scotland
FFCC Scotland works to support a transition to agroecology in Scotland, resourcing communities to take radical and practical action, and convening leadership across all parts of the system, from farmers to activists, businesses to government, academics to practitioners, to catalyse change.