Agicultural Biodiversity Community
Agicultural Biodiversity Community



Knowledge Products

Genesis & Background

Agricultural Biodiversity Community was initiated as part of a joint Hivos and Oxfam Novib Knowledge Programme, Agrobiodiversity@knowledged, initiated in 2011. This Knowledge Programme aims to break through the barriers that limit the scaling up, institutional embedding and horizontal extension of practices that build on agricultural biodiversity for improved livelihoods and resilient food systems. abc was constituted by diverse organisations and individuals working on agricultural biodiversity with millions of farmers worldwide, where evidence and insights are generated, shared and tested. The knowledge programme aims to synthesize knowledge from a local to a global scale, conduct research on approaches and analytical frameworks that provide new perspectives on agricultural biodiversity and its role in resilient socio-ecological food systems, and improve horizontal and vertical knowledge flows towards positive change and transformation.

Since the start of the Knowledge programme, there have been four meetings of the agricultural biodiversity community (abc). The first agricultural biodiversity meeting in Thika in October 2011 established the state of knowledge around agricultural biodiversity and identified knowledge gaps, common ground and support for the development of the abc. During the second abc meeting in Thailand in July 2012, strong foundations were laid for the community through the formulation of a shared vision and mission, identification of five strategic themes for action, the joint development of action plans to achieve the goals of the community and platforms for communication. The third meeting held from 9-13 July in Madurai India aimed to develop tangible knowledge products that are relevant to the abc and beyond. The fourth meeting was organised in Boxtel, Netherlands, where in three topics were identified and working groups were formed for working on 1) open source seed, 2) resilient communities and 3) policy (wikiseedia). In the course of this collective journey the abc members mutually benefited by sharing their experience and learning on various aspects related to agricultural biodiversity. The proceedings of these meetings are shared in abc website Many of the abc members have joined forces at key international fora, shared knowledge and collaborated bilaterally as well as multilaterally. Each working group has started bringing out their products/outputs. All these efforts have transformed what was a rather loose network into a functioning global community. A D-group and a website were established and learning from the various initiatives of the community members was shared through Farming Matters.

Taking forward abc

As the joint Hivos and Oxfam Novib Knowledge Programme, Agrobiodiversity@knowledged is coming to an end by October, they have suggested the members of the community to take abc forward. The abc members after multiple interactions have come forward to organise themselves to renew and take the abc forward. It was agreed that an efficient committee was needed to make decisions for the community and secretariat is needed to support the steering committee members. It was also agreed that the steering committee members will work with the working groups of the abc. With these understanding the following efforts were made:

  1. Reviewing and accepting purpose statement developed earlier
  2. Constitution of a 6 member Steering Committee (SC) and developing terms of reference
  3. Identification of a secretariat (DHAN Foundation) and developing terms of reference

Giving continuity for so far efforts, abc will focus on the following five priority areas in near future:

  1. Seeds, breeds and technology
  2. Policy and governance
  3. Information networks
  4. Resilient communities
  5. Market linkage

The abc will adopt the following five strategies-cum-goals:

Agicultural Biodiversity Community