Volume 12 (2017) Issue 1 Pages 34-44
Food sovereignty is an alternative approach attempting to resolve the world’s current food crisis. This approach emphasizes small-scale farmers as the main actors in a food and agricultural system. It encourages small-scale farmers to fully participate in the decision-making process of national and/or international agreements regarding food and agriculture systems in order to benefit and empower them. Food sovereignty aspires to return the food and agriculture system to a domestic level, which gives freedom to small-scale farmers to produce foods reflecting their knowledge and experience and suited to the local conditions. Agroecology is a management approach aimed at achieving a sustainable agricultural ecosystem utilizing local resources, local wisdom, and local farmers’ knowledge in producing foods. Thus, agroecology minimizes production costs, increases the quality and quantity of foods, and gives small-scale farmers more benefits. According to knowledge-sharing, an educational theory for explaining farmer-to-farmer ways of learning, there are three requirements for an effective learning process: (1) a public space to share knowledge and experience; (2) provision of opportunities for every participant to share and exchange their knowledge, views, and experience; and (3) a need for farmers to enhance their competence. The agroecological approach has been practiced and disseminated within farmers’ communities at the grassroots level and has shown promising results. Studies showed that by practicing agroecology farmers produced more foods and gained other benefits, suggesting that agroecology could be one answer for the food crisis. Farmers’ knowledge and experience are vital to food and agriculture policy-making. Thus, by recognizing farmers’ knowledge and understanding their learning processes, a fair participatory food and agricultural system can be achieved, an ideal that the food sovereignty approach strives for. In this paper, we describe the process of sharing knowledge about agroecology within a social movement organization aimed at achieving food sovereignty in Indonesia.