Farmer Innovations

What is an agricultural innovation?

Everyone defines innovations a little differently, and that’s okay with us! AGC defines innovations as new or improved ways of doing things as they relate to farming and natural resource management; new, that is, to a specific locality.

We like to differentiate between innovation (singular) and innovations (plural) as the first being a process by which people discover and develop new ways of doing things—using locally-available resources on their own initiative—and the second, innovations, as the product of that process, for example the techniques themselves that improve farming and natural resource management in some way.

All farmers experiment and innovate to some extent. But some innovations stand out as exemplar approaches or methods to addressing the myriad of challenges farmers face. These challenges range from maximizing the potential of a landscape to adapting to a changing climate—challenges relevant to farmers not just in one locality, but all over the world.  

Over the past six years, AGC has visited over 2,000 farms in over 30 countries and we have some incredible examples of innovations. The diversity of them is impressive: from the drought-stricken fields of California to the barren pebble mines of India, family farmers find site-specific solutions every day to their hardships.

Because of industrial agriculture’s gripping monopoly over family farming, nature, and markets around the world we believe it is paramount to nurture local innovation—a key element of farmer autonomy and self-reliant agrarian communities. As industrial agriculture works to close nature, local innovation aspires to open it for the benefit of all humanity. Please join us in collectively shaping a culture of openness and innovation led by the world’s 1.5 billion farmers!

Here are their stories.

  • Ms Thu_Traditional Turmeric Farming
    April 21, 2017
    Traditional Turmeric Farming, Chi Tan Village, Vie...
    Ms. Thu The Story: Ms. Thu, originally the owner of a steel shop, is new to farming. Her husband’s family (who were traditionally turmeric farmers) introduced her to turmeric ...
  • Debdulal Bhattacharya New Landrace
    April 14, 2017
    Selection and Breeding of a New Landrace, West Ben...
    Debdulal Bhattacharya The Story: For centuries, farmers have practiced selection and breeding of traditional crop landraces (domesticated, locally adapted crop varieties). H...
  • Organic Pesticide CHARLES JUMA WAO
    April 6, 2017
    Organic Pesticide, Kisumu, Kenya
    Charles Juma Wao The Story: Nestled along the shoreline of the Winam Gulf, Lake Victoria, Kisumu county is lush, green as far as the eye can see. Here, farmers have utilized...
  • Tubar Farming System
    March 28, 2017
    Tubar Farming System, Kowiti, Kenya
    Michael Ochieng Laro developed a time-saving farming method he calls the Tubar Farming System. Michael Ochieng Laro The Story: Michael, now 45 years old, began using his inn...
  • Biochar Bokashi Compost
    March 24, 2017
    Biochar Bokashi Compost, Hanoi and Ninh Binh, Viet...
    Ms. Pham Nhu Trang and Ms. Thanh The Story: Soil is arguably the most important component of any landscape, so building and m...
  • Locally Formulated Dairy Goat Meal Ouko Elisah Joran
    March 22, 2017
    Locally Formulated Dairy Goat Meal, Kisumu, Kenya
    Joe Ouko feeds his goats his Locally Formulated Dairy Goat Meal (LOFODA-G-MEAL) Ouko Elisah Joram The Story: The seventh of eight children, Ouko Elisah Joram (known to his fr...
  • Harvesting Flying Ants
    March 17, 2017
    Harvesting Flying Ants, Kikandwa, Uganda
    Traditional Technique in Kikandwa, Uganda; Documented by Kiranda Steven Mwesige, Mohammed Bisaso and Family The Story: Traditional knowledge and inventions are agricultural te...
  • ControllingTicks
    March 13, 2017
    Controlling Ticks with Mutungati Concoction
    Joyce Mawia Mutiso preparing the Munguti tree bark The Story: In the arid region of Kyuso, Kenya, livestock keepers often encounter complications when treating their herds for...
  • Herbal Pesticide
    March 10, 2017
    Herbal Pesticide-cum-Fertilizer, Odisha, India
    Debdulal Bhattacharya, Debal Deb, and Mahendra Nauri hold a workshop to teach locals how to adopt their herbal pesticide innovation Debdulal Bhattacharya, Debal Deb, and Mahen...