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.