In many parts of the world people’s livelihoods depend on pastoral or mixed farming systems embedded within the complex ecosystems. Due to growing populations, as well as changing aspirations of local people and the development of economic conditions and technologies, traditional agricultural practices are rapidly transforming and becoming increasingly market orientated. High yield monocultures and genetically modified crops are expanding trough market based agriculture at the expense of traditional knowledge and practices on maintaining soil fertility, seed varieties and local animal breeds.

The homogenisation of agricultural systems that are primarily valued for their productivity ignores the value of highly resilient socio agricultural and biodiverse landscapes. In these landscapes people have balanced their systems of food production with the carrying capacity of the supporting ecosystems. Such agro-ecosystems also provide complementary goods and services such as medicine, construction materials and spiritual amenities. All of those are needed in rural households and thus prevent people from falling into poverty.

The COMPAS program supports farmers in sustaining their livelihoods and their bio-cultural diversity by strengthening local knowledge and (genetic) recourses in crop and livestock production, and transferring skills to the new generations. It actively pursues the interface between traditional and modern practices to promote organic farming, livestock breeds, animal health care, seed varieties, water conservation, storage techniques, local marketing, reforestation and ecosystem restoration.

COMPAS supported brochures and research papers on Agriculture:

  • Case Study, Agriculture, Promoting endogenous farm practices for food security –
    lessons from Ghana
  • Case Study, Biodiversity Conservation, Sahaja Organics bio-enterprise in India
  • Case Study, Livelihood, Local markets and reciprocity economy in Bolivia
  • Policy Brief, Agriculture, Indigenous Knowledge and Resources for Sustainability in Agriculture
  • Bandara Chronic Renal Failure article 2008, Chronic renal failure among farm families in cascade irrigation systems in Sri Lanka associated with elevated dietary cadmium levels in rice and freshwater fish (Tilapia)