The Caravana AgroEcológica (CA) is a participatory project facilitated by the research group of Professor Sara Magalhães from cE3c, FCUL (Center for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes at the Faculty of Sciences on the University of Lisbon) that seeks to strengthen the relationships between farmers, consumers and researchers through Agroecology. It aims to bring together people (in groups or individually) and institutions (public and private) already connected, or with an interest in Agroecology. But also to inform people and institutions that are not yet familiar with Agroecology.
Curious? Join the Caravana AgroEcológica and get to know the project better.
The Caravana AgroEcológica…
… appears as a way to provide sharing of experiences between people and institutions that are linked to Agroecology. Although there are some projects developed in this area in Portugal, there is no network of contacts between them. Caravana AgroEcológica believes that Agroecology is an alternative to follow so that agricultural systems become more sustainable and that climate change is mitigated.
The 5 objectives of the Caravana AgroEcológica are…
… a) To substantiate the concept of Agroecology through the perception of different groups of actors;
b) Know the agroecological experiences in Portugal, involving all its actors;
c) Share good agro-ecological practices;
d) Co-build guidelines and proposals for the adoption of public policies to support Agroecology in Portugal;
e) Strengthen Agroecology networks and communities in Portugal.
At this moment, the Caravana AgroEcológica is working with four initiatives,…
… that run in parallel, but integrated. The initiative called Producers’ Days Open, seeks to encourage local consumption and proximity; Hortas nas Escolas (Gardens in Schools) intends to create a community around those responsible for these gardens; the Routes of the Caravana AgroEcológica (inspired by the Agroecological and Cultural Caravans of Brazil), promote the connection and networks between different agroecology communities in Portugal, allowing representatives from various areas of society (legislators, local authorities, researchers, media, consumers) to visit agroecological experiences in the national territory, knowing, reflecting and sharing information about national agroecology and, finally, the Caravana AgroEcológica on Radio, which consists on programs on local radio where topics related to agroecology and the project are addressed.
The team that makes up the Caravana AgroEcológica is multidisciplinary…
… and the structure is horizontal, bottom-up, where everyone contributes to the elaboration of the processes.
1) The Mentors who punctually and individually help to build the AC in their areas of specialization: Irene Cardoso, Professor at the Federal University of Viçosa, Former President of the Brazilian Association of Agroecology and one of the inspirers of the Agroecological and Cultural Caravans from Brasil and Maria Emília Brederode Santos, President of the National Education Council.
2) The permanent facilitators who collaborate in the design, streamlining and operationalization of CA: from CE3c, FCUL: Sara Magalhães, Inês Costa Pereira, Leonor Rodrigues, Carlota R. Sanches, David Avelar, Florian Ulm, Filipa Vala and Inês Santos; TAGIS: Renata Santos; Freelancer: Susana Barros Mendes.
3) The Monitoring Committee, a group of experts that accompanies and participates in the co-construction of the structure, principles and objectives of the CA: cE3c FCUL: Cristina Branquinho and Margarida Santos-Reis; Herdade do Freixo do Meio: Alfredo Sendim; from the University of Évora: Ana Fonseca and Helena Guimarães; from the Instituto Politécnico de Viseu: Cristina Amaro da Costa; from Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA): Elisabete Figueiredo; FAO: Francisco Sarmento; from ACTUAR: Joana Dias and Sara Rocha; the National Rural Network: Maria do Carmo Bica; consultant: Maria José Tropa; the National Confederation of Farmers: Pedro Santos; from ISCTE: Rogério Roque Amaro.
4) Amigos da Caravana AgroEcológica, a contact list created in order to keep people involved in the activities and initiatives developed by CA.
5) Teams of the Caravana AgroEcológica Initiatives, are the promoters of the Producers’ Open Days, those responsible for the Gardens in Schools, the participants in the co-construction meetings Routes of Caravana AgroEcológica and the Caravana AgroEcológica on Radio.
The Caravana AgroEcológica is a project that aims to alert to the need for more sustainable agricultural systems,…
… such as Agroecology (science for some and a movement for others) that aggregates science, social movement and sustainable agricultural practices (such as organic, permaculture, biodynamic, syntropic, regenerative, agroforestry, among others) in the pursuit of sustainable food systems. “It is a process in permanent transition, based on ecological principles of management of productive agroecosystems that preserve natural resources, respect local culture, are socially just and economically viable."
The project is building, gradually a route and, with are facing some constraints,…
… in order to create more impact in the change of public policies and in the opinion of the majority of consumers. “We are not there yet, but we believe that there are many initiatives in Portugal and in the world in this direction that are gaining strength".
Globally and nationally,…
… there are plenty of agroecological experiences that seek to support small local producers, short supply circuits, family farming, rural communities, seed biodiversity and indigenous breeds. In short, they promote “healthy, affordable and fair food through food sovereignty
and sustainable food systems and diet.
It is necessary to make these projects known and aware everyone, from the consumer to the producer, about the consequences of their actions when buying or producing and distributing food.
For Agroecology to be seen as a way to make systems more sustainable,…
… it is necessary for state and public structures to recognize it and give it the importance it deserves, as was done by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). This transition process is indispensable in food and agricultural systems, “allowing for sufficient food production for all, protecting and regenerating ecosystems – including the communities that are part of them”.
Get to know Caravana AgroEcológica better on:
For the monthly Newsletter: send an email to email@example.com
Caravana AgroEcológica on Radio, on three local radio stations:
. Monthly item On Trilhos da Caravana, in the program O Som é a Enxada, broadcast by Rádio Manobras – https://www.mixcloud.com/RADIOMANOBRAS/
. Biweekly Caravana AgroEcológica program at Rádio Internacional Odemira – https://audiomack.com/rio-180
. Caravana AgroEcológica weekly program, on Thursdays from 6 pm to 6:30 pm, at Rádio em Movimento PT Online,
which has 20,500 followers.