La Via Campesina Interrnational and the Asociación Nacional de Agricultores Pequeños of Cuba (ANAP, National Association of Small Farmers) will host the 5th International Conference of Agroecology and Cooperatives, to be held from November 22 to 27, 2015, at the Centro Nacional de Capacitación Niceto Pérez, in Güira de Melena, Cuba.
The conference will bring together farmers, peasants, agroecology promoters, facilitators, scientists, students, and everyone interested in the development of agroecology throughout the world. It will also be an opportunity for peasant and indigenous organizations from around the world working in this field to exchange their knowledge and experience. Several days will be spent in small groups visiting the agroecology experiences of farmer cooperatives in several provinces. Other days will have a conference format, where some 75% of the talks will be given by farmers.
Greg Watson, currently Director of Policy and Systems Design at the Schumacher Center for New Economics, is directing the Cuba-U.S. Agroecology Network (CUSAN), an initiative that developed as a result of a visit to Cuba in the Fall of 2014 by a delegation organized by the Schumacher Center with support from the Christopher Reynolds Foundation. Read more about CUSAN here.
Watson explained: “Cuba, out of necessity, has applied agroecological practices to develop the most sophisticated and time-tested system of growing agricultural crops without the need for chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Our goal is to explore opportunities for research, education, and marketing collaborations between Cuba and the United States that will support the development of this globally important sustainable farming system in both countries.”