PhD defence

Games and sustainable futures for agrobiodiversity and smallholder farmer organizations

PhD candidate F (Federico) Andreotti PhD
Organisation Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing, Farming Systems Ecology

Mon 12 December 2022 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Omnia
Room Groot Auditorium


Smallholder farmer organizations are crucial stakeholders in the development of fair and biodiverse crop markets. Therefore, incorporating their perspectives and needs is as critical to developing and supporting their practices as cultivating agrobiodiversity and creating sustainable agricultural landscapes. Incorporating smallholder perspectives requires action research approaches, and interactive methodologies. In this thesis, I explored the potential of serious games and methods for exploring futures for smallholder farmer organizations and other key actors in the food system for fostering sustainable use and conservation of agrobiodiversity. In this thesis the following objectives were explored: (1) Test the potential of games and future approaches for exploring sustainability transition for agrobiodiversity and smallholder organizations; (2) Explore sustainability pathways in developing agrobiodiversity markets and governance tools for smallholder organizations; (3) Explore smallholder organizations’ future perspectives on agrobiodiversity conservation and sustainable use; (4) Develop and apply an online narrative game as a facilitation tool for social learning and collective scenario evaluation. I explored the practices and perspectives of smallholder farmers’ organizations with a focus on collective governance tools and labelling by applying participatory research methods such as serious games and backcasting. I worked with quinoa producers in the high Andes of Peru, and coffee producers in Nicaragua as case studies. Further, also teff producers in Ethiopia and millet producers in India were studied as complementary cases for a literature review. This research highlighted new transition pathways and agendas for including quinoa landraces and agrobiodiversity for local-global markets. Furthermore, through my research, I highlighted the need for acknowledging and sharing with the local-global consumers the development of traditional practices and cultures. Our approach and method could be applied to foster social learning about complex social-ecological systems. Further, our method can nurture collective action connecting multiple actors involved in the supply chain and consumers to re-imagine a sustainable and fair market.