Community Shamba

The Equator Initiative and Partners hosted the Community Shamba, an innovative learning hub for grassroots ecoagriculture innovators, at the 2004 International Ecoagriculture Conference and Practitioners Fair. The conference aimed to assess the state of ecoagriculture systems and practices, and develop a strategy promoting ecoagriculture development around the world. The Community Shamba (Swahili for Farm) served to assist grassroots innovators to maximize opportunities for knowledge and practices exchange. The community space housed a comprehensive program with workshops for farm/conservation field managers emphasizing the Conference theme Mobilizing Community Ecoagriculture - From local to global. The objectives of the Shamba were to share knowledge among ecoagriculture practitioners and permit the identification of priorities, challenges, and concerns related to community-driven initiatives. Additionally, the forum served as a showcase for other communities and how they might learn and apply the practices and lessons of local ecoagriculture. Finally, the realization of the dialogue among grassroots leaders fostered partnerships with businesses and governments.

Day 1 - September 25

Over 40 community representatives from every region of the world meet today at ICRAF for a two-day workshop before the International Ecoagriculture Conference. Community members spent time introducing themselves to one another and learning which countries they represented as a group. The facilitation team consisted of Patrick Muraguri, Esther Mwaura-Muiri, Donato Bumacas, and Gladman Chibememe.




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Day 2 - September 26

Before today's session started community participants installed posters and other materials in the Shamba. The agenda opened with a reflection and recapitulation session. This provided the participants with the opportunity to revise the lessons learned from the Saturday discussion and offer suggestions for the day's agenda.




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Day 3 - September 27

The International Ecoagriculture Conference opened officially at 9:00 with a blessing by Donato Bumacas of the Philippines and remarks by Dennis Garrity, Director General of ICRAF, and Sara Scherr, Director Ecosystem Services Forest Trends.





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Day 4 - September 28

Today's theme was ´Mobilizing Community EcoAgriculture'. Discussions started with recognizing the many participants who spent the weekend at the Community Shamba sharing their insights on community-led ecoagriculture. The group spent time introducing themselves and the projects on which they work. After introductions, the group delved directly into discussions on the Plenary Presentation made by Gladman Chibememe (CHIEHA Group in Zimbabwe) on Monday about the outcomes from the Community Shamba weekend discussions.



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