Volunteer in-person or online at ORFC 2022!

ORFC Global 2021

Full Programme

This seven-day programme offers over 150 sessions that have been programmed with partners and farming communities from across six continents.  It includes a mix of talks, panel discussions, workshops and cultural events on everything from farm practice to climate justice to indigenous knowledge. Please take some time to explore!

Please note that although workshops are free to all registered delegates, separate, advance registration is required for all workshops, and spaces are limited. Workshop registration opened to all registered delegates from Tuesday, 29 December 2020 and was sent via email. Register early to avoid disappointment!

View a PDF of the full programme here

View a printable PDF programme here

Please note the times in the online programme below should display in your local time zone.

Farm Practice
Workshop
12:00 - 13:30 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

From Margin to Mountain: Farmland Nature-based Climate Solutions at Every Scale

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 140 (Full)

Nature-based solutions to climate change are rising up the international agenda. Farmers across the globe have a central role to play in delivering multiple outcomes from our land – food, nature and climate. Natural habitats that increase biodiversity as well as helping to mitigate and adapt to climate change are vital.

This workshop gives a space for farmers around the world to discuss the potential for nature-based solutions at different scales on their farmland to tackle the dual crises of climate change and ecosystem collapse. Farmer case studies from a range of countries and farming systems will set the stage for deeper discussions on how farmers can embrace nature-based solutions like woodland, agroforestry, peatland and semi-natural grassland, and what support they need.

Come and join us to hear from farmers from Ireland to Finland, Sierra Leone to Essex and to tell your story as well.

Panel Discussion
12:00 - 13:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Un-Natural Capital: Can Nature Financialisation Work?

Under the dominant global politico-economic framework, which champions ‘growth’ at the expense of human and environmental wellbeing, degradation of natural resources has reached dangerous levels, threatening irreversible climate change and biodiversity loss. In an effort to reform the unmediated use of natural resources, there is an increasing call amongst mainstream thinkers to recognise nature as an 'asset' through the framework of ‘natural capital.’ In this panel discussion, we will critically evaluate this logic and consider alternative ways of thinking about nature and its preservation.

Panel Discussion

Speakers

Vandana Shiva

Neth Daño

Patrick Mulvany

Chair

Saurabh Arora

Languages

English

12:00 - 13:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Exporting Technofixes, Colonialism and Resistance

For years now, people have been inundated with promises about the potential of genetically modified organisms and other ‘precision’ and ‘digitalised’ farm technologies. People are told that these modern technologies have to be embraced to both address food security and tackle climate change. According to the advocates of these technofixes, regions that don’t adopt these new technologies – especially in the Global South – are doomed to remain stuck in the dark ages.

In this session, you will hear voices of resistance to these new technologies from different parts of the world. They will share their insights on how UK (and other Western) corporations, research, states and foundations have been and continue to seek to export technology packages to engineer agroecosystems. Starting from testimonies and historical insights in technology resistance struggles, this session seeks to disrupt assumptions that ‘Western’ technology should be promoted in the Global South. We will also start unpacking how (bio)technology relates to questions of colonialism, decolonization and development.

Panel Discussion

Speakers

Sofía Monsalve Suárez

Robert Levesque

Mykhailo Amosov

Chair

Nathalie Markiefka

Languages

English, Español, Français

13:00 - 14:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

The Financialisation of Land Sales

We are witnessing the increasing financialisation of land and territories as land and natural resources are sold off to financial actors such as banks, pension funds, and insurance companies. These actors often make use of complex investment webs involving any number of intermediaries, brokers, tax avoidance loopholes and off-shore schemes. All of these are attempts to distance themselves from public scrutiny, regulation, taxation and accountability. This is hugely disempowering for communities as it means that decisions are taken about land that are distant, undemocratic and hidden.

And agricultural land is by no means protected. And whether the new owners have purely financial motivations or have some interest in what the land offers (biomass, commodity sales), the outcome is the same: investors acquiring shares prioritise profitability, relegating agricultural production together with its social functions and its environmental objectives to a secondary place.

This session seeks to address the following questions:

To what extent is financialisation happening in Europe?
What are the consequences in terms of transparency of land ownership, the flouting of regulations, the impact on farmers' independence, and impact on farm succession?
How may we combat the financialisation of land sales?

Farm Practice
Panel Discussion
13:00 - 14:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

The Coping Strategies of Indonesian Farmers to the Risks of Climate Change and Other Hazards

This panel brings a number of farmers from Java, Indonesia, to share their real farming strategies in developing their adaptive capability towards the consequences of climate change and other hazards. The farmers are “real rainfall observers of their own fields” who have learned the agrometeorological method of analysis in the Science Field Shops in solving their vulnerabilities. Some coping strategies will be presented directly by farmers consisting of:

adaptation strategies to El Niňo by determining planting schedule and by changing cropping pattern;
adaptation strategies to La Niňa by avoiding planting rice and water melon, and by managing drainage in horticultural farming; and
mitigating gas emission and making soil healthy in rice farming.

Agrometeorological expert, Sue Walker, will provide a brief remark of farmers’ coping strategies.

Farm Practice
Workshop

Speakers

Abi Bunker

Kristin Bash

Joe Wookey

Clive Bailye

Chair

Jenny Hawley

Languages

English

13:00 - 14:30 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Fixing Nitrogen: The Nitrogen Challenge in the UK

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500

Nitrogen is an element essential for all life on earth and vital in food and farming. But when used to excess, it becomes a dangerous pollutant to our air, rivers, soils and seas. In traditional farming systems, atmospheric nitrogen is naturally ‘fixed’ by plants such as peas and beans and returned to soils in animal manures. However, the creation of synthetic fertilisers has disrupted this cycle and become the single biggest driver of nitrogen pollution globally, pushing us beyond the boundaries the planet can withstand.

As more is understood about the impact of nitrogen pollution on our rivers, soil and plants, we also need to understand the impact it has on the climate crisis.

In this workshop, led by Plantlife’s Policy Manager Jenny Hawley, farmers, public health professionals and environmentalists discuss how to strike a nitrogen balance, closing loops and treating nutrients as too good to waste. The panel explores how solutions that work with nature address these challenges, and have the potential to improve profitability and farm resilience too.

The availability of active nitrogen is a key issue in the research project the Soil Association is currently undertaking with partners in the UK and France.

Panel Discussion

Speakers

Samwel Nangiria

Kathryn Manga

June and Angie Provost

Chair

Freya Yost

Languages

English, Italiano

14:00 - 15:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

The Dispossession of Our Land: On the Long Legacy of Theft, Discrimination and Corporate Control

Land theft is not a thing of the past. Samwel, Kathryn, Angie and June will be talking about the different ways communities are discriminated against through land theft and dispossession. Their conversation will focus on understanding that true food sovereignty demands local control of land. Samwel’s Maasai community has faced illegal sales of their land to foreign companies; Kathryn, representing KMP (the Peasant Movement of the Philippines), has been on the frontlines of organizing to gain land rights for the nine out of ten Filipino farmers that do not own the land they till. The Provosts have been the target of predatory loans, historical deprivation and racial discrimination. Together, they will explain how ownership of land is not a narrative around regeneration or sustainability. It is an argument around sovereignty over the very land they and their ancestors tended. To be truly food sovereign, the land must be in the hands of the local communities.

Workshop

Speakers

James Woodward

Vicki Hird

Languages

English

14:00 - 15:30 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

Supply Chains and Infrastructure for Agroecology in the UK

ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED. LIMITED SPACES: 500

Join this exciting workshop to discuss and explore the barriers and opportunities to scaling-up supply chains and infrastructure for agroecological farming. We want to delve into the problems with the current centralised system and look at ways the sector can open up better opportunities for farmers: how could we expand the network of local abattoirs, millers, food hubs and more? How can we ensure that farmers get fair access to markets and gain more pence on the pound? There will be interactive sessions so that delegates can share their experiences and ideas from here in the UK and around the world, so come along and get stuck in.

Farm Practice
Panel Discussion
14:00 - 15:00 GMT
Tuesday, 12 January

The Agroecological Farming Practices of the Shashe Community of Zimbabwe

The Shashe block of farms, in the Maszinvgo province of central Zimbabwe, is home to 500 farming families. Together with the Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum (ZIMSOFF)’s and Shashe Agroecology School, they have worked to revive arid cattle-ranching land into rich, abundant food forests.

The school trains farmers in agroecological farming techniques such as inter-cropping, water-harvesting and farmer-to-farmers exchanges but at the heart of their practice is a special emphasis on seed and food sovereignty and ecological production integrated with seasonal ceremonies and rituals. There is also a deep emphasis on farmer led solutions to socioeconomic, ecological and cultural issues, which has stimulated designing a methodology for holistic nurturing of landscapes at the Shashe block of farms.

Join farmers and the founders of the Shashe Agroecological School in Zimbabwe, as they put their new internet connection to the test!