This global network facilitates knowledge co-creation and advocacy within the community and with farmer organizations, researchers, academia, extensionists, and civil society actors. They produce regional/global magazines with a readership of approximately 1 million. What makes this network stand out is their commitment to family farmers. Their slogan is “collectively connected and locally rooted.”
The Agricultures Network (AN) is working for a world that places farmers at the centre of development and agriculture. They also envision a future where family farming goes hand–in–hand with agroecology. The focus is on the cultural, ecological, social, human, and political dimensions of sustainability. They hope to change the general public’s views on agriculture as only the production of goods and to show how deeply agriculture is rooted in a community’s food systems and local culture. In addition, the AN shows that sustainable food production also reduces inequality; increases social equity and inclusion; fosters a healthy society, soil, and environment; reduces youth unemployment; counters climate change; and deals with dietary changes and land issues.
To help achieve their goals, AN highlights mainstream scientific evidence for more sustainable and agroecological practices. They facilitate co-creation of knowledge between key actors and disseminate it widely. The organization is not focused on increasing the numbers of the network; instead, they work to ensure the involvement of quality organizations that support their vision. The anchoring mechanisms for AN are ownership, reciprocity, and personal relationships. Funding for the network has ceased, but they are still going strong as it has never been about the money. The network members invest their time and resources, benefit from the knowledge exchange and support, and have built strong relationships with other members.
Bara Gueye, the director of IED Afrique (which hosts AN), told a story about a researcher at Senegal University who was active in promoting local innovation. As a test of the magazine’s impact, they published an article on his work and then observed the significant number of people who reached out to the researcher, not only from within the same region but also internationally. This showed the magazine’s, and therefore the network’s, reach.