Young changemakers: Scaling agroecology using video in Africa and India. Van Mele, P., Mohapatra, S., Tabet, L. and Flao, B. 2024.. Access Agriculture, Brussels, 175 pp.

This illustrated book presents insights from 42 inspiring teams of youths in Africa and India who are blazing a trail as private extension service providers promoting agroecology through farmer-to-farmer learning videos. Targeting their services to schools, rural clinics, youth clubs and farmer organisations, these young entrepreneurs inspired women and youth to start income-generating activities contributing to healthier and more resilient food systems.

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Root, Tuber and Banana Food System Innovations. Value Creation for Inclusive Outcomes. Graham Thiele, Michael Friedmann, Hugo Campos, Vivian Polar and Jeffery W. Bentley (eds)

This book covers a gap in the agricultural literature by addressing overlooked topics such as innovation in crops in developing countries, value creation chains and gender roles. Root, tubers and banana crops represent a main source of food, feedstuff and raw materials for many tropical countries industries. The book is the result of a major international collaboration between tropical countries, academic and industry partners focused on multiple crop systems.

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Indicadores Naturales para Pronosticar el Tiempo en el Sur de Oruro, Bolivia. Choquetopa Rodríguez, Bernabé 2021 Jeffery Bentley (Ed). Cochabamba: Agro-Insight & McKnight Foundation.

This book is available in Spanish only. To download, click here.
Jeffery Bentley, Eric Boa and Mundie Salm (eds)

In November 2015, forty people from eight countries in Africa and Asia met near Nairobi for a write-shop organised by Access Agriculture. The stories in this volume celebrate the creativity of the many organisations involved in making, translating, distributing, and screening videos in Africa and Asia.

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LOS DOS SABERES Jeffery W. Bentley and Keith L. Andrews

The book Los Dos Saberes (two bodies of knowledge, or two ways of knowing) compares agronomic science with farmer knowledge in four regions of Guatemala. The two bodies of knowledge do have their differences, but they often have much in common. Agricultural scientists and farmers are, after all, fairly pragmatic people, and empirical (in the best sense of the word). Attempts to polarize formal and folk knowledge are probably misguided.

This book is available in Spanish only. To download, click here.
ANDEAN CHANGE Graham Thiele et al. (eds)

In 2007, the International Potato Center (CIP) and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) started an unusual project, Andean Change, to systematically test the value of participatory research methods.
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This book is available in Spanish only. To download, click here.
AFRICAN SEED ENTERPRISES Van Mele, P., Bentley, J. and Guei, R. (eds)

This book describes an exceptionally wide range of experiences.
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Pdf versions of all chapters can be downloaded below:
Ch1. Introduction: A full granary
Ch2. How seed works
Ch3. Cameroon: Revolving funds make a difference
Ch4. Nigeria: Clustered seed companies
Ch5. Mali: When government gives entrepreneurs room to grow
Ch6. Guinea: Networks that work
Ch7. The Gambia: Capturing the media
Ch8. Morocco: The visible hand
Ch9. Kenya: A company, a cooperative and a family
Ch10. Uganda: Dreams of starting a company
Ch11. Madagascar: Coping with relief aid and politics
Ch12. Conclusions
INNOVATIONS IN RURAL EXTENSION Van Mele, P., Salahuddin, A. and Magor, N.P. (eds)

Approaches to extension are presented, along with insights in what contributed to their success and assesses their potential for replication and scaling-up. The main sections of the book cover gender, innovative farmer training methods, enterprise webs and seed systems.

Read a review by Robert Chambers.
More info at CABI Bookshop.

Pdf versions of the individual chapters can be downloaded from the list below.
Contents - Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21

Many people gather wild mushrooms in many countries. This is a comprehensive global overview of what they gather and the importance of the harvest to the predominantly less wealthy pickers.
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ANTS AS FRIENDS Van Mele, P. and Cuc, N.T.T.

This manual for farmer trainers offers a highly exciting discovery voyage about the life of weaver ants (Oecophylla), how you can make best use of them to protect your fruit and other tree crops and as such save money. This publication has had global impact and opened opportunities for organic markets.
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Books can be downloaded in:
English (2003, 2007)
French (2008)
Khmer (2010)
Vietnamese (2005)
Bahasa Indonesia (2004)

This is a book to help people recognize and interpret symptoms in trees, a process known as field diagnosis. Richly illustrated with a wide range of unhealthy looking features from 60 tree species used in forestry and agroforestry (including fruit trees) from around the world, this is a practical guide for gaining a better understanding of what has gone wrong – and using the (field) diagnosis to work out what to do next. The book includes photographs of specific symptoms and damage on foliage and branches as well as a more general decline of older trees.

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WAY OUT OF THE WOODS Van Mele, P. (ed.)

An account of how the success of forestry and agroforestry projects in three countries (Nepal, Kenya and Bolivia) depends on understanding biological, social and cultural diversity and applying this knowledge to meet the needs of rural people.
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More info at CPL Press.

The wave of on-farm research with farmers themselves (the so-called "participatory" research) largely bypassed the coffee sector. Coffee is a perennial crop which can be (or not) environmentally sustainable, and socially equitable, depending on how the crop is grown, which is why it is crucial to involve farmers in research. This manual looks at the successes and failures of coffee research in Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Ecuador to explain research methods, relating with farmers, extensionists and scientists, learning farmers' research needs, conducting research in communities and research protocols.

To download the book in English, click here ›
To download the book in Spanish, click here ›