On December 1st weekend we hosted over 600 farmers and food lovers in Lishui, Zhejiang Province for the 8th National CSA Conference of China. This also kicked off the formation of the National Community Supported Agriculture Network of China where CSA farmers will be encouraged to farm by cutting out synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and waste.
Lishui, Zhejiang Province is not new to the idea of CSA. In 2015, we hosted the International CSA Conference in Beijing where we brought a small contingent of international participants to visit and share experiences with the government leadership and directly with farmers. Lishui represents a growing trend across cities where more and more communities are backing small scale farmers and Agriculture absent of petroleum-based inputs such as synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. China’s CSA farmers are bringing new life to the trust and cooperation that needs to exist between consumer and producer, and is now impacting hundreds of thousands of lives, bringing a resurgence to how for over 4,000 years the region has fed millions of people with the poorest land conditions using agroecology, seed saving, and community engagement.
President of IFOAM Asia (International Foundation for Organic Agriculture), Mr. Zhou Zejiang, opened the conference ceremonies on December 1st, 2016 and they were concluded with the primary organizer Dr. Shi Yan, one of the many CSA farmers in China, and also Vice-President of Urgenci International.
In total, two days were spent on listening or providing presentations and workshops, sharing everything from fruit growing, food safety, making natural clothing, and even touching on new community building concepts used in different parts of the world. Overall participants found this conference very useful for building networks and learning important concepts about CSA and the importance of it in China going forward.
The National Community Supported Agriculture Conference of China is held once a year and will be held again in 2017 for the 9th time with the location still to be determined. If you have any questions about Community Supported Agriculture movement in China, please reach out to us.
Written by Kirk Barlow 柯百路 of Sown Solutions 播众农业.