Grassroots Innovations for Agroecology.

Drawing – inspiration by Jenni Ottilie Keppler, whose insights evolved over the course of the three and a half days of the Assembly in Oсtober 2023.

Even though smallholder and family farmers produce about 80% of our food, the technology we commonly use and promote favors larger farms. Small-scale food producers are addressing this issue by working together to create their own innovative solutions. These grassroots technologies help small farmers adjust, make a profit, process their own products, save resources, and exchange knowledge. With small farmers facing increasing challenges from environmental issues and big corporate farming, it’s crucial to build stronger networks to empower them with their own technology solutions.

In response to the challenges of Agriculture 4.0 and other pressures faced by smallholders, we are launching the Assembly for Grassroots Innovations in Agroecology. This global network collaborates to empower smallholders with control over their technology. The Assembly welcomes organizations, local networks, researchers, and individuals who share our vision, including those representing farmers, fisherfolks, pastoralists, seed savers, and local food processors. This also includes groups involved in spreading technological innovation, which encompasses physical tools, equipment, and digital solutions.

Our goal is to foster solidarity and trust among organizations working toward agroecology and food sovereignty, mutually supporting and energizing each other’s efforts. We recognize the power of collective intelligence that emerges through collaboration across regions and organizations. Just as local communities can solve their specific challenges through co-creation, international and regional collaboration can drive innovation and partnerships to address broader systemic issues.

Grassroots Tecnological Innovations for Agroecology Assembly in-person meeting. Three and a half days of exploration on technology sovereignty for Agroecology in October 2023, in Gallese, Italy

The Grassroots Innovations for Agroecology Assembly took place in the Biodistrict della Via Amerina e delle Forre, Italy, from October 18 to 21, 2023. It was a gathering where organizations of various backgrounds from around the world came together to be part of a broader movement focused on technology sovereignty and to share their challenges and paths forward.

One key takeaway from the assembly was the recognition of the need for collaboration among diverse stakeholders, including smallholder organizations, researchers, IT developers, and experts. Together, they aimed to advance smallholder-driven technological and digital innovations.

Who is Providing Solutions to Your Farming Challenges?

  • If you have the support of SPI, KPL, La CAPE, or l’Atelier Paysan, consider yourself fortunate. These organizations will assist in developing collective solutions, work on the recovery of traditional knowledge, host workshops for creating the technology you need, and facilitate the exchange of skills and techniques.

  • Alternatively, you may find solutions within your communities. Craftsmen can help you design or adapt your tools, young individuals can develop the necessary apps for your community, and elders can share valuable knowledge.

  • In contrast, companies may sell you technologies that, in many cases, lead to increased dependencies, reduced knowledge, and diminished adaptability. This approach is fundamentally incompatible with agroecology, which places knowledge and autonomy at its core.

The Grassroots Innovations for Agroecology Assembly concluded with a shared commitment to working together in the future. The goal is to increase the visibility of technology sovereignty, expand our collective efforts and activities, and foster strong collaborations with various stakeholders in the societal transformation towards agroecology, particularly researchers and experts.

How to get involved

 If your organization wishes to learn more about the Assembly, please contact us at

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Read more about the project

Online meeting. Introduction of grassroots networks on farmer-led tools and technologies.

September 2023.

The meeting is facilitated by Samuel Oslund, 11 Hour Project  with participation GIAN/HoneyBee Network, India,  Boer Bricoleur, BelgiumSerikat Petani IndonesiaLA CAPE, Canada, Prolinnova, Kenya.

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the Civil Society and Indigenous People Mechanism  (CSIPM) Vision Document.

See the background white paper Technological autonomy not autonomous technology

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