Improving the sustainable management of agricultural biodiversity is a key objective in regional and international natural resource policy, and is also critical for safeguarding food production and adapting to climate change. Within Europe, small farmers are custodians of the region's greatest agro-biodiversity assets, yet without remuneration for this stewardship activity. As public sector budgets struggle to provide compensation, the case for exploring the potential support from the agro-biodiversity based food chain is the driver of this Fellowship which aims to explore innovative business models and learning approaches not only to support sustainable management but also to reconnect food chain players and civil society
with conservation values. The prospective Fellow, Dr Humberto Rios Labrada, is an experienced plant breeder and winner of national and international awards for innovating with participatory and action research methodologies for rural innovation. He will be hosted at Coventry University, UK, in its multidisciplinary Centre for Agroecology. Field research, and industry secondments and visits, will involve institutions in the UK, France, Spain, the Netherlands and Cuba, to explore initiatives that have been generating economic benefits through participatory agro-biodiversity management (termed Agro-biodiversity Management Enterprises) and identify opportunities for their scaling up. The Fellow will receive training in social enterprise development and entrepreneurship which will diversity his skillset to become a lead player in sustainable rural innovation. He will also develop transferable leadership skills in academia and rural development. Key outputs include two peer-reviewed articles, a Policy Brief, an arts-meets-science Performance, and training curricula for the continued development of AMEs.
Agriculture, Doctorate, National Institute of Agricultural Sciences, University of Havana
iCRA Associate, International Centre for development oriented Research in Agriculture
Director of "Polinizadores"
Board of Director Swift Foundation