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Sustainability Research Unit George Campus


Prof Christo Fabricius visited Lesotho in January 2016 to advise the UN Food and Agriculture Organization to promote agricultural resilience.

A resilient system ‘bounces back’ when former conditions were desirable ‘bounces forward’ when former conditions were unworkable.

The following principles were identified for resilient farming in Lesotho:

1. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

· Systems with many different components (e.g. types of farming outputs, income sources, sources of knowledge) are generally more resilient than systems with few components.

· Redundancy is like ‘insurance’ in a system - some components make up for the loss or failure of others

2. Build connections

· Good connections promote the easy flow of energy, water, resources, in natural systems In human systems, good connections promote trust, capital and transfer of knowledge

· Land degradation breaks the connections

· Social connectedness promotes innovation

3. Check, adapt & respond

· Feedbacks are ‘push’ and ‘pull’ forces that can either reinforce (positive feedback) or dampen (negative feedback) change

4. Look at the entire system

5. Encourage learning

6. Participation

7. Joint decision making at all levels

8. Be patient. Try and try again

Resilience dialogue to brainstorm solution for farming communities

Various organisations assembled to discuss some identified farming issues within Lesotho. The process focused on identifying the challenges, reaching a common vision, discovering new possibilities by working together and prioritizing which specific actions to be taken right away which could potentially make a big difference t the Lesotho farming community.