Education is freedom
‘Conventional’ agriculture is supported by mainstream education narratives that promote and entrench the corporate status quo irrespective of its harm. Farmers, new and old, are trapped within a narrow educational horizon that increasingly fails to address intergenerational needs. They are also in danger of becoming normalised as mere cogs in the machine of big agribusiness – losing autonomy and surrendering their traditions and initiatives to elite interests.
To avoid disempowerment, and to refranchise farmers with their rationality, a new agroecological pedagogy is needed that combines ecology with traditional knowledge and appropriate food science. The future of farming needs an educational basis that is liberating and intelligent if we are to overcome the dystopian techno-fix fantasies of the mainstream.
Farm labour itself needs a new educational and training basis to create more jobs for rural communities – one that acknowledges land workers’ wisdom and equips them with the necessary ecological basis for their livelihoods.