Programme Goal

CSA put emphasis on the interaction between consumers and farmers.

PCD has been advocating ecological agriculture with the aim to rebuild harmonious relationships among human beings, and between human beings and Nature. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is one of the programme foci of PCD. By collaborating with community facilitators and paying respect to local farming traditions, PCD hopes to build bridges between rural areas and cities. In this way we hope urban dwellers become aware of the importance of ecological agriculture – for maintaining traditional farming values, for conserving nature and traditional culture, for cultivating community care as well as for the life and health of individuals.

Programme Summary

Since 2003, PCD has been building a CSA network by organising workshops, overseas exchange programmes and training activities. Network members include non-government organisations (NGOs), commercial organisations with a sense of mission, individual volunteers and experts. Through field study, sharing and exchange activities and the building of an information-exchange centre, network members encourage and learn from each other. PCD also supports NGOs in promoting CSA, practising organic ways of life and holding consumer education programmes.

In the process of fostering exchange and mutual learning among network members, PCD has gained a better understanding of organisations that are interested in practising healthy agriculture and has built mutual trust with these organisations. Among these organisations, some are working on consumer education, some are exploring and practising farming methods that are truly healthy and respect the law of nature, while some are seeking the way towards self-reliance and cooperation for farmers while taking into consideration the concrete situation of farmers in China. No matter what kind of work they are involved in, their work coincides with our original goals in the design of the programme on CSA: to reflect on the relationships among human beings, and between human beings and Nature, under modernisation and globalisation.

Chronology of major activities:

2010: Establishment of seed funds to support experienced volunteers in independent initiatives to explore various forms of CSA.
2009: An exchange programme with the theme “Spirit of Mutual Support between Rural and Urban Dwellers” was held in Chengdu, Sichuan, for participants from Hong Kong and from Mainland China. It has strengthened the linkages between network members and deepened our understanding of different forms of CSA.
2008: “Healthy Soil”, the first periodical on CSA in China, was launched.
2007: Training on traditional farming and sustainable agriculture was held in Miyun, Beijing. The training emphasised the wisdom embodied by the farming practice of Chinese farmers and explored sustainable development of Chinese agriculture, organic farming and sustainable farming. Participants were encouraged to reflect on how we should look at traditional farming culture, the similarities and differences among various forms of sustainable agriculture, and how we should preserve, transmit and apply the wisdom of traditional farming.
2006: PCD began to build a mechanism for volunteers’ internship training to encourage young people to join grass-roots organisations and to practise and explore locally appropriate forms of CSA. By taking part in practical work, they were encouraged to learn how to develop harmonious relationships among human beings and between human beings and Nature.
2005: Hong Kong’s Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden was invited to run training in sustainable agriculture at the James Yen Rural Reconstruction Institute at Ding County, Hubei. Participants gained a more systematic understanding of the principles and methods of sustainable agriculture. We believe our partners benefited from these constant learning activities by understanding different perspectives on sustainable community development which is human-centred, community-based, concerned with ecology and environment, and respects local culture.
2004: A study trip to Thailand was organised for our partners and farmers to learn about alternative markets and forms of cooperation between farmers and consumers.
2003: An initiative on Community-based Agriculture and Urban Farming was planned and a series of workshops on CSA was held in Beijing and Guangzhou. People interested in CSA took part in the workshops to study the concept and to learn ideas and experiences from other countries.