Farming and Agriculture

Photovoice: Sustainability in images and words from the perspective of farmers in Andalusia and Ecuador

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24 May 2024, Spain: Together with partners, FiBL Switzerland has published two photo books that shed light on the practices and challenges of agriculture in Andalusia (Spain) and Ecuador in the context of sustainable production. These projects were funded by the Sinergia program of the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and are part of the comprehensive research project “Deliberative Diets”.

The two photo books were created using the participatory “Photovoice” method. In this method, the participants photograph their surroundings with a specific question in mind. During the photovoice process, they write individual interpretations of their photographs and discuss the issue in small groups with the help of the visual and written material. This approach reduces social and language barriers and enables social groups to address complex issues that are often overlooked in traditional interviews.

Photovoice: Spain – Sustainability through the eyes of Andalusian olive and almond farmers

The first photo book offers an insight into the world of agricultural production in the Spanish province of Andalusia. Over a period of three weeks, 34 olive and almond farmers documented their experiences and views on the subject of sustainability using photographs and accompanying texts

Producers focused on topics such as the availability and distribution of water, the profitability of agriculture, the compatibility of family life and agricultural work and the preservation of biodiversity. Particular emphasis was placed on the challenge of sustainable water use in the face of increasing droughts and the preservation of social structures in rural areas, which are heavily affected by rural exodus.

Photovoice: Ecuador – Sustainability through the eyes of Ecuadorian cocoa farmers

The second photo book focuses on agricultural production and sustainability in Ecuador. Over a period of four weeks, 43 cocoa farmers recorded their experiences and perspectives.

This book highlights issues such as access to technology, fair prices, forest protection and social security. It discusses the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment, while also addressing the challenges posed by global competition and the increase in organized crime and violence.

A common goal: sustainability in agriculture

Both photo books highlight the complex challenges and needs of the agricultural communities in Andalusia and Ecuador and depict them visually. They highlight the interdependence of humans and nature and emphasize the essential role of farmers in the care of agricultural ecosystems. The books offer readers the opportunity to understand the diverse perspectives of producers working towards a more sustainable agricultural future and serve as important documents to promote sustainability in our food system.


  • Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL)
  • Pablo Olavide University (UPO), Seville, Spain
  • School of Applied Sciences of the Coastal Region (ESPOL), Guayaquil, Ecuador
  • Center for Development and Environment (CDE), University of Bern, Switzerland
  • Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH)

Also Read: IARI Starts Sale of Imazethapyr Tolerant Basmati Rice Varieties

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