Empty shelves show the need for a resilient food system

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A NEW project, “to show how communities can be involved in their local food systems”, was launched in Machynlleth.

Tyfu Dyfi – food, nature and wellness, which will operate throughout the UNESCO Dyfi biosphere area, is led by the local development trust, ecodyfi.

It is a response to the need for food security and to climate and biodiversity crises. Project communications officer Arfon Hughes said the empty shelves over the past few weeks and months serve “as a warning that our food system is not as resilient as we once thought.”

A series of activities are planned to stimulate short local supply chains.

On the food production side, the project will help establish community cultivation sites. These could be existing sites that need some attention, or new sites such as community gardens, home gardens, forest gardens, community orchards or food forest ideas, etc.

Tyfu Dyfi will also provide professional level horticultural training and demonstrate that Wales can be more self-sufficient in food.

Project coordinator Chris Higgins said: “The intention of the project is to increase the market for fresh, healthy and local produce and to stimulate local businesses. An innovative online food hub will be set up to help find, sell, buy and distribute greater volumes of locally grown produce.

“There will be opportunities for those who wish to volunteer, attend workshops on cultivation, cooking and nutrition – and for farmers and producers who wish to deepen their knowledge of production. The value of biodegradable waste will be demonstrated through opportunities to participate in composting. “

To maximize the benefits for people’s well-being, the project will collaborate with the Dyfi Biosphere project “Trywydd Iach – outdoor health”, helping people to be active outdoors, for example in community gardening. It will also help wildlife by including a space for nature in any new horticultural site.

The pilot project will take place over the next two years within the framework of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of which the Dyfi Biosphere is a part.

It will help ensure more sustainable food production and consumption, based on an agroecological vision of the future – a more dynamic and diverse rural economy, where food production relies on biodiversity and helps mitigate the effects of climate change.

Tyfu Dyfi is a partnership between ecodyfi, Mach Maethlon, Garden Organic, Aber Food Surplus, Aberystwyth University, Penparcau Community Forum and the Center for Alternative Technology.

Tyfu Dyfi has received almost £ 700,000 under the Welsh Government’s 2014-2020 Rural Development Program, funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

For more information and to stay up to date on the project, check out the project website:

https://www.dyfibiosphere.wales/tyfudyfi

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