Sally Humphries

Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Guelph

My research, which is part and parcel of my applied development work, continues to be associated with Honduran farmer researchers and their supporting NGOs, in particular La Fundacion para la Investigacion Participativa con Agricultores de Honduras (FIPAH). Honduran farmer researchers have been engaged in generating new technologies, including new plant varieties produced through participatory plant breeding. By improving local landraces and better adapting them to the uncertainties of climate change, farmers have effectively increased local agro-biodiversity. At the same time, they have also acquired a strong sense of the value of biological conservation. Evaluations of the program, conducted by graduate students and myself, show that it has improved local livelihoods and wellbeing, most importantly through the provision of increased food security, as well as gender equality. My long term research interests are entirely participatory in nature, located within a theoretical framework of human and political ecology. In addition to long term research in Honduras, I have also worked with farmers in the highlands of Central Mexico and in the Yucatan peninsula, as well as supporting research, primarily through graduate students, in rural communities of southern India.


Country(ies) or Region(s) of Specialization: Honduras, Mexico, India

Keywords: Development, farming, climate change, agro-biodiversity