Why we must scale up agroecology for resilient farming

Agroecology is a holistic, nature-based approach to agriculture that focuses on empowering farmers and supporting value additions, thereby allowing farmers to adapt to climate change and sustainably utilize natural resources.

Integrated Approach

The global warming and environmental degradation have renewed focus on agroecology – a scientific discipline that simultaneously applies ecological as well as social concepts to the design and management of agri-systems.

This integrated approach seeks to harmonize the interactions between flora, fauna, humans beings and the environment while taking into account the social aspects that need to be addressed for a sustainable plus fair food system.

Is Agroecology a new invention?

Agroecology is certainly not a new invention. You can identify the same in scientific literature since the 1920s, and it has even found expression in farmers’ practices, social movements as well as the public policies of various countries worldwide. More recently, this term has entered the discourse of international organisations.

Major Benefits of Agroecology

• Agroecological systems are extremely diverse, optimizing the diversity of species and genetic resources in a number of ways. For instance, agroforestry systems organize shrubs and trees of different heights and shapes at different levels, increasing vertical diversity.

While intercropping combines complementary species to increase spatial diversity, crop rotations increase temporal diversity.

• As agroecology is based on bottom-up and territorial processes, it helps to deliver
contextualised solutions to local problems.

• Agroecology addresses the
root causes of problems in an integrated way and provides holistic and long-term
solutions.

• This concept also incorporates an explicit focus on social as well as economic dimensions of food systems.

• Not only this, agroecology also places a strong focus on the rights of women, youth and indigenous communities.