Agroecology is not just a way of doing agriculture but, equally importantly, a way of thinking about agriculture holistically, systemically, and ecologically. Along with respect for nature — the soil, water, seeds, etc. — there is equally respect for the people (especially women) engaged in agriculture, including their knowledge, experience, leadership and rights. It is a way of thinking about and doing agriculture that is fundamental to addressing pressing global problems like hunger and climate change.
Industrial agriculture and the “Green Revolution” have not only failed to fully address global hunger, which is much more a problem of unequal access than lack of production; they have also contributed immensely to global warming and water shortages. Scaling up agroecology to address these daunting challenges of our time is crucial — not only to address hunger and inequity but to ensure our collective survival.
Our collegues at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) issued a new report, Scaling up Agroecology: Toward the Realization of the Right to Food, which outlines five principles of agroecology and presents examples of practices that could be used to implement that approach. The report also features a set of ecological as well as socioeconomic indicators of success, and mutually supportive national and international policies that would be needed for that approach to flourish. Read the report by clicking this link.