AgroecologyAgroecologyAgroecology is the study of ecological processes applied to agricultural production systems. Bringing ecological principles to bear in agroecosystems can suggest novel management approaches that would not otherwise be considered. The term is often used imprecisely a…en.wikipedia.orgissustainable farming that works with nature. Ecology is the study of relationships between plants,animals,people,and their environment – and the balance between these relationships. Agroecology is the application of ecological concepts and principals in farming.
What is an ecological approach to agriculture?
An Ecological Approach to Agriculture. What is Agroecology? Agroecology shares much in common with other approaches to sustainable farming. Agroecology is farming that “centers on food production that makes the best use of nature’s goods and services while not damaging these resources.”
What is agroecology?
What is agroecology? Agroecology is sustainable farming that works with nature. Ecology is the study of relationships between plants, animals, people, and their environment – and the balance between these relationships. Agroecology is the application of ecological concepts and principals in farming.
What is the difference between agroecology and organic farming?
Although agroecological farming shares some of the same principals as organic farming, agroecology is not associated with a particular type of agriculture. Conventional and organic farms alike can take an agroecological approach to managing farmland. What Is Agroecology? Agroecology views agriculture from a ecological perspective.
What is the ecological farming system?
In other words, the ecological farming system is intended to provide consumers with fresh, tasty and authentic food, while respecting the natural life cycle of the systems. To achieve this, ecological farming is based on a number of objectives and principles as well as on good practices designed to minimize the impact of man on the environment:
What is the difference between agroecology and ecology?
Agroecology is sustainable farming that works with nature. Ecology is the study of relationships between plants, animals, people, and their environment – and the balance between these relationships. Agroecology is the application of ecological concepts and principals in farming. Agroecology promotes farming practices that;
What is the 10 years for agroecology project?
The Ten Years for Agroecology project models how the UK and the rest of Europe can transition to a food and farming model to reduce climate impacts, support wildlife to bounce back and feed a growing population a healthy diet.
What is organic food?
Organic food is clearly labelled and provides a guarantee that your products have been produced to some of the highest environmental standards. However, to achieve an agroecological future, everybody – farmers, caterers, shops and citizens – needs to support a new way of thinking about food, farming and the environment.
What is agroecology?
Agroecology is an umbrella term that covers lots of agricultural practices that you may be more familiar with, like organic, biodynamic or permaculture.
Why are organic farmers important?
All organic farmers are required to meet a strict set of standards. These standards guarantee higher animal welfare, fewer pesticides and antibiotics and no GMOs. Organic practices also support more jobs on farms, healthy soil and more on-farm wildlife.
Why do farmers plant trees?
Grazing farm animals under trees gives them shelter and fodder, whilst their manure enriches the soil. And planting trees on land normally used to grow cereal crops can provide another crop – be that fruit, nuts or timber. This provides another income stream for farmers and also protects soils from erosion, as the trees’ deep roots help create a healthy soil structure.
How do farmers and communities give power to approaches led by local people?
Put farmers and communities in the driving seat – they give power to approaches led by local people and adapt agricultural techniques to suit the local area – and its specific social, environmental and economic conditions.
What did Kelle and other farmers do in the Sahel?
They learned to mulch, intercrop legumes with grains, and apply agroforestry techniques. Now, Kelle and other farmers are restoring moisture to the Sahel soil and shifting away from chemically-intensive agriculture.
What is CIKOD funded by?
Funded in part by a grant from the AgroEcology Fund, CIKOD also allied with a coalition of Ghanaian NGOs to block pro-GMO legislation, enabling farmers to retain control over their seeds. By joining hands with the African Food Sovereignty Alliance, organized farmers seek to influence the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and spread agroecology across the continent.
What is an agroecology?
Agroecology is farming that “centers on food production that makes the best use of nature’s goods and services while not damaging these resources. ”.
What are consumers demanding?
Consumers are increasingly demanding healthier food and a closer connection to food producers. Social movements around the globe – many with significant leadership by women’s and indigenous organizations – are coalescing in campaigns for a healthy food system built on an environmental and human rights ethos.
Where is Kelle Gregory?
For Kelle Gregory, a farmer in the Upper West region of Ghana, farming had become just plain hard. Kelle and his neighbors face parched and eroding soils, government policies inviting corporate GMO seeds, and low prices for their harvests.
Is agroecology a mitigation strategy?
Too frequently, the corporate food system has negative impacts on people’s health, the environment, and the well-being of family farmers. Agroecology is recognized as both a mitigation and adaptation strategy for climate change. Consumers are increasingly demanding healthier food and a closer connection to food producers. Social movements around the globe – many with significant leadership by women’s and indigenous organizations – are coalescing in campaigns for a healthy food system built on an environmental and human rights ethos. The demand for agroecology is rising.
What is the Muscatine Island LTAR?
The Muscatine Island LTAR is a long-term agroecological farming site as well as a soil fertility research field where research has shown the benefits of agroecological farming. In a study comparing the yield of fruit quantity of conventional versus organic peppers, no significant difference in yield was found, but organic peppers fetched prices 70 percent higher at market value. Analyzing this study economically, the organic plants cost more to produce, but being able to sell them for more, they far exceeded the conventional plants in profits made. The benefits of the organic method reach beyond profit. In this study, soil fertility in organic plots actually improved over time. The Muscatine Island LTAR allows for long-term cropping systems experiments that have land tenure and advanced management.
What is agroecological farming?
Many farmers and communities worldwide have discovered a possible solution through a technique known as agroecological farming. The idea behind agroecological farming is to link ecology, culture, economics and society to foster a healthy environment for food production. It focuses on food production that maximizes the use …
Why is agroecological farming more efficient than conventional farming?
It focuses on food production that maximizes the use of goods and services without harming these resources in return. Studies show that agroecological farming programs are more efficient than conventional methods. Improving upon efficiency also increases cost efficiency.
Why is agroecological farming important?
Agroecological farming allows farmers to participate in innovative processes where creativity and skills are encouraged to jump-start agriculture and food production, which forms the basis for life as well as the economy . Agriculture, especially agroecological farming, and food production are centers for addressing challenges like hunger …
How does agriculture help the world?
The U.N. confirms that agroecological farming could double global food production within ten years, reduce the effects of climate change and help alleviate poverty . This farming style also conserves biodiversity …
How can agroecological farmers help the local biodiversity?
Additionally, agroecological farmers might help enhance local biodiversity by doing a combination of the following: Regularly rotating crops and introducing legumes to naturally increase nitrogen in the soil thanks to their symbiosis with bacteria. Developing livestock systems with local species and breeds.
What is the difference between agroecology and farming?
On the other hand, agroecology farming systems favor diversity. From a biological perspective, agroecology enhances the variety of species in a specific environment. In agroecology practices, farmers include a wide variety of local plant species and even add or maintain existing bushes and trees.
How do farmers help the environment?
In agroecology practices, farmers include a wide variety of local plant species and even add or maintain existing bushes and trees. Additionally, agroecological farmers might help enhance local biodiversity by doing a combination of the following: 1 Regularly rotating crops and introducing legumes to naturally increase nitrogen in the soil thanks to their symbiosis with bacteria. 2 Developing livestock systems with local species and breeds.
What are the problems with traditional farming?
One of the biggest problems with traditional agriculture methods is the high quantities of nitrogen in chemical fertilizers. Crops absorb 50% of the nitrogen but the rest remains in the soil and ends up polluting groundwater.
How does agroecology support agriculture?
Similarly, agroecology farming systems support healthy diets that are diverse enough to sustain many different cultural dietary needs. In other words, it promotes locally-sourced foods that are good for the people, put money back into the local economy, bring awareness to indigenous crops, and protects diverse crop species.
What is agroecology farming?
In layman’s terms, agroecology farming is set up to where there is a synergy between all of its practices and methods in order to more efficiently fight a common problem: climate change. Agroecology seeks to slow or reverse our rapidly changing climate.
How has agriculture affected the world?
However, these farming methods have caused some of the worst damage to the planet through deforestation, polluting waterways, contributing to the loss of biodiversity and desertification.
How does agroecology address poverty?
Agroecology addresses the root causes of hunger, poverty and inequality by helping to transform food systems and build resilient livelihoods through a holistic approach that balances the three dimensions of sustainability – social, economic and environmental. Agroecological agriculture (of which organic is one system) supports small farms …
What is the Soil Association?
The Soil Association, in partnership with Send a Cow, has promoted training programs and demonstrated the long-term viability of smallholder agroecological farming. This training includes resource planning, conflict resolution and enterprise development, as well as supporting access to assets such as livestock, seeds and tools.
How can agroecological techniques improve resilience?
Agroecological techniques can improve the resilience of farming systems by increasing diversification through poly-cropping, agroforestry, integrated crop and livestock systems, and the use of local varieties. This resilience can reduce the risks of pests and diseases and the costs of seeds.
What is agroecological agriculture?
Agroecological agriculture (of which organic is one system) supports small farms that are diverse, integrated and use low levels of input to ensure the long-term balance between food production and the sustainability of natural resources.
How can soil resilience help?
This resilience can reduce the risks of pests and diseases and the costs of seeds. The management of soil fertility through rotations, cover crops and manuring can increase soil water retention or drainage, offer a better response to droughts and floods, reduce the need for irrigation, and help avoid land degradation.
How many people in Africa don’t have enough food?
Credit: Send a Cow. More than 220 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not have enough to eat, and nearly one in four are undernourished. With population growth outpacing food production, and sixty percent or more of the region’s population depending on agriculture for food and income, those numbers are growing.
Is agroecology the future of agriculture?
A number of international organisations and African NGOs argue that agroecology should be the future of agriculture on the continent. But broader adoption requires training and support for farmers to embrace the approach, instead of relying on the short-term convenience of expensive chemical inputs.
Partnering to scale up organic agriculture in Bhutan
Agriculture is the mainstay of the people of Bhutan. More than 63% of the rural population depends on agriculture for their livelihoods.
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When you donate, you become a part of a dedicated network of individuals and groups working to preserve Bhutan’s pristine natural environment and incredible biodiversity for generations to come. Whatever financial support you pledge will be used to aid our projects in schools, communities, and nature throughout the country.
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At RSPN, we believe a single grain of sand can tip the scale. You can be the grain that tips the scale towards improved environmental conditions and conservation efforts in Bhutan. RSPN has set a target to raise US$ 1.5 million for next 10 years.
What is Seed the Commons?
Seed the Commons has started bringing together the visions of these movements by playing a central role in building the veganic farming movement. Borrowing from the successes of groups like La Via Campesina, we created spaces for veganic farmers to learn and build solidarity with each other and to educate the public. Veganic farmers have lacked visibility in the broader ecological farming and environmental movement, even when they are present. Helen Atthowe is a recognized expert in ecological farming but not explicitly identified as veganic. We’ve sought to remedy this by bringing veganic panels to grassroots environmental conferences and building awareness among those already involved in food-related activism. Working with allies in the environmental movement, we organized the farmer’s contingent at the 2018 Rise for Climate, Jobs and Justice march in San Francisco; it called for a transition to small-scale farming and was led by veganic farmers from across North America. We have worked with academics to research and publicize information on veganic farming and we have found that one of the key areas for improvement is in education for beginning farmers; at the moment, animal-based agriculture is the norm across the spectrum of educational programs. We offered some veganic gardening workshops, but a large-scale transformation of curricula is needed as well as the creation of vegan agroecological horizontal programs.
Why is it important to manage mycorrhizae?
Therefore, it is very important to manage indigenous mycorrhizae when soil nutrients, especially P, are limited under field conditions. Since chemical and biological factors in the soil strongly affect nutrient management, mycorrhizal inoculation is important for sustainable agriculture. For sustainable nutrient and water management, soil and crop management can help to get maximum benefit from indigenous mycorrhizae using selected mycorrhizal spore ( Orta? 2003) or producing mycorrhiza-inoculated seedlings ( Ortas et al., 2011 ). Also under field conditions, rhizosphere management is possible using crop rotation, compost and other organic fertilizers, and using beneficial soil organisms. Bowen and Rovira (1999) suggested that a well-managed rhizosphere would increase soil and plant quality. Rhizosphere management can increase the number of useful microorganisms in the plant–soil system. It is also very important to manage the indigenous mycorrhizae when the soil nutrients, especially phosphorus, are limited under field conditions.
Why is mycorrhizal symbiosis important?
Mycorrhizal symbiosis is a widespread, natural biological occurrence. Ecologically important, it invariably has benefits for both the plant host and fungal symbiont. Carbohydrates from the plant are utilized by the microorganism for its energy requirements, whilst the plant takes up mineral ions more effectively via the fungal hyphae.
What are some fruits that are used in fried snacks?
In other parts of the world a variety of fruits is used for the production of fried snacks, e.g. plantain, cassava or banana. A major asset of the new group of savoury snacks is the use of frying oils, specifically those characterized by a high oleic acid content.
What is integrated farming?
In reaction to these problems, Integrated Farming Systems have been developed as a coherent new vision on agriculture alongside other concepts such as ecologic al farming.
How many ha are used for farming systems research?
For the farming systems research, a total area of 225 ha is used: 135 ha for the integrated farm and 90 ha for the ecological farm.
Why is fertilizer important for agriculture?
For better and proper plant growth it is necessary to have fertilizer added to the soil. World fertilizer sources are becoming depleted and in the near future it will be difficult to find rock phosphate sources for phosphorus fertilizer manufacturing. Increasing fertilizer use has recently affected both human health and natural life. Since fertilizers are expensive t has become increasingly difficult for developing countries to afford. Also some countries, especially some in Asia and Africa, have insufficient income to buy fertilizer to attain greater yields. Because of their high clay and lime contents, most Mediterranean soils are poor in availability of macro- and micronutrients, such as P, Zn, and Fe, which are diffusion-limited in soils. Also, in semiarid areas, high calcium carbonate content, high pH, and low organic matter content influence soil fertility and nutrient uptake. In Mediterranean coastal areas there is a serious problem with soilborne diseases, such as plant parasitic nematodes, soilborne plant pathogens, root-rot, and some weed pests. Nearly 25% of yield reduction is occurring year to year for wheat, banana, citrus, and vegetable crops. Farmers are also seriously challenged by parasitism. It is imperative to find an ecological approach for food security and safety.
Is Organic Food Agroecological?
Not necessarily. Most of the organic food you see in the grocery store is from industrial operations that do not think ecologically. Instead of managing their farmland as ecosystems, large-scale organic farms focus solely on producing as much food as possible.
Can Conventional Farms Be Agroecological?
It’s not just small, alternative farms that are thinking ecologically. Conventional, industrial farms can practice agroecology as well. Some use synthetic chemicals only as a last resort, instead relying on biological management strategies – such as beneficial insect predators, crop rotation, and monitoring of fields for pests – to increase yield. Understanding ecolabels is the best way to determine whether conventional produce is grown agroecologically.
How can agroecology help the ecosystem?
Conventional and organic farms alike can also practice agroecology by setting aside a portion of their farmland for conservation. Restoring farmland to natural habitat increases the number of native plant and animal species on farms , and can also repair important ecosystem functions. Restored land can store atmospheric carbon dioxide, control erosion, detoxify soil, purify water, provide habitat for insect predators that keep pests at bay, and much more.
What is agroecology in agriculture?
What Is Agroecology? Agroecology views agriculture from a ecological perspective. Farmland, after all, is an ecosystem – a complex network in which every living and nonliving component of the system affects every other component, either directly or indirectly. This ecosystem view of agriculture considers all of the services provided by farmland …
What is agroecological farming?
Agroecological farming strives to create stable food production systems that are resilient to environmental perturbations such as climate change and disease. The only way to achieve this goal is to go beyond thinking of farms as linear systems in which inputs (acreage, fertilizer, pesticides, etc.) influence output (food yield), and start treating farmland as complex webs of ecological interactions.
How can livestock help the farmland ecosystem?
By allowing animals to perform their natural behaviors , farmers can use livestock to enhance the farmland ecosystem. For instance, chickens can be moved from field to field to clean up vegetable patches before a new crop is planted.
Why are there alternative farms?
There are plenty of small, alternative farms striving to create sustainable food production systems. Farms that focus on restoring and maintaining soil health are less dependent on chemical inputs, because plants grown in healthy soil can better access their natural defenses to ward off pests and disease.
What are the different types of ecological farming?
There are several types of ecological farming that are based on balance and respect for the environment, such as biodynamic agriculture, natural agriculture or Fukuoka, synergistic agriculture, messianic agriculture, permaculture, etc.
Why are ecological products better than conventional products?
Ecological products are healthier since they are free from persistent toxic waste from pesticides, insecticides, antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, additives and preservatives, many of which are used in conventional agriculture to eliminate insects or pests and fight diseases and to add color (like in the case of apples, oranges, etc.)
Why is ecological farming important?
Ecological farming, also called organic or biological, is based on the premise that the crops take advantage of natural resources to , for example , fight pests, maintain or increase soil fertility, etc., without resorting to synthetic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides, antibiotics, …
How does farming help the environment?
In the spirit of this idea, many farmers currently maintain, or plant, hedges to prevent the erosion of the land under the influence of wind. At the same time, these hedges and the various natural edges around the land help create ideal habitats for birds, insects and other wildlife on farm land, thus contributing to overall biodiversity. By using interstitial crops and crop protection and by improving soil humus content, ecological methods can help prevent infiltration of nutrients in groundwater and surface waters and reduce the risk of soil erosion, minimizing the risks of water contamination.
What is the purpose of prohibition of genetically modified organisms?
Prohibition of the use of genetically modified organisms; Encouraging a diverse ecosystem to maintain soil fertility and control pests by natural means (such as using animal manure and farm feed as fertilizer);
What causes residues of pesticides to appear in the food from this agriculture that we ingest daily?
Hundreds of chemical pesticides are commonly used in conventional agriculture which causes residues of pesticide to appear in the food from this agriculture that we ingest daily. Different toxicological studies show the relationship between pesticides and certain pathologies such as cancer, allergies and asthma.
Why is it important to respect the environment?
Respecting the environment is one of the advantages of ecological products. When farmers grow ecological crops, they take part in the conservation of the environment and avoid contamination of land, water and air. Ecological farming is the most respectful of wildlife, because it produces a lower pollution of aerosols, …
How does agroecology help the SDGs?
Agroecology places a strong emphasis on human and social values, such as dignity, equity, inclusion and justice all contributing to the improved livelihoods dimension of the SDGs. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems. By building autonomy and adaptive capacities to manage their agro-ecosystems, agroecological approaches empower people and communities to overcome poverty, hunger and malnutrition, while promoting human rights, such as the right to food, and stewardship of the environment so that future generations can also live in prosperity. Agroecology seeks to address gender inequalities by creating opportunities for women. Globally, women make up almost half of the agricultural workforce. They also play a vital role in household food security, dietary diversity and health, as well as in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. In spite of this, women remain economically marginalised and vulnerable to violations of their rights, while their contributions often remain unrecognized.25
How does agroecology improve socioeconomic resilience?
Agroecological approaches can equally enhance socio-economic resilience. Through diversification and integration, producers reduce their vulnerability should a single crop, livestock species or other commodity fail. By reducing dependence on external inputs, agroecology can reduce producers’ vulnerability to economic risk. Enhancing ecological and socio- economic resilience go hand-in-hand – after all, humans are an integral part of ecosystems.
How does agroecological system improve the use of natural resources?
Agroecological systems improve the use of natural resources, especially those that are abundant and free, such as solar radiation, atmospheric carbon and nitrogen. By enhancing biological processes and recycling biomass, nutrients and water, producers are able to use fewer external resources, reducing costs and the negative environmental impacts of their use. Ultimately, reducing dependency on external resources empowers producers by increasing their autonomy and resilience to natural or economic shocks. One way to measure the efficiency of integrated systems is by using Land Equivalent Ratios (LER).20
Why are agroecological systems more resilient?
Diversified agroecological systems are more resilient – they have a greater capacity to recover from disturbances including extreme weather events such as drought, floods or hurricanes, and to resist pest and disease attack. Following Hurricane Mitch in Central America in 1998, biodiverse farms including agroforestry, contour farming and cover cropping retained 20–40 percent more topsoil, suffered less erosion and experienced lower economic losses than neighbouring farms practicing conventional monocultures.23
Why is diversification important in agroecological transitions?
Diversification is key to agroecological transitions to ensure food security and nutrition while conserving, protecting and enhancing natural resources.
What is LER in agriculture?
LER compares the yields from growing two or more components (e.g. crops, trees, animals) together with yields from growing the same components individually . Integrated agroecological systems frequently demonstrate higher LERs. Agroecology thus promotes agricultural systems with the necessary biological, socio-economic and institutional diversity and alignment in time and space to support greater efficiency.
How can agroecology help reverse the trend?
Agroecology can help reverse these trends by managing and conserving agro-biodiversity, and responding to the increasing demand for a diversity of products that are eco-friendly. One such example is ‘fish-friendly’ rice produced from irrigated, rainfed and deepwater rice ecosystems, which values the diversity of aquatic species and their importance for rural livelihoods.11