The current development landscape is dominated by Green Revolution ideals—improved or genetically modified seeds used in capital-intensive large-scale agriculture schemes with a prominent role for pesticides and fertilizers. Rather than contributing to food security and sovereignty, these efforts lead to large tracts of monoculture that prioritize export crops, require increased mechanization, and depend on multinationals for chemicals and seeds.
Agroecology provides another path. It encompasses a wide-variety of practices, which are coherent with key principles of environment preservation, social fairness, and economic viability. Agroecology combines parameters of sound ecological management, like minimizing the use of toxics by using on-farm renewable resources and privileging endogenous solutions to manage pests and disease, with an approach that upholds and secures farmers' livelihoods. Agroecological systems like the Rice Intensification implemented along the Niger River in Mali, can double small farmers’ agricultural output. Supporting smallholder farmers, who already produce over 80 percent of the food consumed in many developing regions, is the quickest way to lift over one billion people out of poverty.
Adhering to a high investigative standard with consideration of local impact and international trends, The Oakland Institute documents and advocates for agro-ecological farming methods that empower local producers.
The Institute’s thirty-three case studies released in 2015 shed light on the tremendous success of agroecological agriculture across the African continent. They demonstrate with facts and figures how an agricultural transformation respectful of the farmers and their environment can yield immense economic, social, and food security benefits while also fighting climate change and restoring soils and the environment.
On October 15th 2019, Malawi’s Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Water Development, Kondwani Nankhuma kicked off the 14th year of the country’s Farm Input Subsidy Program (FISP). The program, which distributes vouchers to farmers that subsidize the cost of fertilizer and "improved" seed varieties, has been the dominant response to persistent food insecurity in the country.
With the clock ticking and the window for change narrowing each day that goes by, it is clear that we need a bold and ambitious campaign to invest in agroecological solutions that build robust, diverse, and resilient food systems in communities across the planet. The good news is, just as is evident in the Himalayas, such bold action won't just help us address climate change--it also has the potential to address systemic issues like poverty and...
ROME, Italy — April 3-5, 2018, hallways of the FAO (UN Food and Agriculture Organization) buzzed with over 700 representatives from government, civil society, private sector, and the UN agencies at the second agroecology symposium. Picking up momentum from the first symposium in 2014, and the subsequent regional meetings held in Latin America , Sub-Saharan Africa , Europe, Central Asia and Asia and the Pacific , the three-day Symposium...
The world faces numerous problems related to agriculture and food. Among these are persistent undernourishment and malnutrition for some while others are obese and overweight; environmental degradation and pollution that threaten the very resource base that agriculture is dependent on; the loss of agricultural biodiversity; high levels of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change; inequalities in access to food; and policies and...