Agroecology is an alternative type of agriculture compared to conventional practices, generally based on the waste of water, chemicals and monocultures.
The unit on which it works, the agroecosystem, seeks sustainability and productivity through the application of ecological knowledge to its design and management. Do you want to know everything about what agroecology is and its importance , as well as other details? In AgroCorrn we show you the answers below.
- What is agroecology and its approach
- Is agroecology synonymous with organic farming?
- What is the importance of agroecology
- Is agroecology the future of agriculture?
What is agroecology and its approach
We can define agroecology as the science that seeks the application of ecological concepts and principles in agroecosystems to achieve double sustainability. Both at the level of the crop and the local societies that produce it.
Stephen Gliessman and Miguel Altieri are two of the scientists who have made the most contributions to the approach, very rich in theoretical contributions, but it is at the foot of the field where their proposals are put into practice.
Basically, agrosystems are sustainable agri-food systems that are based on principles such as nutrient recycling, diversity, synergies or integration. That is, the treatment of the growing space as a living place, which has value as an end in itself.
The utilitarianism of conventional agriculture is replaced by a more respectful vision of the environment, which implies an optimal use of water, the choice of suitable varieties according to the territory, the preservation of biodiversity, the use of pesticides and green manures. .
Work is done to achieve viable agroforestry and silvopastoral systems, crop rotation is carried out, among other methods of soil quality preservation. Ultimately, these agroecological practices seek to regenerate the environment without threatening it. As a consequence, the environmental impact and toxicity of food is minimized.
Is agroecology synonymous with organic farming?
The answer on whether agroecology and organic farming are the same, we have already advanced, is negative. Let us bear in mind that the purpose of agroecology is to achieve its goal. That is, to achieve that the results are as respectful with nature as possible without giving up productivity that ends the problem of food insecurity.
True to this philosophy, the implementation of agroecology can resort to whatever is necessary. This naturally includes many of the practices of organic farming, permaculture or biodynamics , let’s say. Likewise, if conventional agriculture has some kind of answer that is interesting, it does not have to be considered.
Practices can and should in the beginning obey grand principles of agroecology. But then it will be necessary to reformulate everything necessary to improve the results. One of its leading theorists, M. Griffon, calls such adjustments “bioinspiration.”
Thus, the concept of agroecology is very flexible. There are numerous approaches and definitions, so we will only find consensus with a very broad definition.
The definition of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) could be useful because of its generality. According to it, agroecology is “the study of the relationship of agricultural crops and the environment.”
What is the importance of agroecology
Considering that, among others, agroecology is based on the principles of sustainability and equity, it is easy to intuit that these are not limited only to food production. Actually, that’s right, this way of growing food is also a commitment to solidarity with human beings and with the planet.
Although it is true that agroecology has emerged as a science with an agrarian vocation, in the same way it can be said that it is a social movement . In this sense, it seeks to launch a series of social processes capable of creating positive synergies that achieve human development from the strengthening of the local economy .
Well thought out, it is logical that it should be so. Its coherence and global vision goes beyond the earth. On the other hand, there is no doubt that both agricultural production and the way the environment is treated determine ways of life, especially in subsistence economies.
After all, natural, material, social and human goods are an interdependent whole when it comes to making decisions in one way or another. That is why agroecology as a science can encompass a myriad of theoretical and practical approaches related to the different orders of life.
Is agroecology the future of agriculture?
The agriculture of the future must face difficult challenges: reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, the pollution that affects biodiversity (especially pollinators) and the toxicity that chemical pesticides pose to humans.
In addition, it is key to maximize productivity or, at least, not be less than that currently achieved with conventional agriculture. Other great challenges refer to the use of resources such as water and soil.
What can agroecology contribute in this regard? According to the famous report on the right to food by Olivier De Schutter, reinventing agriculture is the only way out against the food crisis .
Scutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, a paradigm shift is needed, geared towards agroecology . The report promotes it as a way to end hunger in the poorest areas.
Its productivity and sustainability make it possible. Indeed, the agriculture of the future must be both sustainable and productive enough to support the growing human population. For now, many experts believe that family farming based on the principles of agroecology can feed the world.
If you want to read more articles similar to What is agroecology and its importance , we recommend that you enter our category of Other ecology .
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