Agroecology is the science and practice of applying ecological concepts, principles and knowledge to the study, design and management of sustainable agroecosystems.
Instead of relying on synthetic pesticides and fertilisers to control pests and provide the nutrients for crop growth, agroecological farming aims to replace chemicals with biology. Maximum use is made of the beneficial interactions between different organisms.
Agroecology aims to develop and maintain an agroecosystem that works with nature, not against it. This farming system involves:
> adapting to local environments
> providing the most favourable soil conditions for plant growth
> promoting biodiversity
> enhancing beneficial biological interactions
> minimising losses of energy and water
> minimising the use of non-renewable external resources
> maximising the use of farmers’ knowledge and skills.
Agroecology goes beyond simply a set of farming practices. It embraces a social movement of individuals and community groups growing and supplying food in ways that help people reconnect to the land. (Source: PAN UK)
The Committee on World Food Security policy negotiations on agroecological and other innovative approaches are taking place at the moment, and through World Health Day. Let’s shift to agroecology.