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Agroecology is the science and know-how behind sustainable agriculture. It combines scientific inquiry with the place-based knowledge and innovation of indigenous and peasant farming communities. Agroecology’s core principles include recycling locally available resources for soil fertility and biological control, integrating crops and livestock, maximizing biodiversity, and emphasizing interactions and productivity across the agricultural system.

In contrast to the top-down delivery of agricultural science and technology, agroecology is knowledge-intensive, emphasizing low-cost techniques that use farmers’ knowledge and experimentation as the starting place. Because it is an approach to agriculture that considers a wide range of issues and recognizes the specificity of each ecosystem, agroecology does not embrace any one particular method of farming.

Today, agroecology-based production systems are seen as a critical component of socially just food sovereignty strategies.

Links and Resources

  • De Schutter, O. (2011, Mar. 8). Report: Agroecology and the Right to Food. Retrieved from
  • Altieri, M., et al. (2012). Nourishing the World Sustainably: Scaling Up Agroecology. Retrieved from
  • University of California, Santa Cruz (USA). (n.d.). Agroecology. Retrieved from
  • Agricultural Transition. (n.d.). Agricultural Transition. Retrieved from
  • Altieri, M. and Toledo, J. (2011). The agroecological revolution in Latin America: rescuing nature, ensuring food sovereignty and empowering peasants. The Journal of Peasant Studies, 38(3), 587-612. Retrieved from
  • The Christensen Fund. (2012). Soil to Sky: Of Agroecology vs. Industrial Agriculture [Infographic]. Retrieved from
  • Ensor, J. (2009). Biodiverse Agriculture for a Changing Climate. Retrieved from
  • Pesticide Action Network North America. (n.d.). Agroecology: Productive, Resilient, Fair & Sustainable. Retrieved from

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