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Scaling Up Agroecology - Guiding the transition to more sustainable, efficient, equitable and inclusive food systems

Guiding the transition to more sustainable, efficient, equitable and inclusive food systems










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    52 Profiles on Agroecology: Agroecological Transition in Mexico: ANEC’s journey to a Better Farm and Food System 2017
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    By minimizing the use of external inputs and decreasing dependency on global commodity markets, agroecological approaches enable small farmers to survive some of the challenges posed by climate change, volatile prices and unfavourable government policies. Examining how agroecology fosters resilience and resistance to damaging industrial agricultural practices and policies can lend insight into how to promote and scale out agroecological approaches, by overcoming the various political and economi c obstacles to a truly equitable and sustainable food system. Countless countries have policies and programs that support an extractive agro-industrial system, creating institutional barriers to a transition. Many farmers must compete in a global commodity market that rewards mechanization and foments dependency on often subsidized harmful chemical inputs. In such a context, what policies and programs might foster a transition to agroecology? What are the best practices for supporting farmers in this transition? The experience of farmer organizations and the rural social movements at the forefront of agroecological innovation and the struggle for food sovereignty can shed the light on these questions. The following case study examines the experience of one such farmer’s organization in Mexico.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    The 10 elements of agroecology
    Guiding the transition to sustainable food and agricultural systems
    2018
    Today’s food and agricultural systems have succeeded in supplying large volumes of food to global markets. However, high-external input, resource-intensive agricultural systems have caused massive deforestation, water scarcities, biodiversity loss, soil depletion and high levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Despite significant progress in recent times, hunger and extreme poverty persist as critical global challenges. Even where poverty has been reduced, pervasive inequalities remain, hindering poverty eradication. Integral to FAO’s Common Vision for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, agroecology is a key part of the global response to this climate of instability, offering a unique approach to meeting significant increases in our food needs of the future while ensuring no one is left behind. Agroecology is an integrated approach that simultaneously applies ecological and social concepts and principles to the design and management of food and agricultural systems. It seeks to optimize the interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment while taking into consideration the social aspects that need to be addressed for a sustainable and fair food system. Agroecology is not a new invention. It can be identified in scientific literature since the 1920s, and has found expression in family farmers’ practices, in grassroots social movements for sustainability and the public policies of various countries around the world. More recently, agroecology has entered the discourse of international and UN institutions.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    How can the farmer field school approach be used to support agroecological transitions in family farming in the Global South?
    Recommendations for farmer field school facilitators, agricultural development project designers and managers
    2022
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    The key to implementing farmer field schools (FFS) is to trigger an experimentation process based on collaboration between a group of farmers and a facilitator. The purpose of this document is to provide project managers, technicians and designers with practical information on how to use the FFS approach and adapt it to their context of intervention to support the agroecological transition (AET). It also will be useful for research staff, leaders of farmers' organizations (FOs), teachers and students interested in using the FFS approach or better understand its benefits. The findings and recommendations proposed in this document are the result of a partnership between three institutions working to support AET in the Global South: CIRAD, FAO and the NGO AVSF (Agronomists and Veterinarians Without Borders). This document has four parts: - Definition of the FFS approach and its principles, and characterization of the advantages of this approach to supporting family farm AET in the Global South, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. - Presentation of several important points for a successful FFS, i.e. to strengthen farmers' skills to practically and collectively solve the problems they encounter. This second part is aimed specifically at development project managers and field technicians and facilitators. - Recommendations for project designers and managers for including FFS in development projects. - Proposal of ways in which FSS could evolve to better take into account the needs of farmers and other actors engaged in AET.

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