Why international agricultural research should draw on agroecology to support sustainable food systems

Hauser, M (2020) Why international agricultural research should draw on agroecology to support sustainable food systems. Landbauforschung-Journal Of Sustainable And Organic Agricultural Systems, 70 (2). pp. 49-55. ISSN 0458-6859

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Agroecology is now widely advocated as an alternative paradigm to industrial agriculture (Giraldo, 2019; Kremen et al., 2012; Rausser et al., 2019). In discussions about international agricultural research to increase food security and well-being, however, agroecology is contested. Box 1 defines agroecology as used in this opinion piece. On the one hand, a growing number of farmers, consumer groups and multilateral agencies are committed to agroecology (Bellon and Ollivier, 2018; Frison, 2020; Mier y Terán Giménez Cacho et al., 2018). For agriculture to become more sustainable, as they argue, farmers require greater independence from external inputs, and advance circular agriculture (Harris et al., 2019; HLPE, 2019; IAASTD, 2009). On the other hand, some researchers, governments and private sector actors argue for the intensification of agriculture through different versions of a Green Revolution (Buckwell et al., 2014; Levidow, 2018; World Bank, 2008). Both sides seek means to feed a growing population. Yet, their conclusions about the right technologies, business models or trade policies to achieve this goal differ (Foran et al., 2014). In this position paper, I explore the value of agroecology to support the transformation of agriculture and food systems to deliver food, health and well-being within planetary boundaries (Hatt et al. 2016; Gliessman, 2011).

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Innovation Systems for the Drylands (ISD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agroecology, Agricultural research, Transitions, Sustainable development goals, Paradigm shift
Subjects: Others > Agricultural Research
Others > Sustainable Development
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2021 03:35
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2021 06:10
URI: http://oar.icrisat.org/id/eprint/11717
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: The author thanks Andre van Rooyen, Kai Mausch, Anthony Whitbread, the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions to improve the arguments articulated in this article.
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