De Schutter – the case for Agroecology

The budding field of agroecology represents a synthesis between ecology and agronomy. Embracing traditional, local knowledge as much as modern science it has already produced impressive results in the field: increasing crop yields, lowering input costs, enhancing soils, and combating deforestation. Yet despite these proven benefits, agroecological methods are scorned or ignored by most food policy makers. Why neglect such a promising toolbox? In a recent article, Olivier De Schutter, UN special rapporteur on the right to food, makes the case for agroecology and identifies the political and economic obstacles to expanding its implementation. The solution to hunger is not to continue the toxic trajectory of the original Green Revolution or rely on an expensive and hazardous ‘gene revolution,’ as promoted by AGRA.  The world can not afford to choose between productivity and sustainability—we need both, and fast. If given a chance, agroecology has the potential to  produce abundant food, sustain livelihoods, and safeguard the environment.


One thought on “De Schutter – the case for Agroecology”

  1. This untried approach relies on agroecology, which claims to be the application of ecological science to sustainable agriculture. However, agroecology is unable to contribute to two apparent paradoxes of global food production: 1) most of our food, from small plots of rice to vast fields of soyabean, comes from monocultures – supposedly biologically unstable; 2) most food, certainly Latin America and Africa, comes from introduced, and not native, crops. But agroecology would suggest that local crops are locally adapted, and therefore somehow better than introduced crops.
    Until agroecology can explain these two paradoxes it should remain a harmless academic study, rather than a probably dangerous approach to feeding people. Lives are at stake but they are not the lives of the people recommending agroecology


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