PAN India is working to make India a world leader in Agroecology
Agroecology is the science behind sustainable agriculture. It is the science of applying ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems. It includes the study of the ecological processes in farming systems such as: nutrient cycling, carbon cycling/sequestration, water cycling, food chains within and between trophic groups (microbes to top predators), lifecycles, herbivore/predator/prey/host interactions, pollination, etc. It also includes examination of the role of and impacts on farmers, who are themselves recognized to be an inseparable, integral part of the agroecosystem.
Agroecological farming supports the multifunctional dimensions of agriculture, which include not only food, jobs and economic well-being, but also culture, social and environmental benefits, and important ecosystem services such as pollination, natural pest control, nutrient and water cycling and erosion control. Taking account of agriculture’s multi-functionality, agroecology measures sustainability in terms of social, environmental and economic impacts. Because these impacts are context- dependent, agroecology is a place-based, pragmatic science, uniquely suited to delivering on the promise of pro-poor development.
what do the experts say
International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) Report
“If we do persist with business as usual, the world’s people cannot be fed over the next half-century. It will mean more environmental degradation, and the gap between the haves and have-nots will expand. We have an opportunity now to marshal our intellectual resources to avoid that sort of future. Otherwise we face a world nobody would want to inhabit.”
- Professor Robert T. Watson, Director of the IAASTD
The IAASTD report provides policy options for how agricultural knowledge, science and technology can reduce hunger and poverty, improve rural livelihoods and human health, and facilitate equitable and environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development.
Olivier de Schutter, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food presented his new report “Agro-ecology and the right to food” in 2011
“Agroecology and the Right to Food”, Report presented at the 16th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Based on an extensive review of recent scientific literature, the report demonstrates that agroecology, if sufficiently supported, can double food production in entire regions within 10 years while mitigating climate change and alleviating rural poverty. The report therefore calls States for a fundamental shift towards agroecology as a way for countries to feed themselves while addressing climate and poverty challenges.
The core principles of agroecology include recycling nutrients and energy on the farm, rather than introducing external inputs; integrating crops and livestock; diversifying species and genetic resources in agroecosystems over time and space; and focusing on interactions and productivity across the agricultural system, rather than focusing on individual species.
Drawing on the natural and social sciences,
agroecology provides a framework for assessing
four key systems properties of agriculture:
Productivity, Resilience, Sustainability and Equity.
Agroecology contributes to strengthen Rural Livelihoods
Seven Principles of Agroecology
New Publication on Agroecology from PAN International
Phasing out highly hazardous pesticides with Agroecology: Pesticide Action Network released book at ICCM4
At the 4th International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM4) in Geneva, Pesticide Action Network (PAN) International released its book Replacing Chemicals with Biology: Phasing out highly hazardous pesticides with agroecology.
The new PAN book was written to address the concerns of policy makers around the world who are faced with the need to replace the use of highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs) with safer and sustainable alternatives.
“Replacing Chemicals with Biology: Phasing out Highly Hazardous Pesticides with Agroecology” provides powerful evidence from The current model of industrial agriculture is a dead end every region of the world of improved yields, greater profitability for farmers, improved health, improved food security and sovereignty, greater resilience to adverse climate events, better opportunities for women farmers, improved biodiversity and social benefits such as better cooperation between farmers and within communities. For example, farmers practicing Community Managed Sustainable Agriculture in India find that their costs have been slashed by a third whilst yields have been maintained. There are seven core principles of agroecology which aim to develop and maintain an agroecosystem that works with nature, not against it – creating a balance that keeps pests in check.
This publication Provide information drawn from all regions to assist countries in replacing Highly Hazardous Pesticides with ecosystem-based approaches to pest and crop management – replacing chemicals with biology. It draws together previously published and new material in a form that is accessible for policy- and decision-makers at the national and international level, as well as providing practical guidance at the farm and farm-support level. It also points out that use, and phasing out, of HHPs must be seen in the context not only of human health and environmental impacts and costs, but also in the context of food security, poverty reduction, and climate change
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