Making the case for agroecology
This issue of Farming Matters Magazine (PDF) published by ILEIA explores innovative ways to demonstrate that agroecology provides critical solutions to the challenges of our time. Agroecology is gaining recognition for its potential to address climate change, biodiversity loss and malnutrition, and many successful examples exist. However, to garner the necessary support in policy and practice, looking differently at ‘progress’, ‘performance’ or ‘success’ of farming and food systems is key. The magazine contains an article that offers a meta-analysis of 50 case studies from 22 African countries that shows the contribution of agroecology in ten of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). These case studies are real life experiences and testimonies of farmers, pastoralists, and other small scale producers in communities across Africa. The trends revealed here make clear the potential of agroecology is not limited to agriculture itself. The way it embraces complexity, diversity and works with nature increases food sovereignty while conserving biodiversity and respecting indigenous farmers’ knowledge and innovations. Yet, a number of authors point out that evidence alone remains insufficient to achieve an agroecological transition, and that the ‘movement’ dimension of agroecology is especially crucial to achieve the necessary political shift.