There is a broad consensus that agroecology can be instrumental in achieving a wide range of policy, environmental and food security targets, from sustainability related goals to the reduction of rural poverty.
Building on the 1st International Symposium on Agroecology for Food Security and Nutrition, held in Rome in 2014, and the subsequent regional seminars organized in 2015 and 2016, FAO will host the 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology: Scaling Up agroecology to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in April 2018.
This second symposium aim at moving agroecology from dialogue to activities at the regional and country level by providing an opportunity for sharing ideas and experiences, while discussing policies and actions that can support agroecology in achieving the SDGs and accompany the decade of Family Farming.
The Symposium will take a multi-stakeholder, multi-sectorial and multi-disciplinary approach. About 400 participants are expected to attend, from policy-mak
Agroecology is an umbrella term for many different practices that have the systems approach in common.
All agroecological practices contribute to a more resilient, coherent and cyclic system for effective use of soil and water, nutrients, seeds, plants, animals, sun, rain, temperature and organic matter. The core of agroecology has to do with increasing capacity for location specificity in practices that influence local agroecological systems.
Climate resilience and circular economy are important issues in agroecology.
In 2018, network members seek to promote integration for sustainable agriculture in the following areas:
- Integrated soil fertility management
- Integrated pest management
- Institutional integration
The Agroecology Platform collaborated with the University of Padova (Italy) and with Catholic University (Ethiopia) to make the 6-day Sustainable Use of Biodiversity and Agroecology course (Jan 22-27) a success, contributing particularly through expertise of the network members on the first day and by organizing the field visit to a Botanical Garden and Organic Farm on the 6th and final day of the course. On the opening day of the course three Agroecology network members made presentations:
• Dr. Fentahun Mengistu of AKLDP presented What is Agroecology? Issues and Examples from the Ethiopian context
• Dr. Zewdie Kassa of AAU presented on Ethiopian Agrobiodiversity
• Dr. Hailu Araya of Pelum Ethiopia presented recent Research Findings on Agroecological Practices in the Horn of Africa
AgriProFocus organized Agroecology Network member participation and the field visit learning activities. About 35 professionals p... Read more
Over the course of 9 years Seblewongel Sedesse has created a productive organic farm and biodiversity sanctuary on 10 hectares of formerly barren and degraded land situated near Holeta, Ethiopia.
When Seblewongel acquired her land it was covered with gullies, Eucalyptus stumps and no vegetation. Since then, she has rehabilitated the land naturally, by manually removing the Eucalyptus stumps, levelling the gullied land, applying mature chicken and cow manure, and promoting natural regeneration with indigenous plants such as agam and kaga. A new stream has sprung up on her property as a result of her land rehabilitation efforts.
At this time, over 4000 species have been documented in Seblewongel’s botanical garden. Her organic farm produces indigenous varieties of wheat as well as potatoes and teff. She also has livestock - goats and mixed-breed cows - from which she raises organic meat, and makes traditional cheese.... Read more
Now updated and available for download here.
A practical reference guide for implementing permaculture techniques that are specific to tropical climates. It is a gift of ‘permaculture knowledge’ from Timor Leste to the region.A complete permaculture guide for anyone to read and apply. Enables sustainable food production and food sovereignty. Facilitates climate resilience, and environmental regeneration. Empowers communities and secures livelihoods. 18 easy to follow chapters, 900+ pages with over 2000 detailed illustrations. More chapters will be added as they become available.
The book chapters are divided into three volumes with the following sub-themes:
From WithOnePlanet Climate Change Education.
This learning trip was hosted by the partners of the Agroecology Platform - AgriProFocus, Canadian Food Grains Bank and AKLDP with the support of GIZ AMTP, and collaboration from Adama Science and Technology University, Farmers and local government authorities of Menjar, and Melkasa Agricultural Research Center. Please find full report attached.
2nd International Symposium on Agroecology
Dear partners and colleagues,
As you may know, FAO is organizing the 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology (more information here: https://goo.gl/ic7PTf).
Agroecology depends on the co-creation of local capacities and knowledge –often building on traditional knowledge- that works with complex systems under changing environmental, social and economic conditions. That requires shifting the emphasis from traditional technology transfer approaches to identifying, supporting and strengthening the institutions and processes needed to enable innovative ways of knowledge creation and sharing.
As part of the Symposium, FAO will co-organize and host a ‘Market place on innovation for agroecology’. With the present call, we would like to highlight innovative example actions or processes from a wide range of actors involved in agriculture and food systems in their diversity
A new book is available online:
It explains how knowledge built up through firsthand experience can help solve the crisis in the food system. It brings together 57 activists, farmers, practitioners, researchers and community organisers from around the world to take a critical look at attempts to improve the dialogue between people whose knowledge has been marginalised in the past and others who are recognised as professional experts.
Using a combination of stories, poems, photos and
videos, the contributors demonstrate how people’s knowledge can transform the
food system towards greater social and environmental justice. Many of the
chapters also explore the challenges of using action and participatory
approaches to research. Chapter eight discusses a participatory approach to promoting agroecology.
You can download the entire book (14 MB) or single chapters (listed in attached flyer) on the website: http://www.coven... Read more
Organic agriculture is proposed as a promising approach to achieving sustainable food systems, but its feasibility is also contested. In this video, FiBL researcher Adrian Müller presents a food systems model that addresses agronomic characteristics of organic agriculture to analyse the role that organic agriculture could play in sustainable food systems. The results show, that a 100% conversion to organic agriculture needs more land than conventional agriculture but reduces Nitrogen-surplus and pesticide use. However, in combination with reductions of food wastage and food-competing feed from arable land, with correspondingly reduced production and consumption of animal products, land use under organic agriculture remains below the reference scenario. Other indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions also improve. Besides focusing on production, sustainable food systems need to... Read more
Learn all about compost from experts and practitioners. Practically make a compost heap and build your own vermicompost box! Organized by AAU EIABC Landscape Architecture Department in collaboration with Boku and Hamburg Consult. To register to participate, please fill online registration form available via this LINK developed by AgriProFocus.
UPDATE: The PowerPoint Presentations from this workshop are now available upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organic tomatoes, honey, coffee, oils, cheese, fruits and more! This is the second gathering of this new farmers' market organized by Ecopia. Among sellers are Slow Food and AgriProFocus Member Alem of Nutri-Dense with her sprouted cereals. Flyer attached.
As one of the planned agenda items of the 2nd International Symposium on Agroecology: Scaling Up agroecology to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), FAO will select and showcase successful experiences in agroecology in action that can be scaled up and out. We will select 12 cases to be presented by speakers during a session of the International Symposium (10min each presentation). The selection of cases will be based on the following criteria:
· Contribution made to scale-up agroecology
· Potential to be replicated and further scaled-up/out
· Addresses each of the three pillars of sustainability (social environmental and economic)
· Regional balance will be ensured
· For each region, case studies involving governmental and non-governmental initiatives will be included
· All the cases need to be based either on policy or practices... Read more
The Agroecology platform of AgriProFocus Ethiopia hosted a field visit to Menjar area Arerti woreda, BoloSilase kebele.
Bolo Silase kebele of Arerti woreda, has a soil type of silty loam, temperature ranging between 18-33°C. The livelihood of the area is mixed agriculture and livestock Like other parts of the country it is also characterized by rain fed agriculture the cash crops are teff, wheat, chick pea, barley, fruits and onion.
Now-a-day’s climate change is a boundless problem in every corner of the world so the farmers needed to practice soil and water conservation techniques widely. In order to capable of being resilient to environmental shocks they built water harvesting pond and practicing other NRM techniques. In that kebele earthen ponds were built at family level having a capacity of 84 – 129 cubic meter of water and at community level having a capacity of 1,... Read more
26th October 2017
For the Agroecology platform's new Agroecological Weed and Pest Management Working Group, Dr Fentahun from AKLDP presented the overall situation related to the new pest, Fall Army worm (FAW). He also shared a technical brief focusing on the characteristics of the pest, agro-climatic conditions and agro-ecological consistency affecting FAW, and management options and on suggested action points for the FAW in the context of Ethiopia.
Fall Army worm has existed for more than 150 years in Central, Eastern and South America. It is able to attack up to 186 crop species from a wide variety of families. It reproduces quickly and is able to travel far and fast, adult moths flying up to 100 km/day. It was identified in Ethiopia in February 2017, and due to its quick reproductive nature and favorable environmental conditions, it has now present in 8... Read more
26th October 2017
For the agroecology platform facilitated by AgriProFocus, Dr George Deichert from GIZ SLM made a presentation differentiating between Agroecology, CSA, Sustainable Agriculture, Organic Agriculture, Modern Agriculture and other forms of agriculture. He focused on CSA and outlined a framework for rating the degree to which activities can be considered climate smart.
CSA (like agroecology) is defined as more based on principles rather than directive recommendations as per Conventional and Modern Agriculture. The three CSA pillars are adaptation, mitigation and production. GIZ developed guidelines to assess the degree of climate smartness of activities by scoring a range of economic and environmental parameters. It is important to note that sometimes production is weighted so heavily that activities termed as “climate smart” may not actually have true adaptation aspect: increase in productivity (a... Read more
Read about push and pull plants to protect maize crops in the latest issue of African Farming.
As a sideline, they mention the use of sand to protect the young plant (funnel of leaves stage) from the FAW caterpillar. Who has more about this?
3 pages in this link:
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) boss Mr. Igbokwe noted that global agricultural production is already being affected by changes in rainfall and temperature thus compromising food security. “Many studies reveal that small farmers who follow agro-ecological practices cope with, and even prepare for climate change. Through managing on-farm biodiversity and soil cover and by enhancing soil organic matter, agro ecological farmers minimize crop failure under extreme climatic events,” he explained.
Igbokwe noted that global agricultural production is already being affected by changes in rainfall and temperature thus compromising food security.
Full article here
Cotton is grown by smallholder farmers and large commercial farms in Ethiopia’s southern Rift Valley. Production can be challenging as the crop is prone to attack by a wide variety of pests, especially African Boll-worm Helicoverpa Armigera and sucking pests like White flies and Aphids. Farmers have to manage these and other pests effectively to gain decent yield, profit from their cotton and most have relied on the use of synthetic pesticides for pest control. Cotton farms mainly use older Organophosphate, Organochlorine and Carbamate insecticides, many of which qualify as Highly Hazardous Pesticides (HHPs), including Endosulfan, Malathion, Carbosulfan, Dimethoate and Dicofol (Table 1). Endosulfan is a Persistent Organic Pollutant (POP) listed for global banning under the Stockholm Convention since 2011, yet remains widely in use by... Read more
Value addition can come in many forms. In South Africa, with the Wildlands Trees for Life Programme, community-based tree seedling growers (many of whom are youth) trade their seedlings for food, water tanks, and small business loans. Read more here.
Attention: "Surviving tree project" team from the AgriProFocus Youth in Agribusiness Network, that has been studying tree seedling value chains in Ethiopia - this may be of interest!