SLU news

Agroecological farming for larger yield and long-term sustainability

Published: 26 September 2012

Successful examples of small-scale agriculture based on agro-ecological principles in Ethiopia, Brazil and the Philippines were shown in a recent study.

Based on three case studies on three different continents the responsible researchers conclude that it is possible to increase production and strengthen the resilience of farming systems by agro-ecological methods that are based on local resources and are improving local ecosystem functions.

Examples of important components in the systems were the use of compost to improve soil structure and water holding capacity, intercropping of trees and crops (agroforestry), and through local selection develop a variety of varieties such as rice adapted to site conditions.

The researchers stressed the importance of local participation and joint agreements to develop sustainable practices and bring about change. At the same time there was a call for analyses on how agriculture based on local management and agro-ecological methods can be developed on a larger scale, in order to produce more food surplus for a growing urban population.