Peter Gubbels

Organisation : Groundswell International
Category : Civil Society Organization : NOG
Region : Sub Saharan Africa
What are, or should be, the main characteristics of agroecological innovations ? (sentences or key words) : Agroecological innovations are developed by application of ecological processes and knowledge to specific contexts, reflecting key principles: recycling of biomass ; optimizing nutrient availability effective management of organic matter and soil health (biotic activity); minimizing loss of nutrients through sun, air and water through microclimate management, water harvesting and increased soil cover; crop/species diversification at the field and landscape level; Enhancing
  • biological interactions and synergisms within ecological processes and services; facilitates the transition to gradual intensification of ecological processes over time, reducing need for external inputs; is multi-functional addressing not just production/economic viability, but resilience, sustainability, equity, and good nutrition


that take multiple
technological forms according
to the local socio
-
economic needs of fa
rmers and their
biophysical circumstances.
Agroecological innovations are born in situ with the
participation of farmers in a
horizontal (not vertical) manner and technologies are not
standardized but
are
rather
flexible and respond and adapt to each particula
r
situation
Why are these characteristics important for agroecological transitions to sustainable food systems ? : They are particularly well suited for small farming systems that continue to feed people in many parts of the planet, especially in developing countries; have potential to achieve food and nutrition security since they are knowledge intensive, not dependent on external inputs; and are essential to adapt to and mitigate climate change; reduce risks, regenerate the natural resource base, biodiversity and soil health
humanity in a peak oil era
of global climate change and fi
nancial crisis
.
Rece
n
t
r
esearch has
demonstrated
that small diverse farms are more resilient to droughts and
hurricanes.