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
flexible and respond and adapt to each particula
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
esearch has
that small diverse farms are more resilient to droughts and