Agro-ecology applies ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agriculture. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that globally, more than 800 million people worldwide are undernourished. Shockingly, half of these are small-scale farmers and their families, for whom a failed harvest due to drought, or the loss of land caused by irresponsible large-scale land investments, can have a devastating effect on their livelihoods. Climate change and the injustice of hunger require urgent attention, and investment in a model of agriculture that is truly sustainable.
This briefing makes the case for investment in agro-ecology to achieve food security for some of the poorest farmers in the world. It shows how an agro-ecological approach can provide a range of social, economic, and environmental benefits that, with the right policy support and associated investments, can be scaled up to enable smallholder farming communities to achieve sustainable livelihoods.