Agroecology in tropical and Mediterranean areas
At a time when the planet's resources are already struggling to feed nine billion people, nature is increasingly overexploited and ecosystems are deteriorating. At the same time, inequalities are increasing and poverty persists in many parts of the world, particularly in the countries of the South.
To meet the food and economic needs of growing rural and urban communities in these areas, respond to increasingly demanding consumers, preserve natural resources and adapt to climate change, it is becoming urgent to produce differently.
There is no unique solution, but diversified agro-ecological practices adapted to local contexts.
A new agro-ecological agriculture in tropical and Mediterranean areas is first and foremost an agriculture that is efficient in terms of production, and in terms of income for the farmer who often works in precarious conditions.
It is also and above all an agriculture that provides other "ecosystem services", such as carbon storage, the preservation of biodiversity and landscapes, the regulation of water flows, the restoration of water quality and the maintenance of soil fertility in particularly fragile tropical environments.
In order to accomplish this, agricultural production must be based on new technical solutions that value and respect biodiversity, use efficiently available natural resources and the ecological processes at work in cultivated systems, and avoid synthetic inputs that are too dangerous for mankind and the environment. Agroecological systems are built locally, with the producers, according to their objectives and conditions.
The agro-ecological transition does not only concern the production sector.
- In order to meet the consumers' expectations for healthy and diversified food products, existing chains and markets must integrate products from agroecology. Upstream, new economic actors, providers of services or goods compatible with agro-ecological production are emerging. A new economic network is being established.
- All the actors of the area are concerned by a transition towards an agriculture that is more respectful of available natural resources, less risky for their health and provides more balanced ecosystem services. Public policies have a major role to play in these transitions by arbitrating the debates and conditions of these changes.
For Boost-AE's partners, it is a matter of getting all the actors involved to reconsider the link that unites us with nature and the food products we consume, to value the multiple know-how of the farmers, their capacity for innovation, and to help build a new agriculture, from the producer to the consumer.