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More Transdisciplinary research needed in Agroecology


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Presented September 5th 2018 at the expert talk at Welthungerhilfe on the need for more transdisciplinary research in Agroecology.

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More Transdisciplinary research needed in Agroecology

  1. 1. Agroecology Cory W. Whitney Photo: Jan Börner Biber-Freudenberger et al. 2018. Rural 21, 52(2), 31-33.
  2. 2. Agroecology Biber-Freudenberger et al. 2018. Rural 21, 52(2), 31-33. • Collection of different disciplinary fields, ranging from agriculture and ecology to political theory • Assessment of the research gaps in Agroecology from an ecological, social, and environmental perspective • Outline the usefulness of a transdisciplinary approach in addressing these gaps More transdisciplinary research needed 2
  3. 3. Economic Social Ecological 3 Sustainability How can agricultural production be balanced with Earth’s resources for future sustainability?
  4. 4. 4 Sustainability US department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Survey Division World Soil Resources – Desertification vulnerability Reduced crop yields by up to 50 percent in parts of Africa, Asia, and Central and South America Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
  5. 5. 5 Sustainability – World population Global population increase to nearly ten billion by 2050 - United Nations
  6. 6. 6 “Agroecology is a scientific discipline, a set of practices and a social movement. As a science, it studies how different components of the agroecosystem interact. As a set of practices, it seeks sustainable farming systems that optimize and stabilize yields. As a social movement, it pursues multifunctional roles for agriculture, promotes social justice, nurtures identity and culture […] family farmers around the world are the keys elements for producing food in an agroecological way.” FAO Family Farming Knowledge Platform Agroecology Photo: Tina BeucheltBiber-Freudenberger et al. 2018. Rural 21, 52(2), 31-33.
  7. 7. Agroecology Movement Agriculture Science Ecology 7 – Paradigms
  8. 8. Agroecology Movement Agriculture Science Ecology 8 […] can be considered a science, a movement or a practice Wezel et al. 2009. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 29(4), 503-515. […] study of people and their agricultural systems King. 1911. Farmers of Forty Centuries. Mrs. F. H. King, Madison, Wisconsin. […] agricultural ecosystem and the impact of human agricultural management Tischler. 1965. Agrarökologie. Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena. […] development paradigm of natural resource management for poor farmers in marginal environments Altieri. 1989. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 27(1), 37-46. - 2002. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 93(1-3), 1-24. – Paradigms
  9. 9. 9 Productivity Sustainability The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development, 2009. Agriculture at a Crossroads. Island Press, Washington, DC. Agroecology Conventional Agricultural Production Peasant / low input Indigenous/ Traditional In transition to Sustainability Agroecology
  10. 10. Open questions Millions of unknowns Limitless research needs Already known We know what to do and just need it to be implemented “[…] research gaps cannot be identified without talking to farmers and they cannot be addressed without working with farmers.” 10 Transdisciplinary research Biber-Freudenberger et al. 2018. Rural 21, 52(2), 31-33. Implementation research
  11. 11. Photo: Detlef Overmann 1111 Thank you Biber-Freudenberger et al. 2018. Rural 21, 52(2), 31-33.