Laboratory Scientist

Agroecology Research 

Farmer's Pride International has joined the Agroecology Coalition to enable it to carry out its Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security.

Agroecology can be defined as the combination of research, education, action & change that brings sustainability to the ecological, economic & social aspects of food systems and is increasingly seen as an approach that can bring much-needed transformation to food systems.

 

With evidence that agroecology is increasingly seen as being able, or even necessary, to transform food systems (HLPE 2019). FPI will from year 2022 
commission rapid evidence-based research to assess the quality and strength of evidence regarding (i) the impact of agroecological approaches on climate change mitigation and adaptation in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and (ii) the programming approaches and conditions supporting large-scale transitions to agroecology and transitions. The research will aim to identify knowledge gaps critical to understand and inform future public and private investments
in the research, development, and deployment of agroecological approaches. The focus here is on the science of agroecology at the field and landscape level, not on social movement, value chain or business aspects. The research will use the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 10 elements of agroecology with the Gliessman (2016) framework to identify agroecology practices (transition level 2) and agroecology systems (transition level 3).

ADAPTIVE CAPACITY AND LOCAL ENGAGEMENT FOR IMPROVING CLIMATE CHANGE OUTCOMES

 

Agroecological approaches related to co-creation and sharing of knowledge support climate
change adaptive capacity (strong evidence, medium agreement). Multiple lines of evidence show
that engaging with local knowledge through participatory and education approaches are effective
at adapting technologies to local contexts and thereby delivering improved climate change
adaptation and mitigation.

AGROECOLOGY RESEARCH 

 

AGROECOLOGICAL TRANSITIONS FOR LARGE-SCALE IMPACTS

Farmer co-creation and exchange of knowledge, community-based, participatory engagement,
localised solutions and social organising are the common components of field programmes for bringing agroecology to scale. Scaling agroecology systems, as opposed to practices, made
more use of participatory and farmer-to-farmer processes and the role of policy, according to the
research. Scaling also relied on market and policy measures that privileged local production.

Plant Biologist

Recommendations

We recommend Investment in the analysis of performance across multiple dimensions and trade-offs for approaches aligned with agroecology relative to other agricultural development approaches, at plot and farm levels, as well as beyond. This should include cost-effectiveness. Valuation of a range of agroecological benefits can be hard to quantify (e.g., environmental and social benefits), and
economics often reflects the current policy context and short-term horizons.

We recommend investments in an outcome-based approach to assessing the performance of agricultural development. This is to avoid contestation around what is encompassed by a specific label for an agricultural alternative, and instead, assess performance in terms of environmental services and climate change response.

Therefore, evidence-based priority investments is required that  include:

  • The diversification of products and practices at field, farm and landscape levels.

  • Processes that support farmer innovation, co-learning and adaptation of innovations to local contexts.

  • Move beyond contestation regarding what is agroecology and alternative labels. Focus instead on assessing outcomes of agricultural development approaches and building on indicator frameworks newly available (TAPE, Sustainable Intensification (SI) Assessment Framework).

To address urgent knowledge gaps, research priorities include:

 

  • Barriers and how to enhance opportunities for scaling out of diversification and local adaptation processes, across landscapes and regions, through multiple agricultural development pathways

  • Research in tropical and low-income countries on climate change adaptation to extreme weather
    and quantitative assessment of mitigation outcomes at multiple scales.

  • Scientific documentation of the effectiveness of agroecological approaches compared to
    alternatives, including performance in terms of environmental, social and cost-effectiveness, and
    the direction of impact on climate change outcomes.

  • South-South research collaboration that includes agroecology.