Agroecology needs support to succeed

Written by Olivier De Schutter

Agroecology is generally characterized by a low use of external inputs, limiting dependence on high-priced fertilizers and pesticides.  Inputs such as manure or compost are mostly locally produced, and when leguminous plants or trees are used to fertilize the soils, diversity on the plot helps make these systems self-sustaining.  Often, agroecological techniques require a closed lind between the farmer and the land, and they can be labor-intensive.  But systems that rely primarily on locally produced inputs, on the expertise of farmers, and on sustainable modes of production will not flourish without strong public policies that encourage such a shift.  Without strong support from the state, they lose.  The full realization of the right to food, which includes a dimension of sustainability, cannot be left simply to the mechanisms of the market..

Olivier De Schutter, State of the World 2011, p,xix.

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