The study of ecological processes in agricultural production systems is known as agroecology. Introducing ecological principles to agroecosystems could lead to unique management techniques that would otherwise be overlooked.
The link between agricultural production systems and ecological processes is known as agroecology. It encompasses all approaches that make agricultural activities more environmentally conscious and sensitive to ecological differences.
It is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses agronomy, agriculture, scientific ecology, economics, and social sciences. It incorporates organic farming, regenerative agriculture, and some permaculture elements, and so contributes to long-term sustainability.
It is defined by a holistic view of agro-food production systems that draws on ecosystem natural elements to enhance them. This helps to reduce environmental demands while preserving ecosystem service renewal capacity.
The principles and their implementation
Agroecology relies on the improvement of agro-food processes as a whole, with the constant goal of enhancing environmental performance, as a systemic approach. These fundamental concepts are put into practice in two ways:
1. at the farm level
- Using infrastructure and cutting plots to facilitate the spread of natural auxiliaries and their relationship to exploited surfaces (hedges, groves, embankments, etc.) while limiting phytosanitary inputs.
- Reintroduction of farmed species’ biodiversity as a means of increasing production and environmental quality
2. at the territorial level
- Creating ecological corridors to improve and facilitate connection between habitats of auxiliary species, such as pollinators.
- Wetlands that are beneficial to biodiversity and water purification should be preserved or redeveloped.
- Consistent cultural methods that take into account a variety of factors such as crop type, crop variety, crop rotations, and agroforestry.
example of agroecology
A great example of agroecology is agroforestry. It’s a method of mixing farming with trees that shows how food production and nature can cohabit.
Farm animals can graze under trees for shade and food, while their dung nourishes the soil. Planting trees on land that would otherwise be used for grain crops can produce alternative crop, such as fruit, nuts, or lumber. The trees’ deep roots help maintain a healthy soil structure, which protects soils from erosion and provides another source of revenue for farmers.
Agroforestry, like many other agroecological methods, is a win-win situation.