Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture
Achieving food security for a rising number of people worldwide while preserving and promoting healthy ecosystems needs a fundamental change in our societies and a transformation of our global food system. Agroecology as a concept developed out of social movements has been gaining more attention within the scientific community and the international discussion for supporting food and nutrition security for small-scale farmers under changing climate.
Agroecological approaches aim for self-sustaining, regional food systems that are working with and enhancing the ecological functions of the surrounding ecosystems by e.g., agroforestry systems, agricultural techniques like crop rotation and diversification, sustainable soil management and integrating agriculture and livestock keeping. They build on traditional and indigenous knowledge and focus on fostering local and regional circular economies. Agroecology also supports a systemic change by addressing socio-cultural conditions. This includes increasing the participation of local communities in decision making processes, participatory learning and research and changing consumption patterns and diets.
FAKT has a long history of working with agroecological principles, particularly in the context of climate change. We provide consulting services in the following areas:
- Mainstreaming of climate change adaptation based on agroecological approaches as part of climate risk management
- Process-oriented coaching for small-scale farmers and NGOs to improve their agricultural practices, strengthen local value chains and increase participation of farmers in decision making processes.
- Facilitation of multi-stakeholder processes and dialogues in rural areas.
- Capacity development and (online) trainings on agroecology and sustainable agriculture.
- Monitoring and evaluation with a specific focus on promoting agroecology among small-scale farmers.
The present social and economic policies, both at national and international levels, endanger local food security and livelihoods of many of the approximately 1.4 billion low income and resource poor male and female farmers.
A management strategy based on sustainable agriculture principles ensures the optimal use of natural resources and the minimization of risk. Farming and livelihood aspects are combined in a way to allow, at the same time, social integration and additional income generation opportunities for families and communities. Today, in spite of climate change and unfavourable policy frameworks, sustainable agriculture is an appropriate approach for the development of viable production systems which provide for the livelihood of men and women and for local food security.
FAKT specializes in different aspects of sustainable agriculture. Agroecological approaches focus on creating sustainable local economies and the role that local communities play in food security. Securing access to land and fostering sustainable land management are a key precondition for ensuring food security for small-scale farmers, indigenous communities and pastoralists. Supporting a climate resilient agriculture is key to adapting farmers to the future challenges which climate change and biodiversity loss brings that also create mitigation co-benefits.
FAKT has 30 years of experience in the field of sustainable agriculture. In this field of work, our services include:
- Support to strategic planning and project development of agricultural projects
- Technical advice on sustainable agricultural techniques and other livelihood strategies (e.g., bee keeping)
- Promoting and accompanying participatory research and learning, e.g., via Climate Field Schools and cooperation with universities
- Development of (digital) monitoring systems for agricultural projects and programmes
- Evaluations and impact studies
- Studies and publications