There are many words to describe organic agriculture. Agro-ecology is the concept used by Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. Since 2008 the professor has taken up the mandate in the U.N. to promote the full realization of the right to food. With great interest I have followed the publications, that always provide insightful overviews on topics such as seed policies, the role of agribusiness and agro-ecology. Throughout the publications Mister De Schutter seeks to find ways to ensure right to food and support smallholder farmers; the approach of agroecology is the guiding tool to reach the full goal of socio-economic and environmental sustainability.
How is it defined? ‘Agroecology is both a science and a set of practices. It was created by the convergence of two scientific disciplines: agronomy and ecology. As a science,
agroecology is the “application of ecological science to the study, design and management
of sustainable agroecosystems.” As a set of agricultural practices, agroecology seeks ways to enhance agricultural systems by mimicking natural processes, thus creating beneficial biological interactions and synergies among the components of the agroecosystem. It provides the most favourable soil conditions for plant growth, particularly by managing organic matter and by raising soil biotic activity.’ (Source 08/03/2011: “Agroecology and the Right to Food”, Report presented at the 16th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council [A/HRC/16/49] p. 6 )
This year, with two other students I have prepared a power point presentation that includes the key points of his publication “Agroecology and the Right to Food” You can download the presentation here: Presentation Small is beautifulFinal
Needless to say that I admire the work of this man…