Agroecology is concurrently a science, a set of practices, and a social movement and has evolved as a concept over recent decades to expand in scope from a focus on fields and farms to encompass the entirety of agriculture and food systems. It now represents a transdisciplinary field that includes the ecological, socio-cultural, technological, economic, and political dimensions of food systems, from production to consumption (FAO).

FAO has identified ten interlinked and interdependent elements of agroecology that include diversification; co-creation and sharing of knowledge; building synergies supporting multiple ecosystem services; efficiency; recycling; resilience of communities and ecosystems; protecting human and social values; supporting culture and food traditions; responsible governance and circular and solidarity economy (FAO, The 10 Elements of Agroecology). Building on these elements, and other key works, the report by The High Level Panel of Experts of the Committee on Food Security and Nutrition (2019) further suggests a consolidated set of 13 agroecological principles organized around the broad categories of improving resource efficiency, strengthening resilience, and securing social equity/responsibility (HLPE Report).

Research highlights the links between agroecology and climate change, by providing evidence on the technical (i.e. ecological and socio-economic) and policy potential of agroecology to build resilient food systems (FAO and Biovision 2020).

Many innovations adopted by farmers and entrepreneurs have proven to contribute to the development of sustainable agrifood systems from an agroecology lens, such as:

  • Agroforestry: This is a land use system that integrates trees, shrubs, and crops on the same land to create a diversified and resilient ecosystem. Agroforestry provides multiple benefits such as soil conservation, carbon sequestration, and improved water quality.
  • Conservation agriculture: This approach involves minimizing soil disturbance, maintaining soil cover, and crop rotation to improve soil health, water retention, and nutrient cycling. Conservation agriculture also reduces the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, thus promoting environmental sustainability.
  • Integrated pest management: This is a holistic approach to managing pests that combines different methods such as biological control, cultural practices, and chemical control to minimize the use of pesticides and protect the environment.
  • Agroecological zoning: This is a planning tool that helps to identify the most suitable land use and management practices for a particular area based on its ecological characteristics, socio-economic conditions, and cultural values. Agroecological zoning can contribute to reducing conflicts over land use and promoting sustainable development.
  • Participatory research and extension: This approach involves working closely with farmers, local communities, and other stakeholders to co-create knowledge and develop solutions that are adapted to local conditions and needs. Participatory research and extension can promote social equity, local empowerment, and the sustainability of agrifood systems.

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Filter by Categories


Join our Agrinnovators community forum to discuss and explore how to encourage innovations across agricultural value chains to transform food systems in Africa, promote sustainable agriculture, and leverage investment. Share insights, ask questions, and collaborate on innovative solutions for a greener future

Impact story – LONO

Impact story – LONO

LONO is an environmental engineering company based in Côte d'Ivoire which offers products and...

Innovations Session N°14

Innovations Session N°14

Climate-resilient practices and innovations by agrifood SMEs A session organised by the PAFO and...

Browse the content linked to Agroecology

Pin It on Pinterest