Agroecology tries to manage the balance between food production and nature


CBD & Hemp Dictionary | 28.04.2022

Millions of people in the world suffer from hunger every day. In the coming decades, a high increase in the world population is expected. According to the United Nations, in 30 years there will be an estimated 2 billion more people than there are today. The obvious question is how to feed all these people? This is the point where Agroecology comes into play. Agroecology can be viewed in terms of 3 dimensions. It is a scientific field in its own right, agricultural practice, and, last but not least, a social movement.

Agroecology explained

On a local and global level, our current food system is facing some challenges. These include flooding, soil degradation, a collapse of biodiversity and famine. Conventional agriculture, as we know it, focuses primarily on short-term profits. Natural resources are completely exhausted and sustainability for the land and wildlife takes a back seat. Fortunately, agroecology offers many solutions to these issues.

Agroecology focuses on agricultural practices that are primarily climate-friendly. Emissions should be reduced, resources should be recycled and supply chains should preferably be local. Furthermore, Agroecology aims to pay close attention to animal welfare. Thus, agriculture should not have a negative impact on wildlife. In addition, farmers and communities should cooperate. Depending on the location, farming techniques must be adapted to the social, ecological and economic conditions. This requires a collaborative culture of support among all stakeholders. Overall the approach attempts to demonstrate how food production and nature can co-exist.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has identified 10 key elements to accompany the transition to sustainable food and farming systems:

  1. Diversification to ensure food security and nutrition while conserving, protecting and enhancing natural resources
  2. Co-creation and sharing knowledge: innovations respond better to local challenges when they are co-created
  3. Synergies: building synergies enhances food systems, supporting production and multiple ecosystem services
  4. Efficiency: producing more while using less external resources
  5. Recycling: more production with lower economic and environmental costs
  6. Resilience of people, communities and ecosystems
  7. Human and social values: improving equity and social well-being
  8. Culture and food traditions: contributing to food security and nutrition while maintaining the health of ecosystems
  9. Responsible governance: from local to national to global
  10. Circular and solidarity economy: reconnecting producers and consumers to provide innovative solutions

CBD & Agroecology

The cultivation of marijuana would probably be very compatible with agro-ecological agriculture. This is mainly because the hemp plant is quite uncomplicated and resilient when it comes to cultivation. Weeds, diseases and pests are rarely a serious threat to the plant. In damaged soils, the cannabis plant can even contribute to regeneration - very sustainable. Moreover, hardly any resources are wasted in the cultivation of marijuana, as the components of the plant can be completely recycled. However, nowadays, the cultivation of marijuana is still very strictly regulated. The flowers may not exceed a THC content of 0.2%, as only commercial hemp is legal for cultivation. Private individuals are not allowed to cultivate cannabis in any form.

History of Agroecology

The term Agroecology first appeared in 1928. At that time, however, the American agronomist Basi Bensin used the term exclusively to refer to the application of methods from ecology to agricultural research processes. From 1960 to the 1980s, the concept was developed further and further. The vision of an ecosystem that could be changed by human activities for utilization purposes emerged. From the 1990s onwards, the idea behind agroecology became more and more global. From then on, Agroecosystems were used to comprehend and define the entire system of food production, distribution, and consumption in all its components (agricultural, agronomic, economic, environmental and social).

Good to know about Agroecology

Conventional agriculture as we know it occupies almost 40% of the earth's ice-free land area, consumes about 70% of the world's fresh water and causes about 30% of global greenhouse emissions. A growing number of international studies stress that agro-ecological farming systems can keep carbon in the soil, promote biodiversity, and maximize yields, which is the basis for a secure livelihood. Policies should therefore pay much more attention to this approach.