What is Agroecology? Is Agroecology facing threats from the powerful elite lobby?

Published: September 26, 2019

Agroecology refers to the application of ecological principles to agricultural systems and practices. Agroecology is not associated with any one particular method of farming, whether it be organic, integrated or conventional, intensive or extensive. Largely it has much more in common with organic and integrated farming.

Agroecology is recognised as a system which enhances fertile landscapes, increases yields, restores soil health and biodiversity, promotes climate resilience and improves farmers’ well-being.

Agroecological practices are supported by many agricultural scientists, the Food and Agriculture Organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, farmers’ groups and several NGOs.

Threats from Powerful Elites

Even though Agroecological methods are worldwide gaining acceptance for their ability to enhance soil fertility and preserving ecological sensitivities, the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, based on a brainstorming session that included industry representatives has sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi opposing Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF).

Farming sector in India has an overarching influence of powerful lobbies with vested interests and connections to deep pockets which include fossil fuel, fertilizer and seed companies as well as scientists with funding connections to agribusiness.

These lobbies perceive large-scale transitions to agroecology as a substantial threat to their influence on farming systems. Hence these powerful elites are lobbying against natural farming which is still a small player in the margins.

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