FAO.org

Home > Agroecology Knowledge Hub > Knowledge > Education
Agroecology Knowledge Hub

Education

Education, both formal and informal, is central to agroecology. This takes many diverse forms on many different levels, from children to adult learners, including farmers, policy-makers, researchers and consumers.

Farmers

Agroecological producers recognize that a highly successful methodology for promoting farmer innovation is farmer-to-farmer learning and sharing approach, known as “popular education”. This is based on the principle that participation and empowerment of food producers are intrinsic components of sustainable agricultural development. The Farmer Field School (FFS) methodology is a similar approach that plays an important role in scaling-up agroecology. This methodology, which includes extensionists and researchers along with farmers in a horizontal process, is based on farmers experimenting in their own fields, at small-scale. FFS participants adapt and validate new innovations, build their practical skills and ecosystem literacy, and then share results and lessons learned. Education also plays an important role as it involves women and youth in agroecology.

Researchers

Within the transdisciplinary approach of agroecology, learning processes tend to be highly innovative, emphasizing experiential and holistic approaches to learning and teaching. The complex challenges that agroecology addresses to researchers include environmental, economic and social spheres. They also require well-developed skills of observation, participation, action, dialogue, reflection and vision.

Policy-makers

Agroecology is growing as a potential approach to tackle the challenge of climate change, creating a more resilient food system, while ensuring a high level of social protection to farmers and rural communities. It is fundamental to organize agroecological knowledge in a way that can be used by policy-makers to take decisions. It is important to promote an environment where policy-makers can exchange lessons learnt and share experiences in a horizontal way, allowing them to take decisions based on the experiences of others countries. This is vital for the future of agroecology.

Consumers

Consumers are key stakeholders inside the food system; their choices can increase or decrease the agroecological production. It is central to make people aware about the multiple benefits agroecology is addressing in the food system and communicate all the advantages linked with choosing agroecological products.