Agroecology Knowledge Hub

Tool for Agroecology Performance Evaluation (TAPE)

There is an increasing amount of evidence showing the positive impacts of agroecology on the environment, on biodiversity, on farmers’ incomes, on resilience, and on adaptation and mitigation to climate change. However, these results often remain fragmented in case studies, isolated experiences or field observations, usually based on heterogeneous methods and data as well as differing scales and timeframes.

The need for harmonized evidence on agroecology was a systematic recommendation from the various global and regional consultations on agroecology organized by FAO between 2014 and 2018, and specifically requested by FAO governing bodies in 2018. To respond to these mandates, FAO and a large number of partners have developed the Tool for Agroecology Performance Evaluation (TAPE).

Based on various existing assessment frameworks, TAPE is a comprehensive tool that aims to measure the multi-dimensional performance of agroecological systems across the different dimensions of sustainability. It applies a stepwise approach at the household/farm level but it also collects information and provides results at a community and territorial scale. The tool was designed to remain simple and to require minimum training and data collection.

Benefits and uses of TAPE

TAPE is meant to provide evidence to policy makers and other stakeholders on how agroecology can contribute to sustainable food and agricultural systems.

By providing data and analysis on different development objectives, TAPE can enable inter-sectorial and inter-ministerial cooperation. It can also contribute to empower producers through a self-diagnosis and assessment of their system’s level of transition and performances.

TAPE can also be used to establish a baseline of agricultural sustainability for project design, monitoring and evaluation, and to diagnose and compare the performance of different agricultural systems over time, at farm and territorial levels.

It can therefore support the re-orientation of public investment towards more sustainable agriculture and food systems.

It can also provide a framework for governments and public actors for the adaptation and re-design of research and development programmes, as well as rural advisory services and extension programmes to properly address sustainable agriculture in the context of the SDGs. Indeed, the information collected by TAPE can be used to inform various SDG indicators, including 2.4.1 (sustainable agriculture), 1.4.2 (land rights) or 8.6.1 (biodiversity).