Agroecology Knowledge Hub

Resilience: enhanced resilience of people, communities and ecosystems is key to sustainable food and agricultural systems

Diversified agroecological systems are more resilient – they have a greater capacity to recover from disturbances including extreme weather events such as drought, floods or hurricanes, and to resist pest and disease attack. Following Hurricane Mitch in Central America in 1998, biodiverse farms including agroforestry, contour farming and cover cropping retained 20–40 percent more topsoil, suffered less erosion and experienced lower economic losses than neighbouring farms practicing conventional monocultures.

By maintaining a functional balance, agroecological systems are better able to resist pest and disease attack. Agroecological practices recover the biological complexity of agricultural systems and promote the necessary community of interacting organisms to self-regulate pest outbreaks. On a landscape scale, diversified agricultural landscapes have a greater potential to contribute to pest and disease control functions.

Agroecological approaches can equally enhance socio-economic resilience. Through diversification and integration, producers reduce their vulnerability should a single crop, livestock species or other commodity fail. By reducing dependence on external inputs, agroecology can reduce producers’ vulnerability to economic risk. Enhancing ecological and socio-economic resilience go hand-in-hand – after all, humans are an integral part of ecosystems.


The potential of perimeter trap cropping, using short and extra-short duration pigeon pea (SD PP and ESD PP), sorghum and cotton, was evaluated in Niger as an agroecological alternative to pesticide application on okra for the management of the tomato fruit worm (TFW) Helicoverpa armigera. In 2008, infestation by TFW...
Journal article
Industrialized agriculture and the corporate food system are at the center of the climate crisis and cannot be ignored in discussions about pathways to a 1.5 degree Celsius world.1 The IPCC found in 2014 that agriculture and land-use change are responsible for around one quarter of global greenhouse gas (GHG)...
The Proceedings book includes the contributions from agreocology experts and practitioners that took part as speakers in the International Symposium on Agroecology for Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems in China held Kunming, Yunnan, China from 29-31 August 2016. The volume has been prepared in order to collect and disseminate further...
Conference proceedings
Primary resources may affect the structure of species assemblages in upper trophic levels of food webs. These bottom-up effects may involve important ecological processes that affect pest control. For example, population densities of natural enemies may increase when alternative preys are favored by a new resource. In this study, we...
Journal article
Farmers are facing serious plant protection issues and phytosanitary risks, in particular in the tropics. Such issues are food insecurity, lower income in traditional low-input agroecosystems, adverse effects of pesticide use on human health and on the environment in intensive systems and export restrictions due to strict regulations on quarantine...
Journal article