Agroecology Knowledge Hub

Efficiency : innovative agroecological practices produce more using less external resources

Increased resource-use efficiency is an emergent property of agroecological systems that carefully plan and manage diversity to create synergies between different system components. For example, a key efficiency challenge is that less than 50 percent of nitrogen fertilizer added globally to cropland is converted into harvested products and the rest is lost to the environment causing major environmental problems.

Agroecological systems improve the use of natural resources, especially those that are abundant and free, such as solar radiation, atmospheric carbon and nitrogen. By enhancing biological processes and recycling biomass, nutrients and water, producers are able to use fewer external resources, reducing costs and the negative environmental impacts of their use. Ultimately, reducing dependency on external resources empowers producers by increasing their autonomy and resilience to natural or economic shocks.

One way to measure the efficiency of integrated systems is by using Land Equivalent Ratios (LER). LER compares the yields from growing two or more components (e.g. crops, trees, animals) together with yields from growing the same components in monocultures. Integrated agroecological systems frequently demonstrate higher LERs.

Agroecology thus promotes agricultural systems with the necessary biological, socio-economic and institutional diversity and alignment in time and space to support greater efficiency.

Database

SustainSahel project's full name is 'Synergistic use and protection of natural resources for rural livelihoods through systematic integration of crops, shrubs and livestock in the Sahel'. The overall goal of SustainSahel is to promote practices that enhance soil quality and yields, build resilience towards climate change, and contribute to food security and...
Project
2020
Financed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Commission, with a budget of 12 million euros, and orchestrated by Group for Research and Technology Exchanges (GRET), with scientific coordination by the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), the far-reaching five-year project Agroecology and Safe Food System...
Cambodia - Lao People's Democratic Republic - Myanmar - Viet Nam
Project
2020
The Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA), announces the VIII Latin American Congress of Agroecology under the theme "Agroecology. Latin American identity weaving the territory: urgent transformations for life". It will take place online on November 25, 26 and 27, 2020, under the coordination of the Organizing Commission of...
Event
2020
Biovision Foundation, CIDSE, IPES-Food, AgroecologyNow! at the Center for Agroecology Water and Resilience (CAWR) of Coventry University, the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), Coalition Contre la Faim, DanChurchAid, are presenting a webinar on  “Shifting European Finance towards Food System Transformation”. The event will take place on the 26th of November, from 2 to 4 PM CET. It is widely recognized that a...
Event
2020
Andhra Pradesh Community Managed Natural Farming (APCNF) is organizing a webinar as a part of the successful implementation of Pre-Monsoon Dry sowing in Andhra Pradesh. This initiative has started as a pilot in Anantapuram district, a semi-arid region of Andhra Pradesh to demonstrate the concept of harnessing the water vapor...
India
Event
2020