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

The Argentine Society of Agroecology will hold the First Argentine Congress of Agroecology at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina, from 18 to 20 September 2019. Thus, the Argentine Society of Agroecology is taking a fundamental step to consolidate Agroecology at a national...
Argentina
Event
2019
The objective is to introduce the global analytical framework on AE to FAO staff in decentralized offices in the region and to external partners engaged in agroecological approaches such as staff from CSOs, academia, research institutions and NGOs so that they can pilot the GKP in their various contexts.  The...
Thailand
Event
2019
 Agroecology Europe (AEEU) is an association of members who wants to exchange knowledge and experiences on agroecology and to support the transition toward agroecological practices and policies. To support exchange, reflection and bottom-up contributions, the association will organise together with local farmers, universities, social movement organisations and non-governmental organisations, the second Agroecology...
Greece
Event
2019
The FAO Technical Network on Sustainable Crop Production and Agroecology, SP2 and SP4 organize on Tuesday 1 of October from 14:30-16:00 (CEST)  a seminar on ''Promoting sustinable urban and periurban agriculture: an example of agroecological practices in Rosario (Argentina)''.The Seminar will take place in FAO Headquarters, Malasya Room (B227) and it will be conducted in English...
Argentina
Event
2019
The Venezuelan Association of Agroecology (AVA) is a broad group, made up of social organizations, farmers, academics, and other associated actors interested in contributing to the transformation of food systems, towards food sovereignty from an agroecological perspective. The Congress will take place in Caracas during the 17 and 19 of October. In its third...
Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Event
2019