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.


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)
The First Chilean Congress of Agroecology, organized by the University of La Frontera and the Chilean chapter of the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA-Chile), will be held at the Pucón Campus of the University of La Frontera during the 17 and 18 of October 2019. Under the slogan...
'Sembrando Capacidades' - a trilateral South-South cooperation project between Brazil, Colombia and FAO is coming to an end after two years of work focused on strengthening instruments and policies for a peasant, family, and community agriculture in Colombia through knowledge management and the exchange of experiences between the two countries in four areas:...
The seminar entitled “Agroecology for organic farming'' launched by the Italian center of the Italian Association of Agroecology (AIDA) will take place on Friday 15 November in the Aula Magna of the School of Agriculture of the University of Florence.  A wide range of participants from different sector as the University of Florence,...
The main aim of the conference is to engage with key policy makers and stakeholders, including from the government at central and local levels, parliament, development partners, civil society, private sector, academia and media, to exhibit and exchange best cases on how EOA is at the core of sustainable development...
United Republic of Tanzania