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 webinar of the FAO Technical network on Sustainable Crop Prodcution and Agroecology will discuss current knowledge concerning the potential use of agroecological approaches in the fall armyworm (FAW) response, highlighting experiences from parts of Africa, South America and South Asia. Agroecological approaches offer culturally appropriate, low cost options for...
Brazil - India - Malawi - Zambia
Event
2020
The webinar, aim to inspire organic farmers organizations by sharing how local initiatives strengthen local production, consumption and marketing of organically grown food and products to ensure the health and wellness of the citizens and provide income to farmers through Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS) not only during this time of...
India - Indonesia - Philippines - Sri Lanka - Taiwan Province of China - Viet Nam
Event
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), this far-reaching five-year programme will involve 27 partners in...
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