Agroecology Knowledge Hub

Human and social values: protecting and improving rural livelihoods, equity and social well-being is essential for sustainable food and agricultural systems

Agroecology places a strong emphasis on human and social values, such as dignity, equity, inclusion and justice all contributing to the improved livelihoods dimension of the SDGs. It puts the aspirations and needs of those who produce, distribute and consume food at the heart of food systems. By building autonomy and adaptive capacities to manage their agro-ecosystems, agroecological approaches empower people and communities to overcome poverty, hunger and malnutrition, while promoting human rights, such as the right to food, and stewardship of the environment so that future generations can also live in prosperity.

Agroecology seeks to address gender inequalities by creating opportunities for women. Globally, women make up almost half of the agricultural workforce. They also play a vital role in household food security, dietary diversity and health, as well as in the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity. In spite of this, women remain economically marginalised and vulnerable to violations of their rights, while their contributions often remain unrecognized. Agroecology can help rural women in family farming agriculture to develop higher levels of autonomy by building knowledge, through collective action and creating opportunities for commercialization. Agroecology can open spaces for women to become more autonomous and empower them at household, community levels and beyond – for instance, through participation in producer groups. Women’s participation is essential for agroecology and women are frequently the leaders of agroecology projects.

In many places around the world, rural youth face a crisis of employment. Agroecology provides a promising solution as a source of decent jobs. Agroecology is based on a different way of agricultural production that is knowledge intensive, environmentally friendly, socially responsible, innovative, and which depends on skilled labour. Meanwhile, rural youth around the world possess energy, creativity and a desire to positively change their world. What they need is support and opportunities.

As a bottom-up, grassroots paradigm for sustainable rural development, agroecology empowers people to become their own agents of change.


Capital Growth, a food growing network, presents people with the opportunity to grow food as part of a healthy, resilient food system. During the pandemic in 2019/2020, Capital Growth worked with over 50 gardens to grow food for the local community through their Community Harvest Initiative. This video tells their stories...
Farm Hack is a farmer-driven community to develop, document and build tools for resilient agriculture.
United States of America
This context analysis provides an overview of Guatemala, describing the challenges, policies and youth employment programs active in the country, as well as FAO's priorities on decent rural youth employment. Finally, it also analyzes migration and child labour trends and dynamics in the country. Nearly 88 per cent of the...
This video depicts the last session of the second day of the regional consultation on ‘’Engaging with Academia and Research Institutions (ARIs) to support Family Farmers and Food System Transformation during and post COVID-19 Pandemic in Asia’’ held on  8 and 9 December 2021.  The video presents topics relating to how misleading information can...
We were launching a rural tourism project just as the Covid-19 pandemic startled the world. How ironic, after waiting years for funding for our local organization Nawaya, we were incapable to do basic fieldwork. We were excited and decided not to delay important work. As we were unable to meet...