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.


FAO recently partnered with the organization IN SITU to measure the impact of agroecology through the Tool for Agroecology Performance Evaluation (TAPE) in 60 farms surrounding Rosario City in the province of Santa Fe, Argentina. This video presents the results of the implementation of TAPE designed in 60 establishments in the Rosario metropolitan area of Argentina and...
Experts, including farmers, scientists, groups involved in value chains and representatives from governments, international organizations and development agencies from mountain systems in every arable continent joined forces at the International Conference on Ecological Organic Agriculture in Mountain Ecosystems in Thimphu, Bhutan March 5th to 8th, 2014 to develop an action...
Agriculture is of undeniable importance in the Kingdom of Morocco. Its economic and social weight, its affiliation to the rural world, as well as the diversity of its functions in food, socio-economic and environmental aspects, make it a natural locomotive of development and economic growth. Aware of the country's remarkable...
"Do you care about sustainable farming, the environment, and agroecology? Do you belive that youth are part of the solution and can lead an agricultural revolution that is much needed in the Mekong region? Feeling creative? Find a story, do your research, gather your team, grab your camera, and get...
Cambodia - China - Lao People's Democratic Republic - Myanmar - Thailand
From the 1st of September until the 1st of October, 2017, the agroecological transition will be highlighted through more than 40 events organized with the collaboration of numerous partners. Agroecological produciton aims at preserving natural resources and avoiding the use of agrochemicals. Agroecology is about the reconciliation of economic viability, environmental...