Agroecology Knowledge Hub

Agroecology in the Western Balkans and Caucasus countries – moving forward the regional agenda

29/04/2019 - 

The regional agenda counters the view that agriculture is an enemy of the environment; it shows that a productive farming sector can provide environmental benefits and services while creating rural employment and sustaining livelihoods.

“Agroecology is a dynamic concept, built on traditional and local solutions and knowledge harmonically combined with scientific knowledge and innovation,” said Carolina Starr, an FAO expert on agroecology. “We have engaged with countries to define together how this agenda can be implemented. What we hear from them will shape FAO’s work and priorities on agroecology through the 2020–21 biennium.”

Farmers are facing growing pressure to provide an increasing amount of healthy and nutritious food at low environmental cost. Combining traditional farming methods with modern systems is on-trend as well.

Agroecology can contribute greatly to both, while also ensuring consideration of the social aspects of sustainable food systems. However, the concept is neither widely known nor widespread in the Western Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

For 2 days FAO government and CSOs from Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Moldova, North Macedonia, and Serbia were together in Albania discussing and sharing knowledge on Agroecology in the regional context. All the participants had the opportunity to share their concerns and solutions to strengthen the Agroecology agenda in their countries and territories.

During the meeting, the concept and the nature of Agroecology was tackled together with related topics such as food-systems, gender, and the relationship between agriculture and health. Moreover, the five levels of agroecological transition, the future of family farming in Europe and Central Asia, and individual cases were discussed. This setting encouraged the participants to share their perspectives on the possible agroecological implementation in their own region, but also on what is currently happening and how successful cases can be scaled up.

A work plan for each country/territory was developed and regional priorities were defined as the first results of the enriching dialogue. Meanwhile, FAO will continue supporting the region in the implementation of the regional agenda.

FAO will support the following of the priority actions that were defined for the region:

  • Knowledge exchange among different stakeholders
  • Prepare a publication tailored to the region
  • Collect good practices from the region and share them among the participants
  •  Support the development of national plans on agroecology



*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999).