Agroecology Knowledge Hub

Agroecology farming for a better future in pandemic crisis

26/03/2020 - 

Agroecology can make our food production more resilient, rebuild healthy ecosystems and perhaps even prevent future outbreaks like COVID-19, according to Asger Mindegaard´s article published in the European Environmental Bureau. With a global pandemic tightening its grip around the world and photos of empty supermarket shelves flooding social media, there’s never been a better time to consider where our food comes from.

The ways food is produced, processed, packaged, transported, traded, sold, consumed and wasted has an enormous impact on the environment and the people along the chain, from farm to fork. And according to scientists and many farmers, this impact is negative – for our climate, soil, water and biodiversity, for rural livelihoods and for our health.

As the world faces an unprecedented global crisis, experts are linking the emergency of COVID-19 to global habitat and biodiversity loss. Researchers at University College London have found that species in degraded habitats are likely to carry more viruses which can infect humans.

We need a paradigm shift in the way food is produced in the world. An essentially different paradigm for how we think about farming is urgently needed. And this could well be agroecology.

Agroecology is not any particular production system, but rather an approach that relies on, and maximises, ecological processes to support production systems; it is a way of thinking holistically about agronomy, ecology and biology. To produce food in harmony with nature, not against it.

Agroecology is a good answer to the countless environmental issues emanating from the food we eat. In an agroecological future, we would also naturally eat more healthily.

Find more from Asger Mindegaard’s analysis here

Photo credit: Viktor Pravdica/