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The socio-economic performance of agroecology. A review

Agroecology is identified as an important solution to increase the sustainability of agricultural and food systems. Despite the increasing number of publications assessing the socio-economic outcomes of agroecology, very few studies have consolidated the scattered results obtained on various case studies. This paper provides new insights by consolidating evidence on the varied socio-economic effects of agroecology across a large number of cases at a global level. To this purpose, we used a rapid review methodology, screening more than 13,000 publications to retrieve evidence on the socio-economic outcomes of the implementation of agroecological practices. The results of the review indicate that (1) agroecological practices are associated more often with positive socio-economic outcomes across the broad range of evaluated metrics (51% positive, 30% negative, 10% neutral, and 9% inconclusive outcomes); (2) the socio-economic metrics associated with financial capital represent the vast majority of evaluated metrics (83% of total) and are affected positively in a large share of cases (53%), due to favourable outcomes on income, revenues, productivity and efficiency; (3) human capital metrics (16%) are associated with a larger number of negative outcomes (46% versus 38% positive), due to higher labour requirements and costs that are however partly compensated by an overall greater number of positive outcomes on labour productivity (55%); and (4) the results vary depending on the agroecological practice assessed; e.g. for agroforestry, we identify 53% positive outcomes while for cropping system diversification 35%. These results indicate an overall favourable potential for farms to benefit from a positive socio-economic performance with the use of agroecological practices. Yet, the magnitude, temporal aspects, and success factors related to these outcomes, as well as the trade-offs between them, and the system-level effects of an agroecological transition are to be further assessed, since they can have an important influence on the performance of individual farms.

Title of publication: Agronomy for Sustainable Development
Volumen: 44
N.0: 19
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Autor: Ionna Mouratiadou
Otros autores: Alexander Wezel, Kintan Kamilia, Angelica Marchetti, Maria Luisa Paracchini, Paolo Bárberi
Organización: Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) Germany
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Año: 2024
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Tipo: Artículo de revista especializada
Idioma utilizado para los contenidos: English
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