This issue of Farming Matters explores innovative ways to demonstrate that agroecology provides critical solutions to the challenges of our time.
Agroecology is gaining recognition for its potential to address climate change, biodiversity loss and malnutrition, and many successful examples exist. However, to garner the necessary support in policy and practice, looking differently at ‘progress’, ‘performance’ or ‘success’ of farming and food systems is key. As agroecology can have impact at many levels, conventional indicators such as yield per hectare of a single crop no longer suffice. The experiences, opinions, and perspectives featured in this issue show how farmers, researchers, policy makers and consumers are using new lenses to track change.
These lenses reflect the nature of agroecology itself – an integrated approach to farming, processing, marketing, cooking and eating, rooted in food sovereignty, diversity and local knowledge. Holistic methodologies and farmers’ own indicators offer plenty of insights to make the case for agroecology. Yet, a number of authors point out that evidence alone remains insufficient to achieve an agroecological transition, and that the ‘movement’ dimension of agroecology is especially crucial to achieve the necessary political shift.