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Agroecology

The Tyfu Dyfi Project Plan uses The Food Policy Alliance Cymru Manifesto 2021 definition (itself adapted from UN FAO 2019):

 

“Agroecology is based on applying ecological principles to optimize the relationships between plants, animals, humans and the environment, as well as strengthening the aspects of a sustainable and fair food system.

 

Through building these relationships, agroecology supports food production, food security and nutrition, while restoring the ecosystems and biodiversity that are essential for sustainable agriculture. Agroecology can play an important role in adapting to climate change. Agroecology is grounded in place specific design and organization, of crops, livestock, farms and landscapes, conserving cultural and knowledge diversity, with a focus on women’s and young people’s roles in agriculture. To harness all the benefits from adopting agroecological approaches, the right conditions are required, adapting policies, public investments, institutions and research priorities. Agroecology is the basis for growing food systems that are equally strong in environmental, economic, social and agronomic dimensions.”  

 

It may be worth noting that while the term agroecology has high recognition in some circles, eg, UN FAO, some policy makers, global South, there are many overlapping terms, concepts, philosophies and movements. In mid-Wales in 2022, local farmers and growers may be more familiar with the terms regenerative agriculture and/or organic agriculture.  

 

While the three movements share many concerns and offer similar solutions, the emphasis in each is different - this diagram and the related articles give a good current overview.  We prefer the term agroecology because:

  • the term unambiguously links ecology and agriculture; emphasising that the two cannot be separated when considering genuine long-term sustainability of food production

  • we do not want to lose sight of the social and cultural dimensions of sustainable farming

  • Tyfu Dyfi has a global dimension in that it is taking place in the context of UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves