By: Abigail Conrad Published: The Guardian, 23 April 2013
Small-scale farmers produce food for 70% of the global population. Yet, they are some of the world’s poorest and most food insecure people. Alternatives to conventional farming should be embraced to improve subsistence farmers’ yields and to ensure adequate food production for the growing global population. The stark reality, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute, is that the world needs to produce more food with fewer resources.
Agroecology, a farming approach that mimics natural ecosystems, is an alternative method that can produce more food using fewer resources. Small-scale farmers in Africa have used agroecology to more than double crop yields within 3 to 10 years of implementation, according to the UN special rapporteur on the right to food. Farmers also use agroecology to improve soil fertility, adapt to climate change, and reduce farming input costs.
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