By Miguel A. Altieri, Clara I. Nicholls
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Extra resources for Agroecology And The Search For A Truly Sustainable Agriculture
Agroecology goes beyond a one-dimensional view of agroecosystems —their genetics, agronomy, edaphology, and so on— to embrace an understanding of ecological and social levels of coevolution, structure and function. Instead of focusing on one particular component of the agroecosystem, agroecology emphasizes the interrelatedness of all agroecosystem components and the complex dynamics of ecological processes (Vandermeer, 1995). Agroecosystems are communities of plants and animals interacting with their physical and chemical environments that have been modified by people to produce food, fibre, fuel and other products for human consumption and processing.
As the private sector has exerted more and more dominance in advancing new biotechnologies. The public sector has had to invest a growing share of its scarce resources in enhancing biotechnological capacities in public institutions, including the CGIAR, and in evaluating and responding to the challenges Agroecology and the Search for a Truly Sustainable Agriculture 47 posed by incorporating private sector technologies into existing farming systems. Such funds would be much better used to expand support for ecologically based agricultural research, as all the biological problems that biotechnology aims at can be solved using agroecological approaches.
C. Enhance nutrient recycling mechanisms through the use of livestock systems based on legumes, etc. d. Promote pest regulation through enhanced activity of biological control agents achieved by introducing and/or conserving natural enemies and antagonists. Research on diversified cropping systems underscores the great importance of diversity in an agricultural setting (Francis, 1986, Vandermeer, 1989; Altieri, 1995). Diversity is of value in agroecosystems for a variety of reasons (Altieri, 1994; Gliessman, 1998): As diversity increases, so do opportunities for coexistence and beneficial interactions between species that can enhance agroecosystem sustainability.
Agroecology And The Search For A Truly Sustainable Agriculture by Miguel A. Altieri, Clara I. Nicholls