Where in the world are agroecological approaches building soil health, beating pests and helping farmers stay productive while protecting the planet? Professor Pedro Sanchez, Director of the Agriculture & Food Security Center at the Earth Institute at Columbia University continues our “Agroecology in Action” series with this guest post.
Simply put, agroecology is a form of agriculture that takes maximum advantage of ecological processes.
In some situations, nature is able to function as a closed system; take a tropical forest for example. When nutrients are finely balanced in the system, they are recycled, meaning there is no need for extra nutrient inputs to be added.
Agriculture however, requires a regular harvesting of crops. This results in large amounts of essential nutrients being removed from the soil. Agroecological approaches must return these vital components to the soil, to ensure the soil stays healthy and can continue to grow the crops we require. This can be achieved through efficient fertilization— mineral, organic, or for the best results, both. Continue reading