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Altieri, Miguel A.
Publication date: 01/01/1998
It is argued here that agroecology - a science that provides ecological principles for the design and management of sustainable and resource-conserving agricultural systems - offers several advantages over the conventional agronomic or agroindustrial approach. First, agroecology relies on indigenous farming knowledge and selected modern technologies to manage diversity, incorporate biological principles and resources into farming systems, and intensify agricultural production. Second, it offers the only practical way to restore agricultural lands that have been degraded by conventional agronomic practices. Third, it provides for an environmentally sound and affordable way for smallholders to intensify production in marginal areas. Finally, it has the potential to reverse the anti-peasant bias of strategies that emphasize purchased inputs as opposed to the assets that small farmers already possess, such as their low opportunity costs of labor.
Concept paperNatural resource management