Agroecology at a crossroads
Agroecology as resistance and transformation: Food sovereignty and Mother Earth
Illustration : Logo Escuela Campesina Multimedia
Suddenly agroecology is in fashion with everyone, from grassroots social movements to the FAO, governments, universities and corporations. But not all have the same idea of agroecology in mind. While mainstream institutions and corporations for years have marginalized and ridiculed agroecology, today they are trying to capture it. They want to take what is useful to them – the technical part – and use it to fine tune industrial agriculture, while conforming to the monoculture model and to the dominance of capital and corporations in structures of power.
Social movements, on the other hand, use agroecology to challenge existing power structures – like land concentration and monopolies, to resist the multiple attacks on life in the countryside and on our Mother Earth, and as a tool for the social, economic, cultural, political and ecological transformation of communities and territories. Their agroecology is merely technical, our agroecology is political.
Agroecology has become a territory in dispute. It is essential that we build a consensus among our people’s movements of what it means to us, of what we are defending. That is why we held the International Forum for Agroecology at Nyéléni in Mali in February of 2015, and why we have been disputing agroecology in the recent series of agroecology forums hosted by FAO in Rome, the Americas, Asia, Africa, China and Europe, even as we actively build agroecology in our territories.
Peter Rosset, La Via Campesina and Martín Drago, Friends of the Earth International