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Technological Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture at a Crossroads: An Agroecological Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Miguel A. Altieri

    () (Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM), University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA)

  • Clara I. Nicholls

    () (International and Area Studies, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA)

  • Rene Montalba

    () (Departamento de Ciencias Agronomicas y Recursos Naturales, Universidad de la Frontera, Francisco Salazar, 01145 Temuco, Chile)

Abstract

Most efforts to improve agricultural production remain focused on practices driven by an intensification agenda and not by an agroecological one. Agroecology transcends the reformist notion of organic agriculture and sustainable intensification proponents who contend that changes can be achieved within the dominant agroindustrial system with minor adjustments or “greening” of the current neoliberal agricultural model. In the technological realm, merely modifying practices to reduce input use is a step in the right direction but does not necessarily lead to the redesign of a more self sufficient and autonomous farming system. A true agroecological technological conversion calls into question monoculture and the dependency on external inputs. Traditional farming systems provide models that promote biodiversity, thrive without agrochemicals, and sustain year-round yields. Conversion of conventional agriculture also requires major social and political changes which are beyond the scope of this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel A. Altieri & Clara I. Nicholls & Rene Montalba, 2017. "Technological Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture at a Crossroads: An Agroecological Perspective," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(3), pages 1-13, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:3:p:349-:d:91584
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lauren C. Ponisio & Paul R. Ehrlich, 2016. "Diversification, Yield and a New Agricultural Revolution: Problems and Prospects," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(11), pages 1-15, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1380-:d:143884 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bachev, Hrabrin & Ivanov, Bojidar & Toteva, Dessislava & Sokolova, Emilia, 2018. "Оценка На Аграрната Устойчивост В България На Ниво Район, Екосистема, Подотрасъл И Стопанска Организация
      [Assessment of agrarian sustainability at regional, ecosystem, sectioal and farm levels in B
      ," MPRA Paper 83690, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:8:p:1357-:d:106713 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:2:p:391-:d:129937 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:gam:jagris:v:7:y:2017:i:8:p:62-:d:106104 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Bachev, Hrabrin & Ivanov, Bojidar & Toteva, Dessislava & Sokolova, Emilia & Terziev, Dimitar & Nikolov, Dimitar & Radeva, Donka & Chopeva, Minka & Li, Hongfei & Che, Shengquan, 2018. "Управление И Оценка На Аграрната Устойчивост – Опит, Предизвикателства И Уроци От България И Китай
      [Governing and assessment of agrarian sustainability - experiences, challenges, and lessons from B
      ," MPRA Paper 83998, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:12:p:2294-:d:122417 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:6:p:990-:d:100862 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agroecology; organic agriculture; conversion; transition; Latin America; California;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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