The Agroecology Knowledge Hub at the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization is a resource for policy makers, philanthropists, researchers and farmers organizations on the transdiciplanary science of agroecology.
As part of the Agroecology Knowledge hub project, the FAO contracted Devon to:
• Build a database of agroecology literature, drawing on the expertise of agroecology researchers around the world
• Reach out to farmers' organizations in the United States and Latin America to collect their experiences with farmer-lead research and farmer-researcher collaborations
• Contribute to Farmers Working Together, Working with Researchers, a forthcoming report on farmer research networks
• Contribute to research design for a pilot study investigating the impact of agroecological approaches like composting, increasing diversity and crop rotation on socioeconomic indicators for smallholder farmers
The Agroecology Knowledge Hub website describes the impetus for the project this way:
Agroecology plays an important role in contributing to the eradication of hunger and extreme poverty, and as a means to facilitate the transition to more productive, sustainable and inclusive food systems. Creating a greater awareness of agroecology and its advantages is an important step to help policy-makers, farmers and researchers to apply this approach to achieve a world without hunger.
There project grew out of a 2014 summit on agroecology at the Food and Agriculture Organization headquarters in Rome and subsequent regional meetings around the world. The FAO has been a key promotor of the "green revolution" and the industrial model of agriculture, so hosting a meeting of farmers, scientists and policy makers on agroecology marked a historic opening for alternative paradigms in the effort to end hunger. In closing remarks at the summit in Rome, FAO director general José Graziano da Silva said,
Today we opened... a window in this building... that for more than half a century has been considered the cathedral of the green revolution. We are conscious of this special moment, just as we, the FAO, were conscious when, in the 1970s, we brought a young scientist who was teaching at Chapingo [University in Mexico] to teach in India how to achieve high yields of maize—Dr. Norman Borlaug, consultant to the FAO. The FAO knew that this new paradigm, the green revolution, could alleviate the hunger that we confronted in Asia and Africa. Like every scientific and technological revolution has its time, we know that the paradigm of the green revolution is starting to show its weaknesses. That is why we are looking for new alternatives.
We hope that the Agroecology Knowledge Hub will help to make the case that agreoecology is a practical and powerful alternative paradigm that is already part of the shift to more productive, just and resilient food systems.