Economic Potential of Agroecology – An informative session at Tropentag 2022

Luisa Pereira Goss from the University of Hohenheim talked about agroecological transitions and presented a case study of the Terra Vista settlement where she grounded her thoughts on how the settlement went under ecological transition and growing cacao, vegetables, salads, and a lot more. It was not a linear process for them and still facing a lot of challenges. According to her the settlement still holds a lot of economic potentials but the lack of certification and strategic value chain is still a huge challenge for them to expand the network.

Later, Nadia Guettou Djurfeldt touched on a very sensitive topic that focused on Women’s empowerment along the agriculture to nutrition pathways in a participatory community project in western Kenya. Her work aimed to assess how community-based nutrition projects contributed to woman empowerment following pathways like agriculture as the source of food and income. She elaborated on how women’s inclusion can make them independent and also gave them decision-making power to expand their crop production and investment in off-farm activities. It was interesting to know agriculture and women’s empowerment are actually different sides of the same coin. She also added for sustainability either in agriculture practices or overall development both genders need empowerment. 

It was an informative session that addressed the economic potential of agroecology and what challenges still need to be addressed. The session was wrapped up with a final discussion between the presenters on why they think farmers need support on agriculture practices when they already possessed all the knowledge. In the discussion, some pointed out that farmers are losing their traditional knowledge and need external support to adopt agroecological farming.