European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) has released a new publication on its vision of peasant agroecology, capable of offering solutions to the present-day major environmental, social, economic and political challenges we are facing.

 

The publication explains the concepts of peasant agroecology according to ECVC, then offers diverse case studies that showcase different ways peasant agroecology can be achieved according to local conditions, cultures, resources and practices.

 

Here you can find an extract of the publication, explaining ECVC’s vision of peasant agroecology. In the links below, you can read the whole publication in PDF in seven languages.

 

PDF version: English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Romanian, Italian

 

 

Peasant Agroecology is a way of life

 

Peasant agroecology supports life-enriching systems and opposes life-alienating systems. It offers solutions to the major environmental, social, economic and political challenges we are facing today. It is a living practice, as well as a science and a socio-political movement, built and fostered by people over thousands of years. For aeons it has proven to be the most just and sustainable way of sustaining (human) life on planet Earth. Peasant agroecology deeply connects us with our relationships and our feelings toward others and our natural environment. As such, it contributes to the creation of balanced societies embedded within a healthy world. Peasant agroecology does not only concern agriculture but the transformation of our society built upon collective rights, customs and laws acknowledging farmers and communities rights to self-determination and autonomy.

 

Ecologies of production and knowledge. Peasant agroecology works together with natureand not against nature. Peasant agroecology is based on principles of biodiversity and believes that soil does not require external inputs to be productive, healthy, and resilient. Itcelebrates the synergies between different plant and animal species to enhance ecological services and agricultural productivity. It does not support the use of monocultures, GMO crops, patents over seeds, plants and animals, and the use of agrochemicals.

 

Peasant agroecology is rooted in traditional farmer knowledge and has contributed since the beginning of agricultural practices to better understand the relationship between food production and the surrounding ecosystems: agriculture is fully integrated in ‘the territory’ which includes the environmental but also social and cultural dimension. Peasant agroecology respects diverse and regional knowledge based on horizontality and justice principles combined with scientific knowledge. It relies on farmer-to-farmer, intergenerational, and experiential learning processes and legitimizes the role of emotions and feelings in agricultural practices.

 

PEASANT AGROECOLOGY ACCORDING TO ECVC

 

An alternative economic paradigm. Peasant agroecology deliberately stands outside the current economic paradigm: it is based on principles of solidarity, cooperation, and exchange and strives for local and circular alternatives such as short food chain systems. Economic activities develop within ecological boundaries and are driven by local conditions and local needs rather than  capitalist interests and growth at any cost. Most important, in peasant agroecology, small-scale food producers are respected for playing a leading role in the economy and are fairly rewarded for their work. Peasant agroecology empowers local and circular markets building resilience and autonomy from global corporate markets.

 

A social and political movement for people’s rights and power. Peasant agroecology puts the rights of small-scale food producers as a priority on the agenda. All small-scale food producers should have free access and rights of decision over seeds, land and the commons like water, air, culture and knowledge. Peasant agroecology permanently challenges the structures of power in society and transforms the power of domination into a leadership defined by those who care for the whole.

 

Peasant agroecology represents a movement towards equality and emphasizes the importance of women, the youth, and systematically marginalized communities in production and the life of future generations. As such, it can ally with other movements which fight for social, environmental, and climate justice. Peasant Agroecology is essential for a lasting peaceful existence of all life on Earth.

 

 

IN SHORT:

 

Peasant agroecology is a way of life. We support life-enriching systems and oppose life-alienating systems. Ecologically we work together with nature and not against it. We cherish synergies between living beings and prioritize traditional farmer knowledge and participatory, transgenerational, and experiential learning processes.Economically we base our principles on forms of economy that is truly beneficial for communities: solidarity, circular, regional, within ecological boundaries. Politically we put the small-scale food producers rights as a priority on the agenda and we form a movement towards equality and social justice for all people worldwide.

 

The Summary Of The 11 Principles Of Agroecology

 

The “Peasant Agroecology According to ECVC” document is founded upon the joint work of the Agroecology working group and Youth articulation of the ECVC and based on the Nyéléni International Forum for Agroecology, Pillars and Principles[1] with ECVC Agroecology Declaration [2]. Below you’ll find a summary of the 11 principles.

 

  1. Fluid in application across territories
  2. Ecological and low-input
  3. Political, social, and determined by communities
  4.  Collective rights and access to the commons
  5. Horizontality and diversity of learning
  6. Spiritual and non commodified connection to the land
  7. Solidarity and collective action
  8. Autonomous and fair, based upon a solidarity economy
  9. Challenging and transforming global power structures
  10. Equal power and remuneration across genders
  11. Opportunities for rural youth

 

[1] https://www.foodsovereignty.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Download-declaration-Agroecology-Nyeleni-2015.pdf
[2] https://www.eurovia.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/ECVC-declaration-on-Agroecology-08-05-2014.pdf