Food systems worldwide are falling far short of sustainability goals. Not only do they leave a global total of 820 million people undernourished, they also worsen social inequities and — at every stage from food production to consumption — contribute to biodiversity loss, water pollution and natural resource depletion. Moreover, food systems account for about a third of global greenhouse gas emissions.
A redesign of food systems is urgently needed to achieve ecological, economic and social sustainability. Agroecology is gaining prominence as key to this radical shift. Evidence demonstrates how agroecological approaches can contribute to the development of sustainable, resilient agriculture and food systems.
However, despite many appropriate agroecological solutions at farm level, mechanisms for scaling them to broader food, land and water systems are limited. Barriers include: a) insufficient evidence on what innovations work where, when and why for widespread implementation; b) insufficient integration of capacities and resources; c) lack of, or misaligned, policies, institutions and governance; and d) lack of financial mechanisms.
This Initiative aims to develop and scale agroecological innovations with small-scale farmers and other agricultural and food system actors across different socio-ecological contexts in seven low- and middle-income countries.