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Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 12:20pm
Rachel Bezner Kerr
Professor, Dept. of Development Sociology, Cornell University
Agroecology takes a holistic approach to agriculture, that minimizes fossil-fuel based inputs, maximizes biodiversity, soil and water conservation, builds on farmer knowledge and emphasizes the linkages between environmental social, economic and political dimensions of agricultural systems. While there are some demonstrated impacts of agroecology, it has also been a subject of contested debate, with some critics suggesting that it is not viable in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa. Dr. Bezner Kerr will present an overview of long-term transdisciplinary and participatory research in Malawi, which suggests that agroecological approaches can improve food security and nutrition and build long term community resilience for smallholder households, when explicitly combined with strategies to address inequalities in the food system.