- the application of ecology to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems.
- A holistic approach to agriculture and food systems development based on traditional knowledge, alternative agriculture, and local food system experiences.
- Linking ecology, culture, economics, and society to sustain agricultural production, healthy environments, and viable food and farming communities.
Agriculture is in crisis. Although the worlds agricultural lands continue to produce at least as much food as they have in the past, there are abundant signs that the foundations of their productivity are in danger. Soil erosion, longterm effects of chemical pest and weed control, desertification and fossil fuel based fertilisers and machinery. The term agroecology incorporates ideas about a more environmentally and socially sensitive approach to agriculture, one that focuses not only on production, but also on the ecological sustainability of the production system.
Agroecology is the idea that a agricultural field is and ecosystem in which ecological processes found in other vegetation formations such as nutrient cycling, predator/prey interactions, competition, commensalism and successional changes also occur.