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Journal Articles Agronomy for Sustainable Development Year : 2024

The socio-economic performance of agroecology. A review


Abstract Agroecology is identified as an important solution to increase the sustainability of agricultural and food systems. Despite the increasing number of publications assessing the socio-economic outcomes of agroecology, very few studies have consolidated the scattered results obtained on various case studies. This paper provides new insights by consolidating evidence on the varied socio-economic effects of agroecology across a large number of cases at a global level. To this purpose, we used a rapid review methodology, screening more than 13,000 publications to retrieve evidence on the socio-economic outcomes of the implementation of agroecological practices. The results of the review indicate that (1) agroecological practices are associated more often with positive socio-economic outcomes across the broad range of evaluated metrics (51% positive, 30% negative, 10% neutral, and 9% inconclusive outcomes); (2) the socio-economic metrics associated with financial capital represent the vast majority of evaluated metrics (83% of total) and are affected positively in a large share of cases (53%), due to favourable outcomes on income, revenues, productivity and efficiency; (3) human capital metrics (16%) are associated with a larger number of negative outcomes (46% versus 38% positive), due to higher labour requirements and costs that are however partly compensated by an overall greater number of positive outcomes on labour productivity (55%); and (4) the results vary depending on the agroecological practice assessed; e.g. for agroforestry, we identify 53% positive outcomes while for cropping system diversification 35%. These results indicate an overall favourable potential for farms to benefit from a positive socio-economic performance with the use of agroecological practices. Yet, the magnitude, temporal aspects, and success factors related to these outcomes, as well as the trade-offs between them, and the system-level effects of an agroecological transition are to be further assessed, since they can have an important influence on the performance of individual farms.
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Dates and versions

hal-04527200 , version 1 (29-03-2024)




Ioanna Mouratiadou, Alexander Wezel, Kintan Kamilia, Angelica Marchetti, Maria Luisa Paracchini, et al.. The socio-economic performance of agroecology. A review. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 2024, 44 (2), pp.19. ⟨10.1007/s13593-024-00945-9⟩. ⟨hal-04527200⟩
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