The Value of Agroecology in Socioeconomic Terms, a Study Published by the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa and ISARA in Lyon

Science has confirmed that the agroecological approach also has a positive impact from a socioeconomic perspective. The results of an analysis examining over 13,000 publications have been published in the scientific journal “Agronomy for Sustainable Development.”

The Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa and ISARA (Institut supérieur d’agriculture Rhône-Alpes) in Lyon conducted a large-scale study that confirmed for the first time the positive socioeconomic impact of agroecology.

Agroecology is an approach based on sustainable farming methods aimed at drastically reducing the use of substances such as pesticides and antibiotics in agriculture. The study, co-conducted by Paolo Barberi, selected 80 articles published between 2000 and 2022 that highlighted how the use of agroecological practices has more positive social and economic outcomes, evaluating key parameters such as income, revenue, and productivity.

Agricultural and environmental conditions have strongly influenced the results obtained, highlighting more significant aspects in the Southern Hemisphere, where agroecological practices are used, such as:

  • Agroforestry, a mixed agricultural system that combines tree plants managed together with a crop or livestock activity on the same farm plot;
  • Intercropping, the simultaneous cultivation of two or more different species in the same field;
  • The total absence or extreme reduction of soil tillage.

This publication is finally a scientific proof that was lacking in the literature and lays the foundation for future evaluations, including political ones. The ecological transition supported by the Green Deal cannot take steps backward. We must urgently shift towards sustainable agricultural systems like organic farming and promote their dissemination on a global scale. This data can support policymakers’ decisions, helping to promote and achieve the much-needed ecological transition.

The full study can be accessed at the following link: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s13593-024-00945-9.pdf

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