The first week of November will be dedicated to agroecology. A visit to a solidarity farm in the Bern region, the screening of a documentary on Switzerland’s first agroeco-district in Meyrin (GE), a meeting with researchers from the University of Lausanne who are active in the field of agroecological transition, or an exchange between experts on the Federal place on the results obtained in countries of the South. The events explore the many facets of the agroecological approach in French, German and English. They also aim to illustrate the importance of agroecology for the future of our food systems and their sustainability.
About two years ago, several agroecology experts from SWISSAID, SDC (Swiss Confederation), Biovision, Fastenopfer and other organizations founded a new network called Agroecology works! The aim was to raise awareness of the term and concept of agroecology in Switzerland and to bring together actors from international cooperation with actors from the Swiss agricultural sector. Since then, the network has grown with the increasing participation of Swiss organizations and local initiatives.
The first day will start with Markus Allemann, Director of SWISSAID, and other speakers who will present agroecology as a solution for resilient and sustainable food systems, both in the South and the North.
Agroecology improves people's lives
Agroecology is based on sustainable agricultural practices, scientifically validated, such as natural fertilizers, natural pesticides or low impact mixed farming. In addition to having a low environmental impact, these practices are more resistant to climate change.
Agroecology brings significant improvements to populations in the South. Farmers are able to produce enough good quality food, despite extreme weather; increasingly scarce but intense rainfall, longer periods of drought, the drying up of water tables or unprecedented heat. In addition, agroecology allows for a greater variety of crops to be grown for a healthier diet. In other words, agroecology fights against hunger and malnutrition.
“I could even share food and seedlings with my neighbours whose conventional practices did not yield enough”, Mariana Horta, a farmer converted to agroecological methods in Ecuador.
Agroecology enables social improvement
To build sustainable food systems, political and social leaders around the world need to rethink the entire system. The alarm signals are there: “The current agro-industrial food system has largely shown its limits. The erosion of biodiversity, the leaching of soils, the growing number of hungry people, the environmental pollution linked to production and transport – the balance sheet is bleak and it is urgent to act”, says Johanna Jacobi, professor at ETH Zurich and member of the Agreoecology works! network.
Sign the petition!
In addition to the agroecology days, a petition has been launched. Politicians and society agree that it is urgent to change our agricultural and food economy, so that all citizens can benefit from a healthy food, in sufficient quantity and produced in good conditions, while ensuring the protection of natural resources. In this context, agroecology appears to be the best approach. This is why Switzerland plays an important role at the international level in the promotion of agroecology. However, a clear commitment to agroecology in Switzerland is not yet on the agenda of political decision makers. We demand that Switzerland consistently orient its agricultural and food economy towards agroecology. Sign and share the petition now to show that our demands are supported by a large part of the population.