Agroecology The Promise of Future Flourish

CONTEXT

AGROECOLOGY

A Science, a Movement, a Practice

“The popular ideas of Newton, Darwin and Freud have been overtaken by new discoveries. In the light of these emerging scientific insights, the universe is no longer seen as a lifeless, soulless aggregate of inert chunks of matter.” (Ervin Laszlo)

Edgar Mitchell says “We have the knowledge, the wisdom, and the visionaries among us to enable us to understand today’s critical issues. We must now find the collective political will to implement and accelerate the necessary steps, on a global basis, – or suffer the consequences”

Karan Singh says “This earth, looked upon in so many cultures as the Mother, has nurtured the evolution of consciousness from the slime of the primeval ocean billions of years ago to where we stand today. Now, in a dramatic reversal, it is we who must nurture the Earth, to repair the scares that in our hubris we have inflicted upon her and safeguard the welfare of all creatures that inhabit her today and in millennium to come.”

Thomas Berry says “The Earth is not adequately understood either by or spiritual or by our scientific traditions, the human has become an addendum or an intrusion… These attitudes prevent us from considering the Earth as a single society with ethical relations determined primarily by the wellbeing of the total Earth community”.

Riane Eisler eloquently says “Human consciousness does not spring up in a vacuum, it is shaped by culture. That is why at this evolutionary crossroads – when we and our natural habitat are being, as never before, reshaped by technology – cultural evolution is as important as biological evolution and in some ways more so”.

Otto Herbert Hajek in his description of the role of art and the artist says “Human society can only prevent the threatening self-destruction of itself and its world through – over population, irresponsible exploitation of nature’s raw materials, waste of energy, and damage to the biosphere – if it is prepared to evolve new global ethics.”

“The new paradigm may be called a holistic worldview, seeing the world as an integrated whole rather than a disassociated collection of parts. It may also be called an ecological view, if the term ‘ecological’ is used in a much broader and deeper sense than usual. Deep ecological awareness recognizes the fundamental interdependence of all phenomena and the fact that, as individuals and societies, we are all embedded in (and ultimately dependent on) the cyclical processes of nature.” – Fritjof Capra, “The Web of life” (1996)

“The evaluation of sustainable land management is an integral part of the process of harmonising agriculture and food production with the often conflicting, interests of economics and the environment. Agriculture is expected to continue to be the so called ‘engine’ of economic development in most developing countries but for this to be realistic; agriculture in the future will have to be increasingly more productive, more economically efficient and more environmentally friendly – in a phrase, more sustainable (Smyth, et al. 1993)

 

CHAPTERS

1.       Introduction & Background

2.       The Evolution of Agriculture

3.       What is Organic Agriculture?

4.       The History & Development of Organic Agriculture

5.       Principles of Agroecology

6.       Soil Fertility

7.       What Makes a Soil Fertile & Healthy?

8.       Soil Cultivation & Tillage

9.       Soil Erosion & Conservation

10.     Mulching

11.     Associating Crops & Crop Rotation

12.     Composting

13.     Green Manures & Cover Crops

14.     Effective Microorganisms (EM)

15.     Ecological Pest Management

16.     Weed Management

17.     Working with Cattle

18.     Planning the Agricultural Endeavour

19.     Conversion to Organic Farming

20.     The Bee

21.     Social & Environmental Issues in Agriculture

22.     Nutrition

23.     The Earth Charter

24.     Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth

25.    Agroecological Manifesto

26.     Bibliography