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Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 349; doi:10.3390/su9030349

Technological Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture at a Crossroads: An Agroecological Perspective

Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM), University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
International and Area Studies, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Departamento de Ciencias Agronomicas y Recursos Naturales, Universidad de la Frontera, Francisco Salazar, 01145 Temuco, Chile
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Manuel González de Molina and Gloria Guzman
Received: 24 November 2016 / Revised: 22 February 2017 / Accepted: 23 February 2017 / Published: 27 February 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [807 KB, uploaded 4 March 2017]   |  


Most efforts to improve agricultural production remain focused on practices driven by an intensification agenda and not by an agroecological one. Agroecology transcends the reformist notion of organic agriculture and sustainable intensification proponents who contend that changes can be achieved within the dominant agroindustrial system with minor adjustments or “greening” of the current neoliberal agricultural model. In the technological realm, merely modifying practices to reduce input use is a step in the right direction but does not necessarily lead to the redesign of a more self sufficient and autonomous farming system. A true agroecological technological conversion calls into question monoculture and the dependency on external inputs. Traditional farming systems provide models that promote biodiversity, thrive without agrochemicals, and sustain year-round yields. Conversion of conventional agriculture also requires major social and political changes which are beyond the scope of this paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: agroecology; organic agriculture; conversion; transition; Latin America; California agroecology; organic agriculture; conversion; transition; Latin America; California

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Altieri, M.A.; Nicholls, C.I.; Montalba, R. Technological Approaches to Sustainable Agriculture at a Crossroads: An Agroecological Perspective. Sustainability 2017, 9, 349.

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