Agroecological Approaches in the Context of Innovation Hubs
2. Improving the Understanding of Agroecology in the European Context—Analytical Framework
- By incorporating ecological concepts into agricultural practices, it aims to transform agricultural practices, secure the sustainable use of ecosystem services and natural resources, and meet the need for socially just food systems; Technologies are applicable to all types of agricultural holdings and can play a crucial role in helping farmers use excellent agricultural practices more widely .
- Agroecology is a transdisciplinary science that integrates various academic fields to find solutions to practical issues. It does this by collaborating with numerous stakeholders, taking into account their local knowledge and cultural values, and working in a reflective and iterative manner that encourages co-learning between researchers and practitioners as well as horizontal dissemination along the food chain.
- Agroecology has developed over the past several decades to include the entirety of agriculture and food systems rather than just a concentration on fields and farms. It is not just a science but also a set of practices and a social movement. It is advised that farmers’ knowledge be increased through a variety of technical training programs employing participatory methodologies, since this will encourage farmers to adopt Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for secure pesticide usage .
- Comprehending field-level farming techniques that prioritize recycling, maintaining soil and animal health, using little external inputs but a high level of agrobiodiversity, controlling interactions between components, and economic diversification. Since then, the emphasis has widened to incorporate processes at the landscape scale, including the more recent practices of social science and political ecology in relation to the creation of just and sustainable food systems. The likelihood of switching to organic farming is increased by the direct sales gross marketable output and by the intensity of labor and machinery. However, the availability of family labor, farm localization, and financial resources deter the transition to an organic agricultural system .
- An agroecological approach emphasizes the value of local knowledge and participatory processes leading to new knowledge and innovative practices through science, and the need to address social inequalities. The agroecological approach should favor the use of natural processes, limit the use of external inputs, and promote closed cycles with minimal negative externalities. This has significant ramifications for the structure of research, teaching, and extension. Gliessman (2007) outlined five stages in the shift from agroecological to more sustainable food systems. The first three are agroecological in nature and involve : (i) improving input usage efficiency; (ii) switching to agroecological alternatives for conventional inputs and practices; and (iii) rebuilding the agroecosystem based on a new set of ecological processes. The final two phases, which affect the entire food system, are (iv) re-establishing a closer relationship between producers and consumers, and (v) creating a new, participatory, local, equitable, and just global food system. The latter three phases are more transformational than the first two, which are gradual. The customers’ intents to choose organic food over conventional food are positively impacted by subjective norms, perceived control behavior, knowledge, health consciousness, and environmental consciousness .
- reliance on ecological processes is not clear from the point of view of costs and benefits, and as a business model.
- local adaption and control of a system’s approach embracing management of interactions among components rather than focusing only on specific technologies is not clearly understood.
- understanding it as a social movement associated with agroecology is not obvious, and it requires greater efforts to initiate a widespread change of agriculture and food systems.
- agroecology is not understood as an interinstitutional political framework under which many social movements and peasant organizations around the world assert their collective rights, and advocate for a diversity of locally adapted agriculture and food systems, mainly practiced by small-scale food producers.
- there is a need for a strong connection to be made between agroecology, the right to food and food sovereignty, but it is not clear how to connect these areas.
- agroecology is seen as a political struggle, requiring people to challenge and transform governance structures and society at large, but it is not clear how and at what costs.
7. Limitations of the Study
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Profile||Education3||Regarding your education, please choose one of the options (which you have already graduated from)|
|Work4||Regarding your work: (a) I am employed and paid, |
(b) I am employed and entrepreneur, (c) I am not paid,
(d) None of these
|HA5||The agricultural area (ha) that you have cultivated/leased is: (a) Less than 5 ha, (b) Between 5 ha and 100 ha (c) Over 100 ha|
|Time6||How long have you been managing your farm:|
|EcoAgri8||What do you mean by ecological agriculture?|
|SustenAgri9||What do you mean by sustainable agriculture?|
|ImplementP11||Are you currently implementing practices to support |
|Practices||Soil14||How do you want to change the farming system you practice in the near future? On a scale of 1 to 5 I want to add: |
|Plowing14||How do you want to change the farming system you practice in the near future? On a scale of 1 to 5 I want to add: [Plowing]|
|Compost14||How do you want to change the farming system you practice in the near future? On a scale of 1 to 5 I want to add: |
[Compost, mulch, manure]
|PestMng14||How do you want to change the farming system you practice in the near future? On a scale of 1 to 5 I want to add: |
[Integrated pest management]
|Animal14||How do you want to change the farming system you practice in the near future? On a scale from 1 to 5 I want to add: |
[Integrated animal husbandry]
|Culture14||How do you want to change the farming system you practice in the near future? On a scale of 1 to 5 I want to add: |
[Diversity of cultures]
|Pollination14||How do you want to change the farming system you practice in the near future? On a scale of 1 to 5 I want to add: [Pollination]|
|Change13||Do you want to change the farming system you practice in the near future?|
|CostHa21||What are the costs per ha?|
|IncomeHa21||What are the incomes per ha?|
|Profit7||Does the farm offer you enough profits to live well?|
|Government 22||Are the government practices sustaining your activity?|
|Apreciaion26||How are you appreciated by your neighbors, in relation to the agricultural activity you carry out?|
|Reflexive/Formative Construct||Composite Reliability||Cronbach Alpha||rho_A||R Square||Path Coefficients|
|Latent Variable Correlation|
|Saturated Model||Estimated Model|
|Original Sample (O)||Sample Mean (M)||Standard Deviation (STDEV)||t Test Statistics (|O/STDEV|)||p Values|
|Factors → Profile||0.885||0.903||0.087||10.159||0.000|
|Profile → Practices||−0.567||−0.724||0.281||2.021||0.044|
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Lianu, C.; Simion, V.-E.; Urdes, L.; Bucea-Manea-Țoniș, R.; Radulescu, I.G.; Lianu, C. Agroecological Approaches in the Context of Innovation Hubs. Sustainability 2023, 15, 4335. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054335
Lianu C, Simion V-E, Urdes L, Bucea-Manea-Țoniș R, Radulescu IG, Lianu C. Agroecological Approaches in the Context of Innovation Hubs. Sustainability. 2023; 15(5):4335. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054335Chicago/Turabian Style
Lianu, Costin, Violeta-Elena Simion, Laura Urdes, Rocsana Bucea-Manea-Țoniș, Irina Gabriela Radulescu, and Cosmin Lianu. 2023. "Agroecological Approaches in the Context of Innovation Hubs" Sustainability 15, no. 5: 4335. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15054335