Agroecology

—the conceptual application of ecological knowledge to the design and management of sustainable agro-ecosystems. It is a holistic approach to agriculture and the development of food systems based on traditional knowledge, alternative visions, and local experiences. Overall, linking ecology, culture, economics, and society to ensure sustainable agricultural production, healthy environments, and resilient farming communities.

Methods of Agroecological Implementation

Bamboo 
Cultivation

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Bamboo, a "woody" grass, can be cultivated to enhance soil quality and water conservation. Apart from the ecological benefits, the economic incentives for growing bamboo include the sale of bamboo poles and shoots. Bamboo cultivation can be supported with elements of agroforestry, making it a method of agroecology-based practice.

Bamboo is also a very resilient plant. In the aftermath of the 2014 floods in Pahang, the raging waters bent may have the bamboo pole but they managed to hold onto the soil. This picture was taken at Kuala Tahan, along the Tembeling river in Taman Negara. 

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

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"Most tropical rice ecosystems are endowed with rich biodiversity, which helps provide vital biological control services. Highly intensive production systems, however, harm the rich habitat biodiversity and, coupled with heavy chemical inputs, compromise ecosystem services and thus make rice production systems vulnerable to invading pests such as planthoppers and leaffolders." (Rice Planthopper Project)

"Arthropod biodiversity and abundance are fundamental components of rice ecosystems that have resistance and resilience to pest attacks. They provide farms with ecosystem services, such as resistance to pest invasions and regulation of pest populations that prevent pest species from increasing to levels that can cause economic loss to farmers." (The Hainan Project)

A common question is how do we assess the success of IPM? The criteria for evaluation should be based on behavioural changes in farmers: how they approach problems in their fields, regardless of whether these are insects, diseases, weeds, water, fertiliser, or varieties or soils... to judge if indeed farmers have benefited from an IPM programme where they desire to improve themselves through increased income, to have self confidence and to become effective citizens, contributing to the well-being of the community and the country. " (Professor Peter Ooi)

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Implications of Agroecology on Society

Incentives recycling of biomass within an agro-ecosystem

Invest in smallholders for agroecological improvement

of soil and water conditions

Avoid reckless introduction of GMOs or other emerging technologies

Ensure biological heterogeneity and diversity at the landscape and farm level

Protect indigenous people and peasants' rights to select, domesticate, breed, exchange and use native species of crops and livestock varieties

Recognize women's central roles in agricultural and food systems; revitalize rural economies, minority cultures as well as marginalized livelihood practices

Prioritize the use of natural resources such as land and water for local food, energy and water security

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