City: Zoom meeting ID: 610 0416 8648
Organiser: Department of Crop Production Ecology
On November 26, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences has invited Miguel Altieri - one of the most well-known agroecologists in the world - to give a seminar. Agroecology promotes an agriculture that follows the rules of the ecosystem, which favors and is favored by biodiversity, and also includes cultural, social and economic aspects. Miguel believes that the ongoing epidemic reveals the shortcomings of today's food production system - and that agroecology can contribute to the solution.
Miguel Altieri became interested in agroecology as early as the 1970s, when he fled Chile after the military coup. By continuing his education in Colombia, he experienced small-scale agriculture with high levels of biodiversity both in and outside of the fields. This stimulated him to continue to explore more complex systems where biodiversity would contribute to ensure good yields and a lower damaged by pests.
He was admitted at the University of California at Berkeley in 1981, and during decades he was one of the few voices denouncing the consequences of industrial farming systems, heavily dependent on fossil-fuel based inputs, pesticides, genetic modified organisms and characterized by low levels of biodiversity.
Over the years, Altieri has published more than 250 articles and several books, including the classic "Agroecology: the scientific basis of alternative agriculture", a reference book in sustainable agriculture. Through research and education, Miguel Altieri has inspired and continues to inspire generations of students, agricultural researchers and farmers - especially small-scale farmers - around the world.
Now during the covid-19 epidemic, he claims that agroecology is more relevant than ever. According to Miguel Altieri, agroecology is the only option available to humanity to design and manage agricultural systems able to withstand future crises – whether it is pest outbreaks, pandemics, climate disruptions or financial meltdowns.
He recently published an article with Clara Nicholls on the subject, in which they argue that covid-19 is increasing number of consumers that may not be able to aﬀord food and that disruptions in transport may lead to food shortages locally.
For him, there are ﬁve main areas in which agroecology can point the way to a new post COVID-19 agriculture: overcoming the pesticide treadmill, enriching nature’s matrix, revitalizing small farms, creating alternative animal production systems and enhancing urban agriculture.
This seminar is a unique opportunity to listen to and discuss with Miguel Altieri, today Professor Emeritus, at UC Berkley in the USA.