Title

Sowing Change: Agro-ecology and Alternative Development in Ecuador

Presenter

Erin Walters

Abstract

Organic, small-scale farming in the Andes, also known as agro-ecology, has a rich history and immense possibility for socio-economic empowerment. Despite this potential, agro-ecology barely figures into global plans for “sustainable development,” which revolve around carbon markets. It also has little credibility with those who believe that biotechnology, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers represent the future of farming. As a small, non-industrialized country, Ecuador has many networks of small farmers but fewer institutionalized examples of small, sustainable agriculture. I studied various cases of agro-ecology in Cuenca (a midsize city in the south of Ecuador), their involvement with concepts of development and sustainability, and their position relative to local and national governments. In my presentation I explore what is gained and lost when regional governments, as opposed to community networks, direct agro-ecology initiatives.

Faculty Sponsor

Aaron Bobrow-Strain

Sponsor Department/Programs

Politics

Tracks

Health, Education and Ecology

Location

Science 159

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Research Funding Source or OCS Program

SIT: Ecuador Development, Politics and Languages

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Apr 19th, 4:45 PM Apr 19th, 5:00 PM

Sowing Change: Agro-ecology and Alternative Development in Ecuador

Science 159

Organic, small-scale farming in the Andes, also known as agro-ecology, has a rich history and immense possibility for socio-economic empowerment. Despite this potential, agro-ecology barely figures into global plans for “sustainable development,” which revolve around carbon markets. It also has little credibility with those who believe that biotechnology, pesticides and synthetic fertilizers represent the future of farming. As a small, non-industrialized country, Ecuador has many networks of small farmers but fewer institutionalized examples of small, sustainable agriculture. I studied various cases of agro-ecology in Cuenca (a midsize city in the south of Ecuador), their involvement with concepts of development and sustainability, and their position relative to local and national governments. In my presentation I explore what is gained and lost when regional governments, as opposed to community networks, direct agro-ecology initiatives.