Agroecological Intensification

Agroecological intensification (AEI) means improving the performance of agriculture through integration of ecological principles into farm and system management. Depending on the context, improved performance may mean any or all of the following: increased productivity, enhanced use of local resources, maximized returns from external inputs, improved stability and/or diversity of diets, with associated increases in resilience and environmental service provision from farmed landscapes.

Conventional agriculture research tends to be top-down and isolated from smallholder farmers and their local ecological, economic, and social realities. As a result, farmers often find the products of the research — from seed varieties and tools to policy recommendations — inaccessible, irrelevant, or non-functional. Much of the global effort to support farming communities has been ineffective, exacerbating instead of reducing hunger, poverty, and ecological degradation.

To help shift this paradigm, the Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) supports research in agroecological intensification (AEI), which aims to improve the performance of agriculture systems by integrating ecological principles into farm management. CCRP-funded projects bring together farmers, researchers, and other stakeholders to understand the particular conditions under which smallholder farmers operate. Researchers and farmers collaborate to identify or develop options that fit farmers’ contexts, address their constraints, and provide them with new opportunities.

More information

  • Characteristics of AEI

    CCRP supports research in agroecological intensification (AEI), which aims to improve the performance of agriculture systems by integrating ecological principles into farm management. Click below to learn more.

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  • What is the potential for impact?

  • AEI Levers and Outcomes

    CCRP supports AEI research that can be applied by farmers and communities to improve productivity, nutrition, and livelihoods. Beyond these tangible impacts, many of the research principles that AEI embodies — farmer participation and ownership in the research process, integration of global and local knowledge, cross-sector and multilateral collaboration — help strengthen societal structures. As local people build networks through CCRP projects, they help to revitalize the economy and culture of rural communities.

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  • AEI Exchange

    The AEI Exchange is intended to serve as a platform for assessing the evidence base for agroecological intensification (AEI), and as a forum and information source for those interested in AEI. We hope that this resource will support and inform researchers and development practitioners in developing countries. It is also intended as way to inform CCRP's grant-making practice in support of AEI.
     

    Visit the AEI Exchange to learn more.

  • Agroecology Knowledge Hub (AKH)

    Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) released the Agroecology Knowledge Hub (AKH) in November 2016. The site can be accessed by visiting http://www.fao.org/agroecology/en.

  • AKH Guidelines for Agroecology Profiles

    The AKH site includes profiles of people and initiatives working on agroecology. If you would like to have an innovative farmer or particular success story resulting from your project featured on the AKH, please view the “Guidelines Agroecology Profiles.”

     

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