Agroecology or Collapse Part III – Reclaiming the ‘archaic’, ‘anarchic’, and ‘utopian’ as the language of food system transformation

Agroecology is a struggle to overcome industrial agriculture and is simultaneously a practice, a science, and a movement. Detractors often criticize Agroecology saying it is archaic, anarchic, & utopian. Perhaps, paradoxically, this is where its potential lies.  Agroecology is archaic, anarchic, and utopian – of course it is and thank goodness! In the final post of this three-part series, Paulo Petersen and Denis Monteiro push back against the arguments often made against agroecology. They engage with the language used to critique agroecology, and reverse it to articulate these as critical resources for social transformation. …

Agroecology or Collapse Part II – Democratizing Food Systems and Breaking the Bonds of Food Empires

Thinking that the agroecology movement is limited to producing organics in a “differentiated niche” is a mistake. Its focus is to redirect agriculture according to logics that oppose and subvert the capitalist market. In Part II of this three-part series, Paulo Petersen and Denis Monteiro dig deeper into articulating capitalist neoliberal food empires as the structural root of the current crises in food systems. They go on to present the case for agroecology as the alternative model to prevent the looming collapse. Part I is available here. Earlier versions of this pieces were previously …

Agroecology or Collapse: Part 1 – From Emergency Responses to Systemic Transformations

In this first of a three-part contribution to Agroecologynow, Paulo Petersen and Denis Monteiro present the current moment as a crisis in capitalism that demands systemic and structural responses based in solidarity and feminist economics. This lays the foundations for agroecology as a new organizing paradigm for food systems that holds the key to preventing the collapse of our living systems as we know them. Earlier versions of these pieces were previously published in Portuguese. Part II available here. As we try to reimagine our world, we must look at the countryside. There we …

Building Resilience to Natural Disasters in populated African Mountain Ecosystems

As part of CAWR’s Stabilisation Agriculture Programme, I recently visited Chimanimani district in Zimbabwe to initiate comparative research on how conventional and agroecologically managed landscapes coped with the impacts of Cyclone Idai in March 2019. Idai deposited the total annual rainfall in the first twelve hours alone – yet sat over and devastated Chimanimani for three days. Written by George McAllister from the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience. This wasn’t the first time I’d visited Chimanimani. In fact, I undertook my own doctoral research on social farming and conflict in this same area …