Regenerating Agriculture: Policies and Practice for Sustainability and Self-Reliance
It is becoming increasingly clear that a more sustainable agriculture can bring economic, environmental, and social benefits to farmers, communities, and nations. Regenerating Agriculture draws together for the first time new empirical evidence from a diverse range of agroecological and community settings to show the impacts of more sustainable practices. Twenty cases involving widespread success from Brazil, Burkina Faso, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, and Sri Lanka are presented, and are supported by field- and community-level data from more than 50 projects and programs in 28 countries. Despite this emerging evidence, many farmers still depend on high levels of external inputs. Regenerating Agriculture, identifies the common elements of successful programs and shows how those still using modernist approaches to agriculture can successfully turn to sustainable farming. The first chapter outlines the scale of the challenge and includes analysis of sustainable agriculture's characteristics and underlying philosophies and values. Pretty then presents analyses of the processes of agricultural modernization, focusing on both production- and conservation-oriented programs and policies and the common elements of success. Almost all of these successes have been achieved despite existing, biased policy environments that strongly favor modern approaches to agricultural development, and at the same time discriminate against sustainability. Regenerating Agriculture examines policy frameworks and institutional processes, then sets out 25 effective policies that are known to work to support the transition to greater sustainability and self-reliance in agriculture.