Agroecological transition

Date last updated: 16/06/2017

Agroecological transition

Date last updated:

Foreign equivalent(s):

Transition agroécologique (fr) | TAE (fr)

Production: Raphaël Granvaud-Perez, ENSAV, 2018

The term transition refers to the process by which the principles governing a system are radically altered, resulting in a series of changes of both the values of actors and the techniques they use. Its duration varies from a few years for a production unit, to several decades for a sector of activity or for society as a whole. A transition is a complex process because a system in place is generally locked by the coherence, built over time, between techniques, habits of actors, regulation, etc. Removing these locks requires collective actions such as transition management, and the adoption of a path-making strategy whose ends and means are reconsidered whenever necessary during the transition process.

The agroecological transition is a change of the agricultural model in order to implement the principles of agroecology and therefore respond to the sector’s crises. It is based, in particular, on i) the creation and mobilization of knowledge from agroecology, ii) the involvement of actors (farmers, agricultural advisers …) in the construction of this knowledge to tailor it to different territories, and iii) the territorialisation of agriculture, involving in particular a reconnection of agricultural production with food localism.

This transition results in a co-evolution of technical and social changes in the agricultural sector, depending on those related to food (eating habits, regulation …) or energy. For instance, the adoption of a new pulse in a crop rotation may be hindered by the lack of consumption of this pulse. The agroecological transition is a supported by participatory approaches involving actors, all the more necessary because it faces a multiplicity of operators, both in number (thousands of farms) and professions (from the farmer to the person responsible of mass catering); as well as the complexity of the locks to be lifted, such as for instance the need to diversify agricultural production in a dedicated area.

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