25.06.2018

In 2016, one review in the journal Horticulturae summed it up nicely: “Despite the call for alternative methods of production over the years, the paradigm of industrial or conventional agriculture still dominates and permeates most mainstream academic and policy discussions about the future of agriculture.”

Agroecology has been most heavily promoted in Latin America, and if it were on the rise in this region we would expect a slowdown or even a decline in the use of modern chemical inputs like fertilisers. Yet between 1980 and 2002 the use of urea fertiliser in South America increased by 60 per cent and the use of nitrogenous fertilisers by 139 per cent. In Central America, between those same dates the respective rates of increase were 139 per cent and 32 per cent. More recently, in Latin America and the Caribbean overall, between 2002 and 2014, total fertiliser consumption in kilograms per hectare of arable land rose by another 43 per cent.