Sustainable Agriculture and Regional Development in Western Mexico: Lessons Learned, Challenges Ahead

Monday, July 14, 2014: 11:45 AM
Room: Booth 61
Oral Presentation
Peter GERRITSEN , Department of Ecology and Natural Resources, University of Guadalajara, Autlán,, Mexico
Globalization is an advanced process in Mexico, profoundly transforming the endogenous properties of the countryside, including its sustainability. As a consequence, many farmers can be identified who have been developing alternative development models, based on agro-ecological farming practices and the revalorization of the local territory, organization and knowledge systems. 

In western Mexico, many farmers have been transiting towards agroecological farming practices. Following international trends these transition processes are based upon two main strategies. On the one hand, farmers perceive agroecology as a way for substituting external inputs for locally elaborated ones, while, on the other hand, agroecology is seen as a means for developing an ideologically-based farming style.

This presentation describes the different transition processes towards sustainable agriculture, including motivations of farmers and their perceptions of its possibilities. Furthermore, it describes the regional context of sustainable agriculture. Based on both strategies encountered in our region, recommendations are made for promoting sustainable regional development.