CONCORD invited Mr. Million Belay to attend the agroecology event “Opportunities and challenges for European development policy” at the European Parliament on March 20th 2018, and to provide a first-hand experience of the positive impact of agroecology on the life and work of smallholder farmers in Africa.
After the event, CONCORD did a short video interview with Mr. Belay, asking him questions on agroecology, both on the side of small-scale farmers and policy makers. He also provided some examples of successful agroecology practices.
Agro-ecology is the science of applying ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agriculture. It is a holistic approach to integrated agriculture, based on ecological principles, as well as food and nutrition security, food sovereignty and food justice.

Interview with Million Belay

Mr. Belay is founder of the MELCA-Ethiopia and the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), and an expert and advocate for forestry conservation, indigenous livelihoods and food and seed sovereignty. AFSA is a broad alliance of different civil society actors that are part of the struggle for food sovereignty and agroecology in Africa. Its members represent smallholder farmers, pastoralists, hunter/gatherers, indigenous peoples; faith-based institutions, and environmentalists from across Africa.

CONCORD’s position

CONCORD is convinced that we need a fundamental shift in food production towards a highly adaptive, low carbon, resource-preserving type of agriculture and in-country value addition that benefits also the poorest farmers across the globe, to meet the food and nutritional needs of a growing population within our planetary boundaries and achieve the SDGs.

In its policy brief “Agro-ecology to strengthen resilience” CONCORD Europe highlights the enormous potential of agro-ecology to respond to climate change, malnutrition and rural poverty. Recent research shows that agro-ecological agriculture increases land productivity and climate resilience, improves nutrition security, mitigates climate change, empowers small-scale producers and reduces rural poverty.

In the next months, CONCORD and its members are committed to continue promoting agro-ecology vis-à-vis EU institutions.