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Barrios Latorre, Alejandro, 2021. Assessment of the sustainability of the small-scale food production system in Guachetá, Colombia : opportunities for agroecological interventions. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Dept. of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)



Small-scale farming systems in the Colombian Andes are vulnerable to threats that affect not only the food production and self-sufficiency of local communities, but that can affect the wellbeing of farmers and the environment. A holistic perspective of agriculture leads to understanding of the complexity of agroecosystems including its elements, processes, dynamics, interactions, synergies and trade-offs. This thesis examines the main characteristics, contexts and enabling environment for small-scale farming systems in Guachetá, Colombia, in order to identify and analyse the main agricultural problems in the municipality and possible solutions for them. Using the Tool for Agroecology Performance Evaluation (TAPE), the 10 elements of agroecology were evaluated on 7 farms along with the assessment of the performance of the systems using core performance criteria based on 5 key dimensions of sustainability. Furthermore, the analysis of qualitative data obtained from interviews with farmers and other actors, such as associations’representatives and academics in the fields of soils and agricultural science, facilitated the understanding of their perspectives in relation to the challenges that peasant farmers face. The results of this study show that the prevalence of dry climatic conditions and the variation on the typical rain patterns pose a major challenge for the current production system. In addition, the enabling environment, in regards to responsible governance and circular and solidarity economy, constitutes one of the major limitations. Currently, there are negligible possibilities for participation on the governance of the land and there is limited access to markets that offer fair conditions and proximity between consumers and producers. Also, the current agricultural practices reflect dependency on agrochemical inputs that, according to the analysis of the elements of agroecology, leads to low efficiency of the systems, limited agricultural biodiversity and low synergies within the agroecosystems. It is concluded that implementation of agroecological principles and practices that resemble natural ecological processes and that are characterized by joint action can aid in overcoming these issues leading to the improvement of the sustainability of food systems in Guachetá.

Main title:Assessment of the sustainability of the small-scale food production system in Guachetá, Colombia
Subtitle:opportunities for agroecological interventions
Authors:Barrios Latorre, Alejandro
Supervisor:Chongtham Iman, Raj and Sadovska, Vera
Examiner:Prade, Thomas
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2021
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM005 Agroecology - Master's programme 120 HEC
Supervising department:(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Biosystems and Technology (from 130101)
Keywords:agroecology, agroecological assessment, TAPE, small-scale agriculture, climate change, participation, Colombia
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agricultural economics and policies
Cropping patterns and systems
Deposited On:27 Sep 2021 08:27
Metadata Last Modified:28 Sep 2021 01:01

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