Of 824 agriculture research projects funded by USDA REE that have an emphasis on sustainable agriculture, only 5-10% emphasized agroecology

November 18, 2015

 

"Yet, the amount of federal funding available for agroecology has remained unclear. To address this gap in knowledge, we identified projects beginning in 2014 from the USDA Current Research Information System (CRIS) database and searched key sections of project reports for major components emphasizing sustainable agriculture, including agroecology. Components were grouped into four levels according to their focus on: improving system efficiency to reduce the use of inputs (L1), substituting more sustainable inputs and practices into farming systems (L2), redesigning systems based on ecological principles (L3: agroecology), or reestablishing connections between producers and consumers to support a socio-ecological transformation of the food system (L4: social dimensions of agroecology). We identified 824 projects, which accounted for $294 million dollars: just over 10% of the entire 2014 USDA Research, Extension, and Economics (REE) budget."

"We estimated that projects with an emphasis on agroecology, indicated by those with a minimum or overall level of L3, represented 5–10% of analyzed funds (equivalent to only 0.6–1.5% of the 2014 REE budget)"

Marcia S. DeLonge, Albie Miles, and Liz Carlisle, "Investing in the transition to sustainable agriculture," Environmental Science and Policy, 55, no. 1 (January 2016): 266, doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2015.09.013, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462901115300812.

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