Agro-ecology promotes a vision of agriculture based on quality, rather than production-focused farming. It also refuses to accept a purely technical approach to farming. Its main principles combine technical knowhow with the reestablishment of peasants’ important economic and social roles.
More precisely, agro-ecological production adapts itself to the specific characteristics of each region and protects the existing resources (the soil, water, etc…). The soil is fertilized with natural substances (manure, compost), as much as to protect the crop as to avoid environmental pollution, and to reduce the economic burden on the peasants of buying commercial chemicals products. The seeds used are of a local variety and are produced by the peasants themselves in order to avoid economic dependence on seed distributers; this also contributes to the preservation of seed varieties neglected by distributors (biodiversity).
Thus, agro-ecology allows for the combination of economic, environmental and food security (healthier food). It plays an important role in the promotion of food sovereignty, because it favors methods of production that are environmentally sustainable, profitable for the peasants, respectful of their work, affordable and that produce consumer quality goods.
In Rwanda, Frères des Hommes and its local partner Adenya are developing an anti-erosion construction program around three hills to improve agricultural production and to reinforce the households self-reliance for food, all while preserving natural resources. In Haïti, Frères des Hommes and the Mouvement paysan Papaye are working along the High Central Plateau on the sustainable development of potential fruit trees and gardens that are currently poorly used, while still allowing for the reforestation of the region.