New Backgrounder: Scaling Agroecology – Six Domains of Transformation

How can we enable the scaling of agroecology from the bottom up? What is needed for agroecology to be advanced, amplified, scaled up and out? Our new publication identifies six ‘domains of transformation’ for agroecology.

Social movements, food producers, progressive researchers and other actors in civil society have long advocated for agroecology. More recently, agroecology is increasingly recognised by policy makers as an alternative paradigm for food and farming that can address multiple crises in the food system and enable a just transition. The challenge ahead is to enable the scaling of agroecology from “islands of success” to “seas of change”. How can agroecology be nurtured and strengthened on-farm, across and between territories, and throughout the food system?

This is a political, ecological, cultural and economic process. It is also often messy, chaotic and non-linear. Through an analysis of existing cases and the wider literature on agroecology, we have distilled the aspects, drivers, dimensions and qualities that are critical for the greater spread and institutional recognition and support for agroecology in a given context. We call them ‘domains of transformation’.


Domains of transformation to sustainable food systems
through agroecology

These domains are areas in which changes take place when agroecology is strengthened. When the domains start to overlap, the potential for food system transformation through agroecology increases.

The backgrounder ‘Scaling Agroecology from the Bottom Up. Six domains of transformation’ is available from the FoodFirst website.
Access it online or download the pdf


The backgrounder is part I in a series of two backgrounders produced in a collaboration between Food First, Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience – CAWR, and Cultivate. It is based on a recently published journal article:
Anderson, C. R., Bruil, J., Chappell, M. J., Kiss, C., & Pimbert, M. P. (2019). From Transition to Domains of Transformation: Getting to Sustainable and Just Food Systems through Agroecology. Sustainability, 11(19). doi:10.3390/su11195272