Agroecology Markets

A Story from the Land

Nature in the Marketplace: Agroecology Practices and Access to Trade Restore an Ecosystem

Without consistent income, many subsidence-level smallholder farmers have relied on not only harmful cropping practices–– but on the destruction of crop-raiding nuisance animals, use of local forests for fuel, and even poaching. Zambia’s wildlife population and biodiversity have been badly impacted over time by these practices, and, as shown in a Wildlife Conservation Society population survey from the 1990s, their prevalence was directly linked to incomes that could be up to four times higher for poachers.

To address the poverty at the root of these issues, the Community Markets for Conservation program changed the microeconomic incentives for lower-income farmers. It traded new technologies and seeds directly for traps and snares, then organized producer groups to pursue income-generating activities, providing a local depot to export products to a regional community trading center, which processes, packages, and markets their goods. Members can maintain their standing by adhering to these practices; in exchange they receive their share of the greater profits of the profits. This combination marries market incentives with diversification, combining nature-based conservation practices like no-till and homemade fertilizers.


SfL Pathways: innovative landscape-scale solutions

Addressing SDGs: no poverty, zero hunger, decent work and economic growth, life on land

Our Vision

An Agricultural Renaissance, led by innovative and entrepreneurial farmers, ranchers and foresters constructing sustainable, profitable and resilient systems that lay the foundation for a world of abundance on many scales capable of producing nutritious food, feed, fiber, clean energy, healthy ecosystems, quality livelihoods, and strong rural economies.