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Ten top sustainable agriculture stories of 2023

The new Future Seeds facility holds the world's largest collection of bean varieties. Photo via The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT / Juan Pablo Marin

The new Future Seeds facility holds the world's largest collection of bean varieties. Photo via The Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT / Juan Pablo Marin.

Agriculture is a core area of Mongabay’s coverage both because the world must find more sustainable ways to feed its human societies and because how it’s currently practiced is generally detrimental to forests, biodiversity, and the climate.

Agroecology is the overarching term which encompasses such sustainable agriculture solutions that we cover, from organic farming to integrated pest management and agroforestry, a practice that incorporates trees and which sequesters at least 50 gigatons of carbon from the atmosphere. For reasons like this, agroecology is noted as a top climate solution by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

And it’s not just individual farms or communities taking action to implement this long-term vision of a more harmonious agriculture: governments such as Wales have just announced a sustainable farming scheme that will help growers transition their farms away from harmful practices, while nations like India have had national policy in place for nearly 10 years to promote the adoption of agroforestry. The latter is far ahead of the U.S. in this regard, but for its part, this year major funding via the U.S. Department of Agriculture was used to boost agroforestry training and adoption.

Foundations are also taking a leading role: this month, 24 large philanthropies announced an initiative calling for a tenfold increase in funding for transitioning to agroecology in order to address urgent global agricultural and environmental challenges. “These philanthropies have aligned around a shared ambition: to catalyze a transition to 50% regenerative and agroecological systems by 2040, and to ensure all agriculture and food systems are transitioning by 2050,” their release stated.

Mongabay will continue publishing its ongoing series on these developments that builds upon the great reporting that has appeared at the site this year – over four dozen features, in total – and in prior years.

Below is a list of various features from around the world, but one can view all of our coverage here.

North America:

Amid global mezcal craze, scientists and communities try out sustainable plantations


Sustainable fish farming & agroecology buoy Kenyan communities

North America:

Duck, duck, rice: Vermont farm models diverse method of raising sustainable grains

South America:

Can agroforestry chocolate help save the world’s most endangered rainforest?


Middle East:

One seed at a time: Lebanese project promotes agroecology for farmer autonomy

Southeast Asia:

Organic farming, and community spirit, buoy a typhoon-battered Philippine town

Central Asia:

Honey production sweetens snow leopard conservation in Kyrgyzstan


Trees with edible leaves can boost human nutrition: New book, free download

Central America:

Agroecology schools help communities restore degraded land in Guatemala

View the whole agroecology series here.

Banner image: The Future Seeds facility holds the world’s largest collection of bean varieties. Photo by Juan Pablo Marin for The Alliance of Biodiversity International and CIAT.

Related audio from Mongabay’s podcast: Best-selling agroecology author Anna Lappé shares her thoughts on the lingering myths about – and enduring power of – agroecology, listen here:

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