The AgroEcology Fund seeks to increase the volume, collaboration, and long-term effectiveness of research, advocacy, and movement-building for agroecological solutions, sustainable food systems, and policies which mitigate the negative effects of climate change.
The AgroEcology Fund envisions inter-related sustainable and localized agricultural systems that 1) build on the existing skills and practices of food-producing communities, 2) incorporate local culture and knowledge (in particular the knowledge of indigenous people and women), 3) encourage local food sovereignty and economic resilience, 4) strengthen family and community health, 5) protect natural resources, and 6) mitigate the negative effects of climate change.
This vision is built on sustaining viable, diverse, and productive peasant and family farms and food systems that are integral to vibrant regional and national economies, and which link rural and urban small-scale producers and consumers in healthy and culturally enriching ways.
- Support collaborations among organizations working on agroecological solutions and sustainable food systems across the globe
- Support marginalized actors such as women's farmer associations and rural media networks rooted in local realities
- Target specific solutions, such as agro-biodiverse seed houses and re-localized markets
- Advocate against threats to agroecology, such as land-grabbing
- Deepen farmer knowledge and practice
- Broaden the agroecological movement
- Research and document innovation, especially grassroots-driven
- Advocate for pro-agroecology public policies and programs locally, nationally, and internationally
The Fund was launched in January 2012 by four founding donors, including: The Christensen Fund, New Field Foundation, the Swift Foundation and one anonymous foundation. In 2013, the Fund welcomed two new donor partners: The McKnight Foundation and the Tikva Grassroots Empowerment Fund. In 2014, U.K. funders Synchronicity Earth and the A Team Foundation joined the Fund. In 2015 and 2016, the following organizations joined: the Franciscan Sisters of Mary, the SWF Immersion Fund, the Casey and Family Foundation, the Helianthus Fund, the Peterffy Foundation and a foundation which chooses to remain anonymous. The Fondation Charles Leopold Mayer – FPH provided support for the AgroEcology Fund's learning exchange.
In its first grant making cycle, with the guidance of an Advisory Board, the Fund awarded $1,085,000 to six collaborative initiatives (17 collaborating organizations) for a two-year grant period beginning in August 2012. In 2014, the Fund awarded $1,128,000 to eight collaborative initiatives (65 collaborating organizations). In 2016, the Fund awarded $700,000 to 10 collaborative initiatives (54 collaborating organizations).
The AgroEcology Fund works closely with six expert advisors with unique perspectives on the global agroecology movement. The advisors have expertise ranging from women’s and indigenous leadership to technical knowledge on agroecological practices to communications. The advisors and participating donors jointly develop the overall strategy and discern among dozens of invited proposals to recommend final grantees.
The AgroEcology Fund collaborates with dozens of organizations and networks to amplify agricultural solutions across the globe. One strategic partner is the Agroecology Transitions Working Group of the Global Alliance for the Future of Food. Many of our contributing donors are members of funder alliances such as the EDGE Funders Alliance, Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA), the Sustainable Agricultural and Food Systems Funders Network (SAFSF), the International Human Rights Funders Group (IHRFG), International Funders of Indigenous Peoples (IFIP), and the European Foundation Centre (EFC).
The AgroEcology Fund seeks to generate debate, learning, and action for agroecological solutions among its grantees, funders, and the wider funding and development communities. We fund many agroecology schools and learning exchanges.
In March 2014, the AgroEcology Fund hosted a webinar featuring four of our global grantees discussing their progress on various agroecological practices, and sharing key learnings that can help donors have greater impact. You can view the webinar here.
We are currently planning an impact and learning convening in early 2016 for grantees, donors, advisors, and allies.
The AgroEcology Fund recently released a summary description on how we're strengthening the global agroecology movement. Read it here