Presentation Title

Agroecological Practices as Tools for Resilience: Lessons from Small, Diversified Farms in Puerto Rico During and After Hurricane Maria

Presenter's Name(s)

Maya MooreFollow

Abstract

Hurricane Maria destroyed 80% of Puerto Rico’s crops, demonstrating the critical need for a resilient food system given an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events under a changing climate scenario. While the destruction from Maria was widespread, certain agricultural practices may have been more resilient than others. Agroecology is science and social movement, as well as a suite of agricultural practices that follow ecological principles. The touted benefits of agroecology are wide-ranging, but a growing body of evidence suggests that agroecological practices can increase farm resiliency during extreme weather events like Maria. In this research, we begin to assess which practices benefitted farmers in Puerto Rico in increasing their resilience to the storm’s impacts. Additionally, we survey policymakers and stakeholders to assess what policies can expand agroecological practices on the island and continue to support farmers in protecting the local food supply during future climactic events.

Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Travis Reynolds

Status

Graduate

Student College

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Program/Major

Food Systems

Primary Research Category

Food & Environment Studies

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Agroecological Practices as Tools for Resilience: Lessons from Small, Diversified Farms in Puerto Rico During and After Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria destroyed 80% of Puerto Rico’s crops, demonstrating the critical need for a resilient food system given an increase in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events under a changing climate scenario. While the destruction from Maria was widespread, certain agricultural practices may have been more resilient than others. Agroecology is science and social movement, as well as a suite of agricultural practices that follow ecological principles. The touted benefits of agroecology are wide-ranging, but a growing body of evidence suggests that agroecological practices can increase farm resiliency during extreme weather events like Maria. In this research, we begin to assess which practices benefitted farmers in Puerto Rico in increasing their resilience to the storm’s impacts. Additionally, we survey policymakers and stakeholders to assess what policies can expand agroecological practices on the island and continue to support farmers in protecting the local food supply during future climactic events.