The main aim of the AgroEcology Unit is to carry out the symbiosis between the best practices arising out of modern scientific agronomy and those inherited from ancestral traditional knowledge and practices in the field. We work on :
- an integration of the best practices of agroecological production arising from science, field experiences and traditions
- an agroecosystemic approach : our farms do not contain isolated fields without interactions; the entire farm is conceived, maintained and exploited as a complete agroecosystem, where each component has its global ecological use with several beneficial functions
- a strict production without pesticides, herbicides, nor any fertilisers ensuing from synthetic chemistry
- a diversified and intensive production on a very small surface : this includes market gardening, arboriculture, field crops, fodder and animal production
Benefitting from the aid of the former Director of Swiss Weather (Météo Suisse) in Geneva, the AgroEcology Unit has defined pedoclimatic zones with homogeneous conditions, for the entire globe, accompanied by climatic projections over time.
In partnership with the national and regional Institutes of Research and Agronomic Training, as well as local producers, it develops models of agroecological productions adapted to each of these zones, referred to as « agroecosystemic models ».
The agroecosystemic approach enables the establishment, maintenance and exploitation of an ecosystem designed and adapted to be productive, while remaining sustainable, resilient and persistent.
Over time, all the agroecosystemic models will be listed and in free access on a digital platform on Internet.
Each model will also be disseminated in its zone through the regional Institutes of Research and Training, with complimentary distribution of information about their existence by means of paper, televisual, radiophonic and other media.
The AgroEcology Unit put in place in 2019 a partnership of scientific agronomic research and development in agroecology with the Higher School of Engineering in Geneva, agronomy sector (HES-SO HEPIA), concretised by the launch of agronomic thesis in agroecology. Such research works are essential in the advancement of agronomic research in agroecology.
A second partnership of scientific agronomic research and development in agroecology was launched in 2019 with the Agricultural Institute of Obala (IAO) in Cameroon. It is concretised by the establishment of a syllabus of courses in agroecology in 2020, thanks to the elaboration of a module of courses and a cooperation with the professors at the IAO. Thesis at the end of agronomic studies in agroecology (Master level) are also put in place as from the academic year 2020-2021.