PhD defence

Growing agroecology in Nicaragua: Towards a multi-scale perspective on agroecological transitions

PhD candidate Katharina J.F. Schiller
Promotor LWA (Laurens) Klerkx
External copromotor Dr. Marijn Poortvliet
Dr. Wendy Godek
Organisation Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen Livestock Research, Wageningen School of Social Sciences (WASS)

Tue 14 February 2023 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Omnia
Room Auditorium


This dissertation explores the transition from conventional agriculture to agroecology in Nicaragua using a socio-technical systems lens. Transitioning to agroecology, or ecology-based agri-food systems, is

important to increase the resilience of agri-food systems to climate changes and shocks. The case study of Nicaragua is particularly pertinent: even though it has been considered a global forerunner in agroecology since the 1980s, its transition to agroecology is still on-going. Mixed qualitative and quantitative methods data-gathering and -analysis methods were used. A context chapter dives deep into the historical developments influencing agroecology in Nicaragua. Three empirical chapters investigate the transition at the levels of individual farmers, organizations working to support agroecology, and the national agri-food system. Overall, four main issues are identified that hinder agroecological transitions and implications derived for agroecological policy and practice. Recommendations are given for how these issues may be addressed by different stakeholder groups (national governments, civil society, private sector).