Assess your farm with the Agroecology Criteria Tool and find out about its alignment with the agroecology principles

The Farm Level Agroecology Criteria Tool (F-ACT) is a digital decision-making tool that enables farmers to identify ways for making their farms more efficient, resilient, equitable, and ultimately agroecological.

DISCLAIMER: The tool was developed by Edd Colbert and is still work in progress. In case you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us at agroecology@biovision.ch

Why use F-ACT?

F-ACT provides a holistic farm assessment that helps to identify activities and behaviours that support agroecological development and areas for further development relative to a farm’s unique context and objectives.

F-ACT is designed for participatory on-farm assessments supported by external facilitators (e.g. extension providers, NGOs etc.), or farmer-led assessments where literacy levels and access to technology allow such an approach. In both cases, F-ACT is intended to support and complement existing local knowledge rather than substitute it. Furthermore, it is intended as a reflective tool that supports and empowers farmers rather than imposing specific practices and decisions.

The results generated by F-ACT in this context can be used to:

  • Highlight agroecological strengths and areas for development.
  • Stimulate discussion of farm objectives and challenges.
  • Create practical action plans to achieve objectives.
  • Set benchmarks and monitor progress through future assessments.
Additionally, results from F-ACT can be used by agricultural development stakeholders to:
  • Highlight agroecological strengths and areas for development.
  • Monitor adoption of agroecological practices or behaviours after training.
  • Produce narrative case studies to promote agroecological farming and food systems within
    communities and as a tool for advocacy and policy.

Agroecology principles

The tool guides users through a series of questions to identify to what extent each of the thirteen principles of agroecology (HLPE, 2019) are reflected through activities related to relevant components of farm and food systems.
The list of principles has been consolidated by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition, building on Nicholls et al. (2016), CIDSE (2018) and FAO (2018). Each principle is related to one of the three organisational principles for sustainable food systems: improve resource efficiency, strengthen resilience or secure social equity (HLPE 2019).

Overview of the thirteen principles of agroecology and three operational principles of sustainable food systems

How to use F-ACT

Download a manual highlighting utility and limitations of F-ACT and providing guidance for using F-ACT here.

  • CIDSE (Coopération Internationale pour le Développement et la Solidarité) (2018): The principles of
    agroecology. Towards just, resilient and sustainable food sy
    stems. Brussels.11 pp.
  • FAO (2018): The 10 elements of agroecology: guiding the transition to sustainable food and agricultural systems.
  • HLPE (2019)Agroecological and other innovative approaches for sustainable agriculture and food systems that
    enhance food security and nutrition. A report by the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition
    of the Committee on World Food Security, Rome.
  • Nicholls, C., Altieri, M.A. & Vazquez, L. (2016): Agroecology: principles for the conversion and redesign of
    farming systems. Journal of Ecosystem & Ecography, S5: 010.