This paper concentrates on what are perceived as critical issues which should be addressed if a productive and sustainable agriculture is to be achieved in Latin America. The attainment of such an agriculture is dependent on new technological innovations, policy changes and more socio-equitable economic schemes. By using several examples of biological control and integrated pest management programs as case studies, ways of promoting the transition of chemical intensive commercial agriculture to low-input management are explored. Similarly, the paper describes non-governmental efforts utilizing the agroecological approach to help the great mass of resource-poor farmers, mostly confined to marginal soils, hillsides and rainfed areas, to achieve year-round food self-sufficiency, reduce their reliance on scarce and expensive agricultural chemical inputs, and develop production systems that rebuild the productive capacities of their smallholdings.
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