Via Campesina supports peasant and small farmer agriculture both in the
South and in the North. Its basic doctrine is that of ‘food
sovereignty’. Among the analytical tools used by this international
peasant movement is the comparison between the energy efficiency of
traditional small farm agriculture and modern industrial agriculture.
This article looks at the use of the concept of EROI (energy return on energy
input) by Via Campesina when it claims that ‘industrial agriculture is
no longer a producer of energy but a consumer of energy’, and that
‘peasant agriculture cools down the Earth’.