Knowledge for better food systems

Agricultural development and sustainable intensification

The book “Agricultural Development and Sustainable Intensification: Technology and Policy Challenges in the Face of Climate Change”, edited by Udaya Sekhar Nagothu, examines different approaches to sustainable intensification and presents case studies from around the world.

Publisher’s summary

Sustainable Intensification (SI) has recently emerged as a key concept for agricultural development, recognising that yields must increase to feed a growing world population, but it must be achieved without damage to the environment, on finite land resources and while preserving social and natural capital. It also recognises that all initiatives must cope with the challenges of climate change to agricultural production, food security and livelihoods.

This multidisciplinary book presents state-of-the-art reviews of current SI approaches to promote major food crops, challenges and advances made in technology, and the institutional and policy measures necessary to overcome the constraints faced by smallholder farmers. Addressing the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 2, the various chapters based on evidence and experiences of reputed researchers show how these innovations, if properly nurtured and implemented, can make a difference to food and nutrition security outcomes. Case studies from around the world are included, with a particular emphasis on Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The focus is not only on scientific aspects such as climate-smart agriculture, agroecology and improving input use efficiency and management, but also on institutional and policy challenges that must be met to increase the net societal benefits of sustainable agricultural intensification. The book is aimed at advanced students and researchers in sustainable agriculture and policy, development practitioners, policy makers and non-governmental and farmer organisations.

 

Reference

Nagothu, U.S. (ed.) (2018). Agricultural Development and Sustainable Intensification: Technology and Policy Challenges in the Face of Climate Change. Routledge, London and New York.

For more details, see here. See also the Foodsource resource How can we reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions? and view research library entries on sustainable intensification here. You may also be interested in the FCRN report Lean, green, mean, obscene…? What is efficiency? And is it sustainable?, which discusses the concept of efficiency in relation to the food system.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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