Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Production efficiency/intensity

19 April 2015

Sustainable intensification is receiving growing attention as a way to address the challenge of feeding an increasingly populous and resource-constrained world. But are we asking too much of it? Nearly 20 years after the concept was developed, this briefing revisits the term and asks what sustainable intensification is — a useful guiding framework for raising agricultural productivity on existing arable land in a sustainable manner; and what it is not -a paradigm for achieving food security overall.

19 April 2015

Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) reports that the Australian beef industry has reduced its environmental footprint over the past 30 years. The results are presented in a new paper in Agricultural Systems, and in a press-release MLA writes that:

19 April 2015

This paper argues that high-performance computing and genetic engineering that boost the photosynthetic efficiency of plants offers the best hope of increasing crop yields enough to feed a growing world population by 2050. It points out that we now have unprecedented computational resources that allow us to model every stage of photosynthesis and we can thus determine where the bottlenecks are. Advances in genetic engineering enable us to augment or circumvent steps that impede efficiency.

31 March 2015

A paper published in the journal Cell argues that the current rate of increase in crop yields is insufficient to meet business-as-usual anticipated growth in demand for food (it cites one projection that the world will need 85% more primary foodstuffs by 2050, relative to 2013).

26 March 2015

A new CCAFS working paper, Climate-smart livestock sector development: the state of play in NAMA development, sheds light on key elements in the development of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) within the livestock sector.

26 November 2014

This paper discusses paths towards a more resilient agriculture and the rationale for doing so. It emphasises the need for interdisciplinary and intersectoral collaborations in this field, moving towards “a diversity of solutions operating across scales.” The authors also critically discuss various production focused routes to food security.

25 September 2014

In this open letter a large number of civil society organisations present a critique of the use of ‘Climate Smart Agriculture’, a concept that is gaining increasing attention among governments, NGOs, academics, corporations and in international policy. They state that they have concerns around the aims of the 'Global Alliance on Climate Smart Agriculture' to establish policies to enable farming to deal with the impacts of climate change.

15 September 2014

This paper argues that a focus on increasing production in line with dominant projections of increased demand, through intensification of current industrial agricultural practices, will cause environmental damage and increase food insecurity.

30 July 2014

The authors behind this study say that climate change has substantially increased the prospect that crop production will fail to keep up with rising demand in the next 20 years.

22 July 2014

This study looks at the double challenge of increasing food security while addressing environmental problems caused by agriculture. It identifies a set of key actions in three broad areas that hold the greatest potential for achieving these efficiency and sustainability goals.

9 July 2014

Collaborating with Asda, Sainsbury’s, Nestlé, AB Agri, Yara, BASF, BOCM Pauls, Volac and the NFU and CLA, the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainable Leadership has produced a report entitled The Best Use of UK Agricultural Land which considers how to best manage the 35% difference they projected between the supply and demand of available land.

9 July 2014

This report from the Institution for Mechanical Engineers discusses the role that cold chain technologies can play in improving food security in developing countries. It argues that we need to address the question of how we can achieve sustainable food security and not just increased production.