Showing results for: Sustainable intensification
This paper takes as its starting point the mainstream projections that in future, global food production will need to increase by another 60–110% by 2050, to keep up with anticipated increases in human population and changes in diet (it should be noted, however, that the need and feasibility of such increases is contested (see), with many arguing that dietary change and waste reduction can reduce the need for production increases (see)).
Over the past half-century, the paradigm for agricultural development has been to maximize yields through intensifying production, especially for cereal crops. But achieving food security and building a healthy, resilient global food supply is about more than just the quantity of calories provided. New metrics of success and methods of evaluation are needed in order to measure progress towards meeting the world’s nutritional needs within environmental limits.
This paper makes an important methodological contribution to the highly disputed debate about whether the net effect of agricultural intensification on biodiversity is positive or negative. What is already known is that there is clear relationship between increased agricultural intensification and decreased biodiversity on the land that has been intensified.
An academic debate on the controversial possibility of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions via increased beef production in the Brazilian Cerrado finds a new set of commentators, who have responded to an original paper by de Oliveira Silva et al. earlier in 2016 in the same journal, Nature Climate Change.
The need to make the best use of agricultural land in the face of growing future demand has made sustainable intensification an important area of food systems research. Previous research which focused on this topic, looked at the spatial distribution of the intensity of agricultural production and how this has changed, but according to the authors, did not provide sufficient insight into the drivers of intensification patterns, especially at subnational scales.
This letter in Global Change Biology responds to a paper published earlier in the year in Nature Climate Change by de Silva et al (summarised by the FCRN here) which concludes that a combination of strict land controls and an increase in beef production in the Amazon could lead to greater emissions reduction than a scenario of land control and no beef production increases.
As agricultural production of high-yielding cereals has increased over the past half-century, production of more nutrient-rich cereals has declined. Access to food of high nutritional quality is profoundly important, especially for the 2 to 3 billion people who are undernourished, overweight, or obese or deficient in micronutrients.
Entering into the sustainable intensification debate, Johan Rockström from the Stockholm Resilience Centre and colleagues propose that a paradigm for sustainable intensification can be defined and translated into an quantitative, operational framework for agricultural development.
The iPES food panel (International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems), has published a report reviewing the latest evidence on benefits and challenges with different production models, specifically looking at the industrial agriculture and agroecological farming systems. It argues that there are eight key reasons why industrial agriculture is locked in place despite its negative impacts; and it maps out a series of steps to break these cycles and shift towards expanding agroecological farming.
This paper published in Nature Plants finds that if tropical farming intensifies, major additions of phosphorus to soils will be needed
Taking as their starting point a hypothetical zero-deforestation for agricultural production, where people would refrain from clearing any further forests for agricultural purposes, the researchers behind this study look at both supply side and demand side measures to assess how changes in production and diet can assist in halting deforestation
The Food Foundation, a UK think tank that presents policy solutions to the public health challenges produced by the food system, has published its initial response to the Government’s spending review – which sets out departmental spending priorities over the next five years. The response focusses on the Review’s implications for food insecurity and public health spending.
We all know that the food system today is undermining the environment upon which future food production depends. But while we generally agree that we need do something to make food systems more sustainable, we do not necessarily agree about what, exactly, should be done. This paper explores these questions by considering how stakeholders think about efficiency in relation to animal production and consumption, both terrestrial and aquatic. It takes as its starting point three broadly discernible views.
This report highlights the development and roll-out of a new Global Farm Registry, which will provide a framework to support the global identification, traceability and sustainability performance of farms and producers around the world. It will allow individual producers to voluntarily share their sustainability standards certification status and other production information, to determine their compliance status against other sustainability standards (international, national and retailer, Hospitality and Food Service and brand-owner-specific standards) and to increase their access to new customer and markets.
Agriculture for Impact has just released an online database on Sustainable Intensification in African agriculture. The database explores innovations and practices from the fields of ecology, genetics and socio-economics to build environmentally sustainable, equitable, productive and resilient ecosystems that improve the well-being of farms, farmers and families.