Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Sustainable intensification

21 October 2013

This briefing paper was produced by Sir Gordon Conway together with colleagues from the Agriculture for Impact program at Imperial College London and researchers from Harvard Kennedy School and the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). The briefing paper argues that African food production remains well below its potential and that innovation for sustainable intensification can help smallholder farmers produce more food with less impact on the environment while also improving agriculture’s sustainability.

17 September 2013

This paper presents 12 principles for achieving both better and more food from mature perennial agroecosystems and seeks to contribute to the debate on sustainable intensification. It provides a model, or policy roadmap, for sustainably intensifying productive tropical and sub-tropical agriculture in ways that are both pro-poor and multifunctional – i.e. that enhance agriculture economically, socially and environmentally. The paper examines the role of perennial species, especially trees, in the helping improve staple crop yields; providing nutritious food; reducing poverty, hunger, malnutrition and environmental degradation; improving rural livelihoods; and mitigating climate change.

5 September 2013

The FCRN’s Tara Garnett has a new paper published in the Journal of Cleaner ProductionIn it, she looks at the very different ways in which stakeholders conceptualise the food sustainability problem and what constitutes a desirable ‘solution.’  She argues that these different views are underpinned by different values and ideologies and shows how different stakeholders select and interpret the evidence from life cycle assessment (LCA) to argue their positions.  

24 July 2013

A new study from International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis IIAS considers whether it is possible to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from agriculture by producing more food on less land. It specifically focuses on the effects of crop yield and livestock feed efficiency scenarios on GHG emissions from agriculture and land use change in developing countries.

2 July 2013

A paper published in the Journal of Applied Ecology finds that grassland plots planted with a mixture of several agricultural plant species produced a greater yield than plots planted with a single species. The EU-funded study explored whether different combinations and proportions of agricultural plants can lead to higher yields with lower input of fertilisers and more efficient use of land. Intensively managed agricultural grasslands, cultivated to provide food for livestock, have the potential to support, or damage, a range of ecosystem services, depending on how they are managed.

2 July 2013

Following the release last year of the report on ‘Sustainable Intensification in Agriculture’ by the FCRN and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, around 30 experts in this field, from academic, governmental, NGO and industrial organisations, were asked to give their comments on the report.

 Flickr: Creative commons licence 2.0, littleyiye "workshop"
2 July 2013

Following the release last year of the report on ‘Sustainable Intensification in Agriculture’ by the FCRN and the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, around 30 experts in this field, from academic, governmental, NGO and industrial organisations, were asked to give their comments on the report.

2 July 2013

A policy known as sustainable intensification could help meet the challenges of increasing demands for food from a growing global population, argues a team of scientists in an article in the journal Science.

24 June 2013

Yet another paper adding to the growing body of evidence that productionist approaches to addressing food security challenges are unlikely to be sufficient (at least not without unacceptable environmental cost).  Shifts towards more plant based diets and measures to address food waste are also needed.

10 June 2013

Presentations from the UK’s Agricultural Technology Strategy event on 21st May are now available on ESKTN _connect sustainable intensification in agriculture website. They can be downloaded from the document library here. Look for the folder entitled: UK Agricultural Technology Strategy event 21st May 2013.

15 April 2013

This report on how to improve data monitoring for sustainable intensification of agriculture has been released by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) under the auspices of the CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystem (WLE).

11 March 2013

Tom MacMillan, the Soil Association’s Head of Innovation has written a blog for the UK research councils’ Food Security website where he profiles the Association’s Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme, which it is running in partnership with the Organic Research Centre and supported by the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation.

11 March 2013

This paper highlights the impacts of heat stress on yields of maize in France.  It finds that while irrigation can be used to adapt to reduced rainfall, heat stress is a concern that cannot be so easily managed.  It finds that assuming current climate projections, yields per hectare will need to improve by 12% between 2016 and 2035 simply to maintain current production levels.

29 January 2013

A new FCRN article – “Food sustainability: problems, perspectives and solutions” –  has been published in the journal Proceedings of the Nutrition Society.

19 November 2012

In many circles, it is taken as a matter of fact that to be able to feed an additional 2 billion people by 2050, farmers everywhere are going to have to adopt the intensive agricultural practices that have been perfected in the US heartland where massive amounts of corn and soybeans are harvested almost every year. For the most part, this production system also separates crop agriculture from livestock agriculture composed of large chicken complexes, huge hog production facilities, and massive feedlots.

2 November 2012

In One Billion Hungry: Can We Feed The World?, Gordon Conway explains the many interrelated issues critical to our global food supply from the science of agricultural advances to the politics of food security. He emphasises the essential combination of increased food production, environmental stability, and poverty reduction necessary to end endemic hunger on our planet.