Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Sustainable intensification

28 January 2014

The report Save and grow: Cassava is a 140 page guide for farmers and policy makers alike, showing how “Save and Grow” can help cassava growers avoid the risks of intensification, while realizing the crop’s potential for producing higher yields. This in turn, is described as a pathway for alleviating hunger and rural poverty, and contributing to national economic development. This is the first in a series of guides on the practical application of FAO’s ecosystem-based model of agriculture, which aims at improving productivity while conserving natural resources.

19 December 2013

This blog-post in The Economist, written by Sir Gordon Conway and Katy Wilson, describes their views on sustainable intensification.  They argue that, to ensure food security in ways that maximise both agricultural output and the health of the environment and ecosystem, we need to redesign our innovation systems to aid multidisciplinary and collaborative research.

19 December 2013

This paper, which looks at the impact of agricultural intensification on soils across Europe, suggests that differences in the intensity of land use significantly affects soil ecosystems and the services they provide. High intensity arable land use is found to a have lower diversity and biomass of soil organisms than lower intensity arable or permanent grassland, and that this affects the carbon and nitrogen cycles in the environment.

6 November 2013

This paper contributes to the ongoing  discussion on sustainable intensification in agriculture, focusing on the question of whether further yield increases are still possible. The researchers looked at trends in productivity increases achieved through the introduction of new varieties in the Netherlands between 1980 and 2010. A statistical technique allowed them to separate the influence of weather, CO2 levels and crop management from the effect of the new varieties themselves.

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.

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

UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD PRESS RELEASE
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.

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