Intensification for redesigned and sustainable agricultural systems
22 / 11 / 2018, Science Now
Redesign of agricultural systems is essential to deliver optimum outcomes as ecological and economic conditions change. The combination of agricultural processes in which production is maintained or increased, while environmental outcomes are enhanced, is currently known as sustainable intensification (SI). SI aims to avoid the cultivation of more land, and thus avoid the loss of unfarmed habitats, but also aims to increase overall system performance without net environmental cost. For example, large changes are now beginning to occur to maximize biodiversity by means of integrated pest management, pasture and forage management, the incorporation of trees into agriculture, and irrigation management, and with small and patch systems. SI is central to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and to wider efforts to improve global food and nutritional security.