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ACIAR Policy Brief : achieving sustainable agricultural intensification in Eastern and Southern Africa, What is needed?

Material type: materialTypeLabelMixed materialsAnalytics: Show analyticsPublisher: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia : ACIAR : SIMLESA : CIMMYT, [2017?]Description: 7 pages.Subject(s): Sustainable agriculture | Food security | Agricultural policies | AfricaOnline resources: Open Access through Dspace Summary: The twin goals of achieving food and nutrition security in Eastern and Southern Africa remains urgent. These goals are particularly challenging now because they must be achieved at a time of unprecedented global changes including climate change and dwindling land and water resources. The solutions to these problems can come from either increasing food production by bringing more land into agriculture or implementing a long-term strategy of increasing yields on existing agricultural land while protecting the natural resource base and environmental services. The first choice of simply bringing more land into agricultural production may look straightforward on the surface but is problematic because the supply of suitable land has dwindled in many parts of the world. Secondly, the need to protect the capacity of (mostly) fragile ecosystems and biodiversity further limits the supply of new agricultural land. Therefore, choosing the path of ‘sustainable intensification’ of agriculture provides the most balanced approach that promises to increase crop yields without impacting too negatively on the environment and the resource base upon which agriculture depends. Yet the technological and agronomic improvements needed to achieve sustainable agricultural intensification are not easy for many farmers to implement due to knowledge, labour and resource constraints. This brief report on what is needed to promote diffusion of farming practices that can contribute to sustainable agricultural intensification.
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Brochures CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

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Open Access

The twin goals of achieving food and nutrition security in Eastern and Southern Africa remains urgent. These goals are particularly challenging now because they must be achieved at a time of unprecedented global changes including climate change and dwindling land and water resources. The solutions to these problems can come from either increasing food production by bringing more land into agriculture or implementing a long-term strategy of increasing yields on existing agricultural land while protecting the natural resource base and environmental services. The first choice of simply bringing more land into agricultural production may look straightforward on the surface but is problematic because the supply of suitable land has dwindled in many parts of the world. Secondly, the need to protect the capacity of (mostly) fragile ecosystems and biodiversity further limits the supply of new agricultural land. Therefore, choosing the path of ‘sustainable intensification’ of agriculture provides the most balanced approach that promises to increase crop yields without impacting too negatively on the environment and the resource base upon which agriculture depends. Yet the technological and agronomic improvements needed to achieve sustainable agricultural intensification are not easy for many farmers to implement due to knowledge, labour and resource constraints. This brief report on what is needed to promote diffusion of farming practices that can contribute to sustainable agricultural intensification.

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