Pretty, Jules; Bharucha, Zareen Pervez
Agricultural systems are amended ecosystems with a variety of properties. Modern agroecosystems have tended towards high through-flow systems, with energy supplied by fossil fuels directed out of the system (either deliberately for harvests or accidentally through side effects). In the coming decades, resource constraints over water, soil, biodiversity and land will affect agricultural systems. Sustainable agroecosystems are those tending to have a positive impact on natural, social and human capital, while unsustainable systems feed back to deplete these assets, leaving fewer for the future. Sustainable intensification (SI) is defined as a process or system where agricultural yields are increased without adverse environmental impact and without the conversion of additional non-agricultural land. The concept does not articulate or privilege any particular vision or method of agricultural production. Rather, it emphasizes ends rather than means, and does not pre-determine technologies, species mix or particular design components. The combination of the terms 'sustainable' and 'intensification' is an attempt to indicate that desirable outcomes around both more food and improved environmental goods and services could be achieved by a variety of means. Nonetheless, it remains controversial to some. This review analyses recent evidence of the impacts of SI in both developing and industrialized countries, and demonstrates that both yield and natural capital dividends can occur. The review begins with analysis of the emergence of combined agricultural-environmental systems, the environmental and social outcomes of recent agricultural revolutions, and analyses the challenges for food production this century as populations grow and consumption patterns change. Emergent criticisms are highlighted, and the positive impacts of SI on food outputs and renewable capital assets detailed. It concludes with observations on policies and incentives necessary for the wider adoption of
Agriculture not only feeds the planet, it also is the biggest overall factor affecting the environment. Thus, innovative sustainable farming systems that produce healthy food and protect the environment at the same time are very much needed. We, as agricultural engineers, need ...
... : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 9 Part I CLIMATE CHANGE Soils and Sustainable Agriculture: A Review : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : Rattan Lal 15 Soils and Food Sufficiency...
Schut, Marc; Asten, van Piet; Okafor, Chris; Hicintuka, Cyrille; Mapatano, Sylvain; Nabahungu, Nsharwasi Léon; Kagabo, Desire; Muchunguzi, Perez; Njukwe, Emmanuel; Dontsop-Nguezet, Paul M.; Sartas, Murat; Vanlauwe, Bernard
This study identifies entry points for innovation for sustainable intensification of agricultural systems. An agricultural innovation systems approach is used to provide a holistic image of (relations between) constraints faced by different stakeholder groups, the dimensions and causes of these
Williams, David L.; Muchena, Olivia N.
Understanding and appreciation of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) are essential for promoting sustainable agriculture development. IKS provides a cultural basis for nonformal agricultural programs that is absent in technology transfer approaches. (SK)
Full Text Available Bioelectrochemical systems (BES are a newly emerged technology for energy-efficient water and wastewater treatment. Much effort as well as significant progress has been made in advancing this technology towards practical applications treating various types of waste. However, BES application for agriculture has not been well explored. Herein, studies of BES related to agriculture are reviewed and the potential applications of BES for promoting sustainable agriculture are discussed. BES may be applied to treat the waste/wastewater from agricultural production, minimizing contaminants, producing bioenergy, and recovering useful nutrients. BES can also be used to supply irrigation water via desalinating brackish water or producing reclaimed water from wastewater. The energy generated in BES can be used as a power source for wireless sensors monitoring the key parameters for agricultural activities. The importance of BES to sustainable agriculture should be recognized, and future development of this technology should identify proper application niches with technological advancement.
New farming techniques, better food security. Since 1970, IDRC-supported research has introduced sustainable agricultural practices to farmers and communities across the devel- oping world. The result: higher productivity, less poverty, greater food security, and a healthier environment. Opportunities grow on trees in ...
Landblom, Douglas; Senturklu, Songul; Cihacek, Larry; Brevik, Eric
Rain-fed agricultural production supported by exogenous inputs is not sustainable because a continuous influx of expensive inputs (fertilizer, chemicals, fossil fuel, labor, tillage, and other) is required. Alternatives to traditional management allow natural occurring dynamic soil processes to provide the necessary microbial activity that supports nutrient cycling in balance with nature. Research designed to investigate the potential for integrated systems to replace expensive inputs has shown that healthy soils rich in soil organic matter (SOM) are the foundation upon which microbial nutrient cycling can reduce and eventually replace expensive fertilizer. No-till seed placement technology effectively replaces multiple-pass cultivation conserving stored soil water in semi-arid farming systems. In multi-crop rotations, cool- and warm-season crops are grown in sequence to meet goals of the integrated farming and ranching system, and each crop in the rotation complements the subsequent crop by supplying a continuous flow of essential SOM for soil nutrient cycling. Grazing animals serve an essential role in the system's sustainability as non-mechanized animal harvesters that reduce fossil fuel consumption and labor, and animal waste contributes soil nutrients to the system. Integrated systems' complementarity has contributed to greater soil nutrient cycling and crop yields, fertilizer reduction or elimination, greater yearling steer grazing net return, reduced cow wintering costs grazing crop residues, increased wildlife sightings, and reduced environmental footprint. Therefore, integrating crop and animal systems can reverse soil quality decline and adopting non-traditional procedures has resulted in a wider array of opportunities for sustainable agriculture and profitability.
The USDA-ARS water resources program has developed a web-based data system, STEWARDS: Sustaining the Earth’s Watersheds, Agricultural Research Data System to support research that encompasses a broad range of topics such as water quality, hydrology, conservation, land use, and soils. The data syst...
Allen, Thomas; Prosperi, Paolo; Cogill, Bruce; Flichman, Guillermo
The stark observation of the co-existence of undernourishment, nutrient deficiencies and overweight and obesity, the triple burden of malnutrition, is inviting us to reconsider health and nutrition as the primary goal and final endpoint of food systems. Agriculture and the food industry have made remarkable advances in the past decades. However, their development has not entirely fulfilled health and nutritional needs, and moreover, they have generated substantial collateral losses in agricultural biodiversity. Simultaneously, several regions are experiencing unprecedented weather events caused by climate change and habitat depletion, in turn putting at risk global food and nutrition security. This coincidence of food crises with increasing environmental degradation suggests an urgent need for novel analyses and new paradigms. The sustainable diets concept proposes a research and policy agenda that strives towards a sustainable use of human and natural resources for food and nutrition security, highlighting the preeminent role of consumers in defining sustainable options and the importance of biodiversity in nutrition. Food systems act as complex social-ecological systems, involving multiple interactions between human and natural components. Nutritional patterns and environment structure are interconnected in a mutual dynamic of changes. The systemic nature of these interactions calls for multidimensional approaches and integrated assessment and simulation tools to guide change. This paper proposes a review and conceptual modelling framework that articulate the synergies and tradeoffs between dietary diversity, widely recognised as key for healthy diets, and agricultural biodiversity and associated ecosystem functions, crucial resilience factors to climate and global changes.
Full Text Available Sustainable water management (SWM requires allocating between competing water sector demands, and balancing the financial and social resources required to support necessary water systems. The objective of this review is to assess SWM in three sectors: urban, agricultural, and natural systems. This review explores the following questions: (1 How is SWM defined and evaluated? (2 What are the challenges associated with sustainable development in each sector? (3 What are the areas of greatest potential improvement in urban and agricultural water management systems? And (4 What role does country development status have in SWM practices? The methods for evaluating water management practices range from relatively simple indicator methods to integration of multiple models, depending on the complexity of the problem and resources of the investigators. The two key findings and recommendations for meeting SWM objectives are: (1 all forms of water must be considered usable, and reusable, water resources; and (2 increasing agricultural crop water production represents the largest opportunity for reducing total water consumption, and will be required to meet global food security needs. The level of regional development should not dictate sustainability objectives, however local infrastructure conditions and financial capabilities should inform the details of water system design and evaluation.
Eileen Bogweh Nchanji
Full Text Available Urban farming takes advantage of its proximity to market, transport and other urban infrastructure to provide food for the city and sustain the livelihoods of urban and peri-urban dwellers. It is an agricultural activity which employs more than 50% of the local urban population with positive and negative impacts on local and national development. Urban agriculture is an informal activity not supported by law but in practice is regulated to a certain extent by state institutions, traditional rulers, farmers and national and international non-governmental organisations. Tamale’s rapid population growth, exacerbated by the unplanned development system and institutional conflicts, are factors contributing to the present bottlenecks in the urban agricultural system. In this paper, these bottlenecks are conceptualised as problems of governance. These issues will be illustrated using ethnographic data from land sales, crop-livestock competition, waste-water irrigation, and markets. I will explain how conflicts which arise from these different situations are resolved through the interactions of various governance systems. Informal governance arrangements are widespread, but neither they nor formal systems are always successful in resolving governance issues. A participatory governance does not seem possible due to actors’ divergent interests. A governance solution for this sector is not yet apparent, contributing to food and nutritional insecurity.
Krasowicz, Stanisław; Wrzaszcz, Wioletta; Zegar, Jozef St.
The concept of research on socially sustainable agriculture. Features of sustainable agriculture. Sustainability of private farms in the light of selected criteria. Subsistence agricultural holdings and the sustainable development of agriculture. Sustainable farms in the light of the FADN data. Description of organic holdings in Poland.
Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the food, feed, and fiber needs of our country and the social, economic and other requirements.
Kashyap, Prem Lal; Xiang, Xu; Heiden, Patricia
Development of technologies that improve food productivity without any adverse impact on the ecosystem is the need of hour. In this context, development of controlled delivery systems for slow and sustained release of agrochemicals or genetic materials is crucial. Chitosan has emerged as a valuable carrier for controlled delivery of agrochemicals and genetic materials because of its proven biocompatibility, biodegradability, non-toxicity, and adsorption abilities. The major advantages of encapsulating agrochemicals and genetic material in a chitosan matrix include its ability to function as a protective reservoir for the active ingredients, protecting the ingredients from the surrounding environment while they are in the chitosan domain, and then controlling their release, allowing them to serve as efficient gene delivery systems for plant transformation or controlled release of pesticides. Despite the great progress in the use of chitosan in the area of medical and pharmaceutical sciences, there is still a wide knowledge gap regarding the potential application of chitosan for encapsulation of active ingredients in agriculture. Hence, the present article describes the current status of chitosan nanoparticle-based delivery systems in agriculture, and to highlight challenges that need to be overcome. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available The design of future agricultural production systems requires innovative approaches. For creating a more productive, resource-efficient and low-emission agriculture the systemic development of the agricultural processes, the operating conditions and the organizational processes is necessary. Fundamentally new approaches can be found by defining scenarios. Such a hypothetic concept does field operation without using internal combustion engines. Instead of this the power supply of performant machines can be done by electric direct supply systems or for small machines by battery systems with charging points. However, all this requires the electrical energy supply of agricultural fields. A direct electric energy supply utilizing the Center Pivot approach via rotating structures enables new production systems. Using innovative technologies new solutions with great potential for automation and a productive precision agriculture can be designed. This paper highlights an unconventional approach stimulating the discussion about future developments in agricultural engineering.
Alrøe, Hugo Fjelsted
This paper presents a specific perspective on the science demarcation issue, the perspective of systemic science. A systemic science is a science that influences its own subject area. Agricultural science is an example of such a science - a point that is particularly evident in connection with research in organic farming, which forms the practical context of this paper. Far from the ideal of being 'value-free' and objective, the systemic science must, upon recognising itself as systemic, ack...
Christianson, L. E.; Summerfelt, S.; Sharrer, K.; Lepine, C.; Helmers, M. J.
Growing alarm about negative cascading effects of reactive nitrogen in the environment has led to multifaceted efforts to address elevated nitrate-nitrogen levels in water bodies worldwide. The best way to mitigate N-related impacts, such as hypoxic zones and human health concerns, is to convert nitrate to stable, non-reactive dinitrogen gas through the natural process of denitrification. This means denitrification technologies need to be one of our major strategies for tackling the grand challenge of managing human-induced changes to our global nitrogen cycle. While denitrification technologies have historically been focused on wastewater treatment, there is great interest in new lower-tech options for treating effluent and drainage water from one of our largest reactive nitrogen emitters -- agriculture. Denitrification 'woodchip' bioreactors are able to enhance this natural N-conversion via addition of a solid carbon source (e.g., woodchips) and through designs that facilitate development of anoxic conditions required for denitrification. Wood-based denitrification technologies such as woodchip bioreactors and 'sawdust' walls for groundwater have been shown to be effective at reducing nitrate loads in agricultural settings around the world. Designing these systems to be low-maintenance and to avoid removing land from agricultural production has been a primary focus of this "farmer-friendly" technology. This presentation provides a background on woodchip bioreactors including design considerations, N-removal performance, and current research worldwide. Woodchip bioreactors for the agricultural sector are an accessible new option to address society's interest in improving water quality while simultaneously allowing highly productive agricultural systems to continue to provide food in the face of increasing demand, changing global diets, and fluctuating weather.
Full Text Available Abstract Book of the Congress:Mechanization and new technologies for the control and the sustainability of agricultural and forestry systems Alghero, Italy, 29th May - 1st June 2016
A 5-year collaborative project between Missouri, Michigan State, and Nebraska Universities to provide new opportunities for rural community self-development through sustainable agriculture had mixed results. This happened because community members did not understand the principles of sustainability, and because the extension education system was…
René Neri Noriega; Ignacio Ocampo Fletes; Juan Francisco Escobedo Castillo; Andrés Pérez Magaña; Susana Edith Rappo Miguez
Was realized an analysis of the sustainability of the agricultural systems with small irrigation that use water of the underground in San Pablo, Actipan, Tepeaca, Puebla state. The analysis was carried out with agroecological focus, using the Framework for the Evaluation of Systems of Management Incorporating Indicators of Sustainability (MESMIS). It was realized a transversal study comparing two irrigation societies: "The Chamizal” (reference system) and “Lázaro Cárdenas" (alternative system...
Full Text Available In the framework of the 16th National Meeting of the Italian Ecological Society (“Global Change, Ecological Diversity and Sustainability”, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, 19-22 September 2006, a symposium was devoted to “Agroecology and Sustainable Development”. A major goal of this symposium was to contribute to keeping the dialogue among the experts of the various disciplines alive. Sustainability of agriculture is a challenge for society world wide. Universities and society as a whole have a responsibility in re-examining current perception of nature, of the world and of human society in the light of natural resources depletion, increasing pollution and social inequalities. The urgency to address sustainability issues is increasingly being reflected in the manner in which institutions of higher education around the world are giving priority to the teaching, research and practice of sustainability. The University of Tuscia is involved in international initiatives concerning teaching and research in Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture.
Full Text Available In the framework of the 16th National Meeting of the Italian Ecological Society (“Global Change, Ecological Diversity and Sustainability”, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, 19-22 September 2006, a symposium was devoted to “Agroecology and Sustainable Development”. A major goal of this symposium was to contribute to keeping the dialogue among the experts of the various disciplines alive. Sustainability of agriculture is a challenge for society world wide. Universities and society as a whole have a responsibility in re-examining current perception of nature, of the world and of human society in the light of natural resources depletion, increasing pollution and social inequalities. The urgency to address sustainability issues is increasingly being reflected in the manner in which institutions of higher education around the world are giving priority to the teaching, research and practice of sustainability. The University of Tuscia is involved in international initiatives concerning teaching and research in Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture.
In the framework of the 16th National Meeting of the Italian Ecological Society (“Global Change, Ecological Diversity and Sustainability”, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, 19-22 September 2006), a symposium was devoted to “Agroecology and Sustainable Development”. A major goal of this symposium was to contribute to keeping the dialogue among the experts of the various disciplines alive. Sustainability of agriculture is a challenge for society world wide. ...
A better understanding of the way in which marketing systems can contribute to the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices (ASAP) on small-farms constitutes the aim of this study. In particular, the study examines the contribution of vertical
As population and standard of living increase in many parts of the world, so will the need for food and other agriculturally-based products. To be sustainable, these increases in production must occur with minimum impact on the environment and with efficient use of production resources, including la...
Mertz, Ole; Bruun, Thilde Bech; Fog, Bjarne
increasingly unreliable. Local agricultural production and exploitation of marine resources are essential to sustain the population, and with few exceptions farming and fishing techniques remain unchanged. Most of the island is still farmed permanently and the intensive agricultural system has not suffered...... making, and the collection of soil samples from the major soil and garden types. The Tikopian land use system has not undergone significant changes since the 1970s; indeed the focus on self-sufficiency in food crops may have been strengthened over the past 30 years as ship arrivals have become...
Anderson, William A.
Sustainable agriculture implies the use of products and practices that sustain production, protect the environment, ensure economic viability, and maintain rural community viability. Disagreement exists as to whether or not the products and practices of modern biotechnological support agricultural sustainability. The purpose of this study was to…
Toufic El Asmar
Full Text Available This study is dedicated to the assessment of the possibility of replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy as a source of power in modern agriculture. We examined the use of a completely sustainable agricultural mechanization system based on a renewable energy system and a battery powered, multi-purpose agricultural vehicle. This assessment is based on the RAMseS project, financed by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Program, which has led to the actual manufacturing of the system, at present being tested in Lebanon. In the present study, we assess the environmental and economic performance of the RAMseS system. We evaluate the external costs by means of a specific model that takes into account the life-cycle cost (LCC, economical indexes, and life-cycle emissions for the vehicle during its life span. The results are compared with those of a standard vehicle based on the internal combustion engine (ICEV. The results show that the RAMseS system can avoid the emission of about 23 ton of CO2equ per year. The life cycle cost (LCC assessment using MATLAB software shows that the LCC for the RAMseS vehicle and the ICEV are the same for a fuel unit price (pf of 1.45 €/L. Finally, we show that almost 52 % of the RAMseS LCC is due to the batteries of the electric vehicle. A 50% decrease in batteries unit cost would cause the LCC of two system to be the same at a fuel cost of 0.8 €/L. The final result is that the RAMseS system remains—at present— marginally more expensive than an equivalent system based on conventional fuels and internal combustion engines. Nevertheless, with the gradual depletion of fossil fuels, all electric agricultural mechanized system provide an alternative solution that is dependent only on renewable energy and recyclable resources.
Growing realization of the economic, social, and environmental costs of conventional agriculture has led many U.S. farmers to embrace and become advocates for agricultural practices that limit the need for pesticides and chemical fertilizers, decrease soil erosion, and improve soil health. Some hope that sustainable agriculture can promote smaller…
Full Text Available The present study will examine the possible ways of integrating sustainability indicators in assessing the performance of agriculture. We are examining the appropriate ways of calculating the output of the sector including the damages caused by and the benefits of agricultural production. The involvment of environmental pressure into the assessment of agricultural performance does not show significant changes in values.
Namriah, Kilowasid, Laode Muhammad Harjoni
The sustainability of small-scale farming systems on marginal lands is still being a topic of debate in scientific and institutional communities. To address this, a study was conducted to find a method of sustaining the productivity of marginal lands for food crop production. Agricultural practices (fallow and traditional cultivation) used by the local small-scale farmers in managing soil fertility to meet the natural biological processes above and below the ground were studied in Muna Island Southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia. Participatory approach was used to gather data and information on soil and land as well as to collect soil macrofauna. The results showed that the practices of local small-scale farmers are based on local soil and land suitability. Organic materials are the source of nutrient inputs to sustain the productivity of their lands by fallowing, burning natural vegetation, putting back the crop residues, doing minimum tillage and mix- and inter-crops. In conclusion, the sustainability of local small-scale farming systems will be established by knowing and understanding local soil and land classification systems and preferred crops being planted. Following the nature of fallow and monitoring soil macrofauna diversity and abundance, all preferred crops should be planted during rainy season with different time of harvest until the next rainy season. Therefore, soils are still covered with crops during dry season. It was suggested that planting time should be done in the rainy season. Doing more researches in other locations with different socio-cultural, economical, and ecological conditions is suggested to validate and refine the method.
Full Text Available The sustainability of conventional agriculture in Bangladesh is under threat from the continuous degradation of land and water resources, and from declining yields due to indiscriminate use of agro-chemicals. Government is pursuing efforts to promote sustainable agriculture with emphasis on better use of on-farm resources and the reduction of external inputs. This paper presents four dimensions of agricultural sustainability as productivity, environmental stability, economical profitability, and social and economic equity. Six characters were selected to evaluate sustainability. Significant differences were found between the two systems (conventional and sustainable agriculture in crop diversification, soil fertility management, pests and diseases management, use of agro-chemicals and environmental issues. However, no significant variations were found in other indicators such as land-use pattern, crop yield and stability, risk and uncertainties, and food security. Although crop yield and financial return were found to be slightly higher in the conventional system, the economic return and value addition per unit of land did not show any difference. It can be suggested that sustainable agriculture has a tendency towards becoming environmental, economically and socially more sound than conventional agriculture, as it requires considerably less agro-chemicals, adds more organic matter to the soil, provides balanced food, and requires higher local inputs without markedly compromising output and financial benefits. Broad-policy measures, including the creation of mass awareness of adverse health effects of agrochemical-based products, are outlined for the promotion of sustainable agriculture.
Full Text Available The paper shows the correlation between the need to modernise agriculture and sustainable development. Modernisation of agriculture aiming only at increasing the efficiency of production, if implemented in accordance with the principles of sustainable development, enabled reduction in the negative external effects. Modernisation of agriculture is supposed to ensure productivity growth without imposing any threats to the natural environment and the well-being of animals, reduced impoverishment in rural areas as well as to ensure food security, growth in the profitability of farms, improvement to the efficiency of use of natural resources. Therefore, in the near future, the agriculture – environment relation will be subject to change taking into account, on the one hand, concern about the natural environment, and, on the other, pressure on increasing the efficiency of production. The above challenges will be addressed by the need to implement efficient and, at the same time, environmentally-friendly production technologies and relevant legal instruments which oblige agricultural producers to protect the natural environment.
In this article, I argue that agriculture and food production processes are subject to what I refer to as 'dilemmatic situations'. These dilemmatic situations are rather new, and require a new orientation in ethics to account for them. Ethics has to give up long-cherished ideals, such as: (a) the
Macnaghten, Philip; Carro-Ripalda, Susana
Although GM crops are seen by their advocates as a key component of the future of world agriculture and as part of the solution for world poverty and hunger, their uptake has not been smooth nor universal: they have been marred by controversy and all too commonly their regulation has been
Struik, Paul C.; Kuijper, Thomas
Agricultural intensification is required to feed the growing and increasingly demanding human population. Intensification is associated with increasing use of resources, applied as efficiently as possible, i.e. with a concurrent increase in both resource use and resource use efficiency. Resource use
agricultural systems (Ahmed et al., 2011). However ... therefore recommended that water management practices be put in place immediately to support productive ... and water resources both immediately and under future climate change to ensure sustainable agricultural production. Methods. Description of the study area.
Antle, J.M.; Stoorvogel, J.J.
This paper explores the potential impacts of payments for agricultural soil carbon sequestration on poverty of farm households and on the sustainability of agricultural systems, using economic theory combined with evidence from three case studies in Kenya, Peru, and Senegal. The case studies
Li, Yu; Wang, Gang
Basing on the research and practice of organic agriculture at home and abroad, this paper discussed the objectives of developing green food and the principles that must be persisted in the practice in China. In the light of the arguments concerning with sustainable agriculture, we also discussed the significance of "alternative agriculture" in theory and practice. Compared with conventional high-intensity agriculture, the production approaches of organic alternatives can improve soil fertility and have fewer detrimental effects on the environment. It is unclear whether conventional agriculture can be sustained because of the shortcomings presented in this paper, and it has taken scientists approximately one century to research and practice organic farming as a representative of alternative agriculture. The development of green food in China has only gone through more than ten years, and there would be some practical and theoretical effects on the development of China's green food if we exploit an environment-friendly production pattern of organic agriculture which majors in keeping human health and maintaining sustainable agriculture.
Jorge Armando Fonseca C.
Full Text Available Under the conditions of the increasing globalization of markets, changing consumer habits, frequent outbreaks of foodborne illnesses (FBI, social organizations and governments seeking production and food supply include the assurance of safeness in all links in the chain. One way to achieve it, is to implement a Quality Management System (QMS for certification in agricultural production units, the process addresses the farm give the perspective of general systems theory, shaped by production subsystems and support; them develop both technical and management activities that seek to streamline processes while maintaining standards of sustainability and social responsibility to achieve food production with previously established quality criteria. the process of developing and implementing the QMS requires the construction and operation of support documents and manuals on issues of organization, and organization of producers, which are structured to meet the requirements of a standard, protocol or code of conduct; their compliance is verified through inspections that could lead to the granting of certification or seal of product quality or service, the process can be developed individually by a producer or a producer organization.
Monteiro, Filipa; Vidigal, Patricia; Romeiras, Maria Manuel; Ribeiro, Ana; Abreu, Maria Manuela; Viegas, Wanda; Catarino, Luís
During the last decades, agriculture in West Africa has been marked by dramatic shifts with the coverage of single crops, increasing pressure over the available arable land. Yet, West African countries are still striving to achieve sustainable production at an increased scale for global market needs. Market-driven rapid intensification is often a major cause for cropland area expansion at the expense of deforestation and soil degradation, especially to export commodities in times of high prices. Cashew (Anacardium occidentale L.) is nowadays an important export-oriented crop, being produced under intensive cultivation regimes in several tropical regions. Particularly, among the main cashew production areas, West Africa is the most recent and dynamic in the world, accounting for 45% of the world cashew nuts production in 2015. Considering its global market values, several developing countries rely on cashew nuts as national economy revenues, namely in Guinea-Bissau. Considering the intensive regime of cashew production in Guinea-Bissau, and as widely recognized, intensive agriculture linked with extensification can negatively impact ecosystems, affecting natural resources availability, soil erosion and arability compromised by excessive salinity. Ultimately this will result in the disruption of carbon - nitrogen cycle, important to the agricultural ecosystem sustainability. As such, tree intercropped with legumes as cover crops, offers a sustainable management of the land area, thus creating substantial benefits both economically and environmentally, as it enhances diversification of products outputs and proving to be more sustainable than forestry and/or agricultural monocultures. Soil fertility improvement is a key entry point for achieving food security, and also increment agriculture commodities of the agro-system. Without using inorganic fertilizers, the green solution for improving soil management is to incorporate adapted multi-purpose legumes as cover crops
Gough, L.P.; Herring, J.R.
The importance and role of the geosciences in studies of sustainable agriculture include such traditional research areas as, agromineral resource assessments, the mapping and classification of soils and soil amendments, and the evaluation of landscapes for their vulnerability to physical and chemical degradation. Less traditional areas of study, that are increasing in societal importance because of environmental concerns and research into sustainable systems in general, include regional geochemical studies of plant and animal trace element deficiencies and toxicities, broad-scale water quality investigations, agricultural chemicals and the hydrogeologic interface, and minimally processed and ion-exchange agrominerals. We discuss the importance and future of phosphate in the US and world based on human population growth, projected agromineral demands in general, and the unavailability of new, high-quality agricultural lands. We also present examples of studies that relate geochemistry and the hydrogeologic characteristics of a region to the bioavailability and cycling of trace elements important to sustainable agricultural systems. ?? 1993.
Rockström, Johan; Williams, John; Daily, Gretchen; Noble, Andrew; Matthews, Nathanial; Gordon, Line; Wetterstrand, Hanna; DeClerck, Fabrice; Shah, Mihir; Steduto, Pasquale; de Fraiture, Charlotte; Hatibu, Nuhu; Unver, Olcay; Bird, Jeremy; Sibanda, Lindiwe; Smith, Jimmy
There is an ongoing debate on what constitutes sustainable intensification of agriculture (SIA). In this paper, we propose that a paradigm for sustainable intensification can be defined and translated into an operational framework for agricultural development. We argue that this paradigm must now be defined-at all scales-in the context of rapidly rising global environmental changes in the Anthropocene, while focusing on eradicating poverty and hunger and contributing to human wellbeing. The criteria and approach we propose, for a paradigm shift towards sustainable intensification of agriculture, integrates the dual and interdependent goals of using sustainable practices to meet rising human needs while contributing to resilience and sustainability of landscapes, the biosphere, and the Earth system. Both of these, in turn, are required to sustain the future viability of agriculture. This paradigm shift aims at repositioning world agriculture from its current role as the world's single largest driver of global environmental change, to becoming a key contributor of a global transition to a sustainable world within a safe operating space on Earth.
Edwards, Clive; Pimentel, David
The following sections are included: * Introduction * Barriers to longterm sustainability * Loss of Land and Soils * Need for Adequate Water Resources * Energy Shortfalls * Potential Climate Change and Global Warming * Possible improvements in agricultural sustanability * Retardation of Soil Loss * Control of Water Supplies and Irrigation * New Sources of Renewable Energy * Biological Pest Control * Biological Inputs to Soil Fertility * Conclusions * References
Kumar, Manish; Tomar, Rajesh Singh; Lade, Harshad; Paul, Diby
Excessive use of chemical fertilizers to increase production from available land has resulted in deterioration of soil quality. To prevent further soil deterioration, the use of methylotrophic bacteria that have the ability to colonize different habitats, including soil, sediment, water, and both epiphytes and endophytes as host plants, has been suggested for sustainable agriculture. Methylotrophic bacteria are known to play a significant role in the biogeochemical cycle in soil ecosystems, ultimately fortifying plants and sustaining agriculture. Methylotrophs also improve air quality by using volatile organic compounds such as dichloromethane, formaldehyde, methanol, and formic acid. Additionally, methylotrophs are involved in phosphorous, nitrogen, and carbon cycling and can help reduce global warming. In this review, different aspects of the interaction between methylotrophs and host plants are discussed, including the role of methylotrophs in phosphorus acquisition, nitrogen fixation, phytohormone production, iron chelation, and plant growth promotion, and co-inoculation of these bacteria as biofertilizers for viable agriculture practices.
Jama, Bashir; Pizarro, Gonzalo
Agricultural development lies at the heart of poverty reduction and increased food security of most developing nations. Sub-Saharan Africa (hereafter referred to as Africa) is, however, the only region in the world where per capita agricultural productivity has remained stagnant over the past 40 years. In Asia and Latin America, the use of tailored techniques and technologies has transformed agricultural practice and its productivity, leading to what has been called the "green revolution." The dissemination of uniquely African green revolution technologies has not occurred on the continent. This chapter will argue that the same results in increased productivity and food security can be achieved in Africa if the appropriate investments are made in key interventions: soil fertility improvement, improved seeds, water management, market access, extension services, access to credit, and improvements in weather forecasting. Where these have happened, even partially, the outcome has been remarkable. However, bringing them to scale in ways that sustainably increase agricultural productivity and alleviate poverty requires increased investments and innovative institutional arrangements. Fortunately, several research and development projects on the continent, including the Millennium Villages Project, are providing valuable insights. Finally, this chapter outlines the key remaining challenges.
Kamel, S.M.; Dahl, C.
priority. This heavy reliance on diesel generation has negative effects on the surrounding environment including soil, groundwater, and air pollution. Although good solar and wind resource prospects exist for the use of cleaner hybrid power systems in certain desert locations, little research has been done...... to investigate the economic potential of such systems in Egypt’s desert agriculture sector. Using optimization software, we assess the economics of hybrid power systems versus the present diesel generation technology in a remote agricultural development area. We also consider the emission reduction advantages......Egypt has embarked on an ambitious desert land reclamation program in order to increase total food production. Energy planners for these desert agriculture locations have chosen diesel generation power technology because minimization of the initial capital cost of a power supply system is their top...
Klerkx, L.W.A.; Jansen, J.
Advisory service provisioning on sustainability issues such as environmental care and food safety is considered suboptimal in privatized extension systems, which comprise a diverse set of private advisors. Apart from funding dedicated ‘public good’ projects, government also relies on these advisors
Concerns about sustainability in agricultural systems centre on the need to develop technologies and practices that do not have adverse effects on environmental goods and services, are accessible to and effective for farmers, and lead to improvements in food productivity. Despite great progress in agricultural productivity in the past half-century, with crop and livestock productivity strongly driven by increased use of fertilizers, irrigation water, agricultural machinery, pesticides and land, it would be over-optimistic to assume that these relationships will remain linear in the future. New approaches are needed that will integrate biological and ecological processes into food production, minimize the use of those non-renewable inputs that cause harm to the environment or to the health of farmers and consumers, make productive use of the knowledge and skills of farmers, so substituting human capital for costly external inputs, and make productive use of people's collective capacities to work together to solve common agricultural and natural resource problems, such as for pest, watershed, irrigation, forest and credit management. These principles help to build important capital assets for agricultural systems: natural; social; human; physical; and financial capital. Improving natural capital is a central aim, and dividends can come from making the best use of the genotypes of crops and animals and the ecological conditions under which they are grown or raised. Agricultural sustainability suggests a focus on both genotype improvements through the full range of modern biological approaches and improved understanding of the benefits of ecological and agronomic management, manipulation and redesign. The ecological management of agroecosystems that addresses energy flows, nutrient cycling, population-regulating mechanisms and system resilience can lead to the redesign of agriculture at a landscape scale. Sustainable agriculture outcomes can be positive for food
Hobbs, Peter R; Sayre, Ken; Gupta, Raj
The paper focuses on conservation agriculture (CA), defined as minimal soil disturbance (no-till, NT) and permanent soil cover (mulch) combined with rotations, as a more sustainable cultivation system for the future. Cultivation and tillage play an important role in agriculture. The benefits of tillage in agriculture are explored before introducing conservation tillage (CT), a practice that was borne out of the American dust bowl of the 1930s. The paper then describes the benefits of CA, a suggested improvement on CT, where NT, mulch and rotations significantly improve soil properties and other biotic factors. The paper concludes that CA is a more sustainable and environmentally friendly management system for cultivating crops. Case studies from the rice-wheat areas of the Indo-Gangetic Plains of South Asia and the irrigated maize-wheat systems of Northwest Mexico are used to describe how CA practices have been used in these two environments to raise production sustainably and profitably. Benefits in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and their effect on global warming are also discussed. The paper concludes that agriculture in the next decade will have to sustainably produce more food from less land through more efficient use of natural resources and with minimal impact on the environment in order to meet growing population demands. Promoting and adopting CA management systems can help meet this goal.
Full Text Available In the present article, an attempt was made to assess the sustainability of agricultural holdings with diff erent directions of production. Agricultural holdings in the Podlaskie voivodeship registered in the FADN system in 2011–2012 were investigated. Assessment accounted for agroecological indicators (share of permanent grasslands, share of cereals in crops, soil coverage with vegetation, stock density and economic indicators (profi tableness of land and labor. Analysis was conducted according to a classifi cation into agricultural holding types: fi eldcrops, dairy cattle, and granivores. Fieldcrop and granivore holdings achieved more favourable environmental sustainability indicators. Holdings specializing in dairy cattle breeding posed a threat to the natural environment, mainly due to their excessive stock density. Economic sustainability assessment showed that granivore holdings were assessed most favorably. In these holdings, holding income per full-time worker was 37% greater than in fi eldcrop holdings and 57% greater than in dairy cattle holdings.
Hoang, Dieu Linh; Davis, Christopher Bryan; Nonhebel, Sanderine
Dairy manure-based biogas, an emerging source of renewable energy, is a result of a recycling process which often leads to the thought that manure production is the beginning of this biogas supply chain by energy producers. However, dairy manure is only a byproduct of an agricultural system whose
Research at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Grazinglands Research Laboratory is focused on development and delivery of improved technologies, strategies, and planning tools for integrated crop-forage-livestock systems under variable climate, energy, and market conditions. The GRL research p...
Full Text Available Agriculture today is a strategic point of a country's economy, providing food based on population, development of internal and external trade and manufacturing industries by supplying raw materials. For Romania, this branch is a strong point both in terms climatic (temperate, balanced relief, soil quality and at the same time is also a way of national development and convergence of rural areas to their full potential untapped. With strong reforms, well implemented, a specific legislative framework which aims to protecting private property, Romania could reduce the low efficiency and can have a sustainable agriculture. The paper aimed to present the advantages of consuming organic products, and, on the other hand, the advantages of a country in terms of organic farming. European agriculture is a competitive, market-oriented, but also protecting the environment model.
van Grinsven, Hans J. M.; Willem Erisman, Jan; de Vries, Wim; Westhoek, Henk
Most global strategies for future food security focus on sustainable intensification of production of food and involve increased use of nitrogen fertilizer and manure. The external costs of current high nitrogen (N) losses from agriculture in the European Union, are 0.3-1.9% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2008. We explore the potential of sustainable extensification for agriculture in the EU and The Netherlands by analysing cases and scenario studies focusing on reducing N inputs and livestock densities. Benefits of extensification are higher local biodiversity and less environmental pollution and therefore less external costs for society. Extensification also has risks such as a reduction of yields and therewith a decrease of the GDP and farm income and a smaller contribution to the global food production, and potentially an i0ncrease of global demand for land. We demonstrate favourable examples of extensification. Reducing the N fertilization rate for winter wheat in Northwest Europe to 25-30% below current N recommendations accounts for the external N cost, but requires action to compensate for a reduction in crop yield by 10-20%. Dutch dairy and pig farmers changing to less intensive production maintain or even improve farm income by price premiums on their products, and/or by savings on external inputs. A scenario reducing the Dutch pig and poultry sector by 50%, the dairy sector by 20% and synthetic N fertilizer use by 40% lowers annual N pollution costs by 0.2-2.2 billion euro (40%). This benefit compensates for the loss of GDP in the primary sector but not in the supply and processing chain. A 2030 scenario for the EU27 reducing consumption and production of animal products by 50% (demitarean diet) reduces N pollution by 10% and benefits human health. This diet allows the EU27 to become a food exporter, while reducing land demand outside Europe in 2030 by more than 100 million hectares (2%), which more than compensates increased land demand when
Full Text Available Over the past twenty years, agricultural biotechnologies have generated chronically unresolved political controversies. The standard tool of risk assessment has proven to be highly limited in its ability to address the panoply of concerns that exist about these hybrid techno/organisms. It has also failed to account for both the conceptual and material networks of relations agricultural biotechnologies require, create and/or perform. This paper takes as a starting point that agricultural biotechnologies cannot be usefully assessed as isolated technological entities but need to be evaluated within the context of the broader socio-ecological system that they embody and engender. The paper then explores, compares and contrasts some of the methodological tools available for advancing this systems-based perspective. The article concludes by outlining a new synthesis approach of comparative cartographies of agri/cultures generated through multi-sited ethnographic case-studies, which is proposed as a way to generate system maps and enable the comparison of genetically modified (GM food with both conventional and alternative agri-food networks for sustainability assessment. The paper aims to make a unique theoretical and methodological contribution by advancing a systems-based approach to conceptualising and assessing genetically modified organisms (GMOs and proposing a synthesised methodology for mapping networks of relations across different agri/cultures.
1. With an expanding human population placing increasing pressure on the environment, agriculture needs sustainable production that can match conventional methods. Integrated pest management (IPM) is more sustainable, but not necessarily as efficient as conventional non-sustainable measures. 2...... in multiple crops. Their efficiency is comparable to chemical pesticides or higher, while at lower costs. They provide a rare example of documented efficient conservation biological control. 3. Weaver ants share beneficial traits with almost 13 000 other ant species and are unlikely to be unique...... of agricultural systems, this review emphasizes the potential of managing ants to achieve sustainable pest management solutions. The synthesis suggests future directions and may catalyse a research agenda on the utilization of ants, not only against arthropod pests, but also against weeds and plant diseases...
David Muth, Jr.; Jared Abodeely; Richard Nelson; Douglas McCorkle; Joshua Koch; Kenneth Bryden
Agricultural residues have significant potential as a feedstock for bioenergy production, but removing these residues can have negative impacts on soil health. Models and datasets that can support decisions about sustainable agricultural residue removal are available; however, no tools currently exist capable of simultaneously addressing all environmental factors that can limit availability of residue. The VE-Suite model integration framework has been used to couple a set of environmental process models to support agricultural residue removal decisions. The RUSLE2, WEPS, and Soil Conditioning Index models have been integrated. A disparate set of databases providing the soils, climate, and management practice data required to run these models have also been integrated. The integrated system has been demonstrated for two example cases. First, an assessment using high spatial fidelity crop yield data has been run for a single farm. This analysis shows the significant variance in sustainably accessible residue across a single farm and crop year. A second example is an aggregate assessment of agricultural residues available in the state of Iowa. This implementation of the integrated systems model demonstrates the capability to run a vast range of scenarios required to represent a large geographic region.
Castaño, J.; Meulenberg, M.T.G.; Tilburg, van A.
This article is concerned with soil-sustainability problems of agriculture in developing countries, in particular with soil erosion. The aim of our study is to develop a comprehensive model that explains the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices with respect to soil conservation. Our
Fresh water scarcity is a global problem with local solutions. Agriculture is one of many human systems threatened by water deficits, and faces unique supply, demand, quality, and management challenges as the global climate changes and population grows. Sustainable agricultural water management is paramount to protecting global economies and ecosystems, but requires different approaches based on environmental conditions, social structures, and resource availability. This research compares water used by conservation agriculture in temperate and tropical agroecosystems through data collected from operations growing strawberries, grapes, tomatoes, and pistachios in California and corn and soybeans in Colombia. The highly manipulated hydrologic regime in California has depleted water resources and incited various adaptive management strategies, varying based on crop type and location throughout the state. Operations have to use less water more efficiently, and sometimes that means fallowing land in select groundwater basins. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the largely untouched landscape in the eastern plains of Colombia are rapidly being converted into commercial agricultural operations, with a unique opportunity to manage and plan for agricultural development with sustainability in mind. Although influenced by entirely different climates and economies, there are some similarities in agricultural water management strategies that could be applicable worldwide. Cover crops are a successful management strategy for both agricultural regimes, and moving forward it appears that farmers who work in coordination with their neighbors to plan for optimal production will be most successful in both locations. This research points to the required coordination of agricultural extension services as a critical component to sustainable water use, successful economies, and protected environments.
Full Text Available In industrialized nations, local food networks have generally been analyzed through alternative food systems, in spite of the fact that they are much more diverse than this would imply. In France, ‘short food chains’ are both a continuation of a long tradition and a recent trend which now extends beyond activists, to consumers and producers as well. This paper will explore the conditions under which these chains can change the practices and knowledge of ordinary actors in urban food systems, from producers to urban consumers and policy-makers, in the area of agriculture and sustainability. It will consider the case study of the creation and development of an urban open-air market which has been analyzed using intervention research with input from economic sociology. We will highlight how personal relations, which are encouraged by a participatory context, support the evolution of practices and knowledge. We will also illustrate how a system of produce labelling has emerged as a mediation resource, and has increased changes as well as participation within the re-territorialization of the urban food system. By describing a concrete expression of food democracy which is spreading in France via a free collective trademark, and by showing its role in the transition of ‘ordinary’ actors towards a more sustainable agriculture, this paper will shine new light onto local food chains as well as traditional short food chains, and will call for more research on the subject.
Kotir, Julius H; Smith, Carl; Brown, Greg; Marshall, Nadine; Johnstone, Ron
In a rapidly changing water resources system, dynamic models based on the notion of systems thinking can serve as useful analytical tools for scientists and policy-makers to study changes in key system variables over time. In this paper, an integrated system dynamics simulation model was developed using a system dynamics modelling approach to examine the feedback processes and interaction between the population, the water resource, and the agricultural production sub-sectors of the Volta River Basin in West Africa. The objective of the model is to provide a learning tool for policy-makers to improve their understanding of the long-term dynamic behaviour of the basin, and as a decision support tool for exploring plausible policy scenarios necessary for sustainable water resource management and agricultural development. Structural and behavioural pattern tests, and statistical test were used to evaluate and validate the performance of the model. The results showed that the simulated outputs agreed well with the observed reality of the system. A sensitivity analysis also indicated that the model is reliable and robust to uncertainties in the major parameters. Results of the business as usual scenario showed that total population, agricultural, domestic, and industrial water demands will continue to increase over the simulated period. Besides business as usual, three additional policy scenarios were simulated to assess their impact on water demands, crop yield, and net-farm income. These were the development of the water infrastructure (scenario 1), cropland expansion (scenario 2) and dry conditions (scenario 3). The results showed that scenario 1 would provide the maximum benefit to people living in the basin. Overall, the model results could help inform planning and investment decisions within the basin to enhance food security, livelihoods development, socio-economic growth, and sustainable management of natural resources. Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier B.V. All
Strategies towards agricultural intensification differ on the definitions of sustainability and the variables included in its evaluation. Different notions of the qualifiers of intensification (ecological, sustainable, durable, etc.) need to be unpacked. This paper examines conceptual differences
Muller, Adrian; Schader, Christian; El-Hage Scialabba, Nadia; Brüggemann, Judith; Isensee, Anne; Erb, Karl-Heinz; Smith, Pete; Klocke, Peter; Leiber, Florian; Stolze, Matthias; Niggli, Urs
Organic agriculture is proposed as a promising approach to achieving sustainable food systems, but its feasibility is also contested. We use a food systems model that addresses agronomic characteristics of organic agriculture to analyze the role that organic agriculture could play in sustainable food systems. Here we show that a 100% conversion to organic agriculture needs more land than conventional agriculture but reduces N-surplus and pesticide use. However, in combination with reductions of food wastage and food-competing feed from arable land, with correspondingly reduced production and consumption of animal products, land use under organic agriculture remains below the reference scenario. Other indicators such as greenhouse gas emissions also improve, but adequate nitrogen supply is challenging. Besides focusing on production, sustainable food systems need to address waste, crop-grass-livestock interdependencies and human consumption. None of the corresponding strategies needs full implementation and their combined partial implementation delivers a more sustainable food future.
Kalu Ukpai IFEGWU
Full Text Available The paper assessed agricultural production systems from a sustainability perspective defined in terms of relatively homogeneous agro-ecological zones of Africa, using the framework of a production function. Data used were drawn from FAOSTAT, the National Centre for Atmospheric Research and World Bank Indicators respectively for the period 1961-2009. The data were separated into three sub periods, namely: entire period (1961-2009, the pre-Structural Adjustment Period (SAP reform period (1961-1985 and the post SAP reform period (1986-2009. This was necessitated by the need to examine whether production systems may have been shifted out of the overall trajectory of system evolution by shocks e.g. policy (SAP among others. To investigate whether there has been a degradation of the quality of the natural resource base across the diverse agro-ecological zones; the estimated TFP trends were related to changes in selected resource quality variables over time. The results showed that the Northern and Southern agro-ecological zones had non-negative trends in TFP, indicating sustainability of production systems. However, the result indicated that the policy instrument (structural adjustment programme may have shifted farming or production systems out of the overall trajectory of system evolution in three out of the five agro-ecological zones studied which showed negative TFP trends. A degradation of resource quality over time was noted during the pre-SAP reform period, but was maintained during the post-SAP period.
Moretto, Johnny; Fantinato, Luciano; Rasera, Roberto
One of the main environmental effects of agriculture is the negative impacts on areas with soil vulnerability to compaction and undersurface water derived from inputs and treatment distributions. A solution may represented from the "Precision Farming". Precision Farming refers to a management concept focusing on (near-real time) observation, measurement and responses to inter- and intra-variability in crops, fields and animals. Potential benefits may include increasing crop yields and animal performance, cost and labour reduction and optimisation of process inputs, all of which would increase profitability. At the same time, Precision Farming should increase work safety and reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture and farming practices, thus contributing to the sustainability of agricultural production. The concept has been made possible by the rapid development of ICT-based sensor technologies and procedures along with dedicated software that, in the case of arable farming, provides the link between spatially-distributed variables and appropriate farming practices such as tillage, seeding, fertilisation, herbicide and pesticide application, and harvesting. Much progress has been made in terms of technical solutions, but major steps are still required for the introduction of this approach over the common agricultural practices. There are currently a large number of sensors capable of collecting data for various applications (e.g. Index of vegetation vigor, soil moisture, Digital Elevation Models, meteorology, etc.). The resulting large volumes of data need to be standardised, processed and integrated using metadata analysis of spatial information, to generate useful input for decision-support systems. In this context, a user-friendly IT applications has been developed, for organizing and processing large volumes of data from different types of remote sensing and meteorological sensors, and for integrating these data into user-friendly farm management support
Minarovic, Rosanne E.; Mueller, J. Paul
Responses from 369 of 500 extension professionals reflected a shared vision for sustainable agriculture and recognition of a need for environmentally sound farming practices. There was less unanimity about endorsing the social aspects of sustainable agriculture, though they agreed on the need for more systems research. (SK)
Jacobsen, E.; Beers, P.J.; Fischer, A.R.H.
This chapter is directed to the importance of different inventions as driver for sustainable development of agriculture. Inventions are defined as radical new ideas, perspectives and technologies that hold the potential to trigger a change in sustainable agriculture. Innovation is based on one or
Lauwere, de C.C.; Verstegen, J.A.A.M.
The transition towards sustainability is an important issue in Dutch agriculture of today. Farmers play an important role in this transition. They must be able and willing to convert to more sustainable agricultural methods. But they are also confronted with an existing institutional environment,
Anderson, Jennifer A; Gipmans, Martijn; Hurst, Susan; Layton, Raymond; Nehra, Narender; Pickett, John; Shah, Dilip M; Souza, Thiago Lívio P O; Tripathi, Leena
As global populations continue to increase, agricultural productivity will be challenged to keep pace without overtaxing important environmental resources. A dynamic and integrated approach will be required to solve global food insecurity and position agriculture on a trajectory toward sustainability. Genetically modified (GM) crops enhanced through modern biotechnology represent an important set of tools that can promote sustainable agriculture and improve food security. Several emerging biotechnology approaches were discussed in a recent symposium organized at the 13th IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry meeting in San Francisco, CA, USA. This paper summarizes the innovative research and several of the new and emerging technologies within the field of agricultural biotechnology that were presented during the symposium. This discussion highlights how agricultural biotechnology fits within the context of sustainable agriculture and improved food security and can be used in support of further development and adoption of beneficial GM crops.
Khorramnia, K.; Shariff, A. R. M.; Rahim, A. Abdul; Mansor, S.
Sustainable agriculture should be able to meet various social goals and objectives so that it can be maintained for an indefinite period without significant negative impacts on environment and natural resources. A wide variety of agricultural activities are running in Malaysia. Maintaining high quality of agricultural products with lower environmental impacts through a sustainable economic viability and life satisfaction of farmers and community are important factors helping to meet sustainable agriculture. Human resources are playing key role in directing the community toward sustainable development. The trend of improving the human development index in Malaysia is highest in the East Asia and the Pacific, high human development countries and the world, since 2000. Precision agriculture is providing strong tools to achieve sustainable agriculture. Different types of sensors, positioning and navigation systems, GIS, software and variable rate technology are well known components of precision agriculture. Drones and robots are promising tools that enabling farmers and managers to collect information or perform particular actions in remote areas or tough conditions. According to a survey, forestry and timber, rubber production and oil palm estates are three main agricultural divisions that precision agriculture may improve the productivity in respect to area of cropland/worker. Main factors affecting the adoption of precision agriculture in Malaysia are: a) Political and legal supports, b) Decision support systems and user interfaces c) Experienced research team works d) National educational policy e) Success in commercialization of precision agriculture system.
The study was carried out to assess crop farmers' use of environmentally sustainable agricultural practices in Ogun State. Multi – Stage-sampling and simple random sampling procedure was employed to select two hundred (200) farmers from villages selected from the four agricultural zones of Ogun State Agricultural ...
Full Text Available Sustainable crop production intensification should be the first strategic objective of innovative agronomic research for the next 40 years. A range of options exist (often very location specific for farming practices, approaches and technologies that ensure sustainability, while at the same time improving crop production. The main challenge is to encourage farmers in the use of appropriate technologies, and to ensure that knowledge about sound production practices is increasingly accepted and applied by farmers. There is a huge, but underutilized potential to link farmers’ local knowledge with science-based innovations, through favourable institutional arrangements. The same holds for the design, implementation and monitoring of improved natural resource management that links community initiatives to external expertise. It is also suggested that a comprehensive effort be undertaken to measure different stages of the innovation system, including technological adoption and diffusion at the farm level, and to investigate the impact of agricultural policies on technological change and technical efficiency. This paper provides a brief review of agronomic management practices that support sustainable crop production system and evidence on developments in the selection of crops and cultivars; describes farming systems for crop which take a predominantly ecosystem approach; discusses the scientific application of ecosystem principles for the management of pest and weed populations; reviews the improvements in fertilizer and nutrient management that explain productivity growth; describes the benefits and constraints of irrigation technologies; and suggests a way forward. Seven changes in the context for agricultural development are proposed that heighten the need to examine how innovation occurs in the agricultural sector.
Wirth, T. C.; Troxler, T.
As signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), developing countries are required to produce greenhouse gas (GHG) inventories every two years. For many developing countries, including many of those in Africa, this is a significant challenge as it requires establishing a robust and sustainable GHG inventory system. In order to help support these efforts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has worked in collaboration with the UNFCCC to assist African countries in establishing sustainable GHG inventory systems and generating high-quality inventories on a regular basis. The sectors we have focused on for these GHG inventory capacity building efforts in Africa are Agriculture and Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) as these tend to represent a significant portion of their GHG emissions profile and the data requirements and methodologies are often more complex than for other sectors. To support these efforts, the U.S. EPA has provided technical assistance in understanding the methods in the IPCC Guidelines, assembling activity data and emission factors, including developing land-use maps for representing a country's land base, and implementing the calculations. EPA has also supported development of various tools such as a Template Workbook that helps the country build the institutional arrangement and strong documentation that are necessary for generating GHG inventories on a regular basis, as well as performing other procedures as identified by IPCC Good Practice Guidance such as quality assurance/quality control, key category analysis and archiving. Another tool used in these projects and helps country's implement the methods from the IPCC Guidelines for the Agriculture and LULUCF sectors is the Agriculture and Land Use (ALU) tool. This tool helps countries assemble the activity data and emission factors, including supporting the import of GIS maps, and applying the equations from the IPPC Guidelines to
Grinsven, van J.J.M.; Erisman, J.W.; Vries, de W.; Westhoek, H.
Most global strategies for future food security focus on sustainable intensification of production of food and involve increased use of nitrogen fertilizer and manure. The external costs of current high nitrogen (N) losses from agriculture in the European Union, are 0.3–1.9% of gross domestic
Chen, Liyu; Liao, Hong
Increasing crop yields can provide food, animal feed, bioenergy feedstocks and biomaterials to meet increasing global demand; however, the methods used to increase yield can negatively affect sustainability. For example, application of excess fertilizer can generate and maintain high yields but also increases input costs and contributes to environmental damage through eutrophication, soil acidification and air pollution. Improving crop nutrient efficiency can improve agricultural sustainability by increasing yield while decreasing input costs and harmful environmental effects. Here, we review the mechanisms of nutrient efficiency (primarily for nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and iron) and breeding strategies for improving this trait, along with the role of regulation of gene expression in enhancing crop nutrient efficiency to increase yields. We focus on the importance of root system architecture to improve nutrient acquisition efficiency, as well as the contributions of mineral translocation, remobilization and metabolic efficiency to nutrient utilization efficiency. © 2017 Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Zhao, Jingzhu; Luo, Qishan; Deng, Hongbing; Yan, Yan
This paper introduces the concepts and aims of sustainable agriculture in China. Sustainable agricultural development comprises sustainability of agricultural production, sustainability of the rural economy, ecological and environmental sustainability within agricultural systems and sustainability of rural society. China's prime aim is to ensure current and future food security. Based on projections of China's population, its economy, societal factors and agricultural resources and inputs between 2000 and 2050, total grain supply and demand has been predicted and the state of food security analysed. Total and per capita demand for grain will increase continuously. Total demand will reach 648 Mt in 2020 and 700 Mt in 2050, while total grain yield of cultivated land will reach 470 Mt in 2010, 585 Mt in 2030 and 656 Mt in 2050. The per capita grain production will be around 360kg in the period 2000-2030 and reach 470kg in 2050. When productivities of cultivated land and other agricultural resources are all taken into consideration, China's food self-sufficiency ratio will increase from 94.4% in 2000 to 101.3% in 2030, suggesting that China will meet its future demand for food and need for food security. Despite this positive assessment, the country's sustainable agricultural development has encountered many obstacles. These include: agricultural water-use shortage; cultivated land loss; inappropriate usage of fertilizers and pesticides, and environmental degradation.
Nov 16, 2010 ... Since 1970, IDRC-supported research has introduced sustainable agricultural practices to farmers and communities across the developing world. The result: higher productivity, less poverty, greater food security, and a healthier environment.
Salvador, R. J.; And Others
Describes an instructional model for a sustainable agriculture telecourse offered nationally by Iowa State University. Includes preproduction activities; technology employed; budget; time requirements; course content; student postevaluation results. Provides information and suggestions for individuals and institutions considering production or…
Full Text Available A knowledge contribution is provided in order to understand agroecology as both a scientific discipline and a philosophical paradigm for promoting sustainability in agriculture. The peculiar character of agroecology as an applied science based on the systems paradigm is explored in the fields of research and tuition. As an organisational capability of connecting different hierarchical levels in accordance with the goal of sustainability, integration is shown as an emergent property of the evolution of agriculture as a human activity system.
Suparman Abdullah; Dwia A. Tina Pulubuhu; Arsyad Genda; Syaiful Cangara; Muh. Irfan Said; Ria Renita Abbas; Seniwati
- This study focuses on the educational approaches for sustainable agriculture through the development, application and research of teaching and learning practices. These approaches serve and connect educators such as lecturers, students; decision makers such as regent, mayor or village head and local people who focus on the teaching and learning of sustainable agriculture. This research conducted in Turatea District, Jeneponto Region, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. People of the district in g...
Foeken, D.W.J.; Sofer, M.; Mlozi, M.
This book, the result of a collaborative study carried out by researchers from Tanzania, Israel and the Netherlands, assesses the sustainability of urban agriculture in two medium-sized towns in Tanzania: Morogoro and Mbeya. It first gives an overview of urban agriculture in Tanzania and a
Full Text Available Improvement of the sustainability in the farming sector is a core objective of the European Union which generates important consequences on the life’s quality. The sustainable agriculture has to bring an own contribution to the raising of the food safety and security, development and revitalize rural areas, environmental protection.In Romania improving the sustainability features of the agricultural practices is an ongoing preoccupation of the making cisional factors, the sustainable development being introduced in the national strategies and implemented in the practice by the agricultural holdings. This paper investigates the main characteristics of sustainability of Romanian agriculture having in view the three pillars of sustainable development, namely, economic aspects, social aspects and environmental aspects. For achieving this purpose it is carried out a dynamic analysis of the holdings’ economy which have a commercial profile from Romania and the other EU new member states. The analysis results reveal the contribution of some production factors on the economic efficiency to sustainable growth of holdings. The study findings suggest the action directions that have to be addressed by the decisional factors in order to consolidate the sustainability of farming practices.
Full Text Available Sustainability assessment is a mainstream business activity that demonstrates the link between the organization’s strategy and commitment to a sustainable global economy. Sustainability indicators describe the environmental, social, economic and governance performance of Small and Medium‑sized Businesses/Enterprises (SMB/SME. Unfortunately, their implementations in the Czech Republic show a low level of engagement in sustainability assessment. The paper presents the results of the authors’ research in sustainability assessment of SMB/SMEs in the agriculture sector of the Czech Republic. An appropriate set of key performance indicators (KPIs in four dimensions (economy, environment, social and governance was developed to suit the SMB/SMEs sustainability assessment in the agriculture sector. A set of KPIs is proposed to help SMB/SMEs to avoid the barriers of sustainability assessment. These indicators are based mainly on Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture, Global Reporting Initiatives Frameworks and on current research state‑of‑the‑art. They have been created following the analysis of a number of agricultural enterprises over the world, particularly within European countries.
The concept of sustainability has become central to all sectors all over the world, from agriculture to environment to business, engineering and industrialization. The principle of sustainability is the same all over these sectors. However, the understanding of the term may vary from sector to sector depending on how it may be ...
Sims, B; Friedrich, Theodor; Kassam, Amir H.; Kienzle, J.
Metadata only record This paper explores how conservation agriculture and agroforestry can be complementary approaches for increasing agricultural sustainability. Developing a discussion of how both systems are designed to mimic the natural environment through the maintenance of a 'natural' ground cover and the complimentary production of crops which utilize different soil nutrients. Benefits of conservation agriculture and agroforestry systems are accrued in several primary areas: efficie...
Full Text Available Agriculture in Africa is not sustainable because average yields have been stagnating for decades due to underinvestment, especially in the development of agricultural markets, crop improvement and the sustainable management of agricultural systems. Low public sector funding for agricultural research and lack of incentives for the private sector to operate in areas where there is no market largely explain the yield gap in many food-importing developing countries. Yet, there are effective ways in which the public and the private sector could work together and jointly improve agricultural sustainability in poor countries. The public sector provides a favorable institutional environment for the development of agricultural markets and investment in rural infrastructure, facilitates local business development and funds research with local relevance. The private sector, in return, brings its considerable expertise in product development and deployment. This article illustrates how new forms of public-private partnerships (PPPs for agricultural development can work in challenging environments. It discusses three promising examples of PPPs in which the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA is actively involved, and shows that an experimental approach can sometimes be more effective than social planning in efforts to achieve sustainable agriculture.
William J. Sutherland
Full Text Available Increasing concerns about global environmental change and food security have focused attention on the need for environmentally sustainable agriculture. This is agriculture that makes efficient use of natural resources and does not degrade the environmental systems that underpin it, or deplete natural capital stocks. We convened a group of 29 ‘practitioners’ and 17 environmental scientists with direct involvement or expertise in the environmental sustainability of agriculture. The practitioners included representatives from UK industry, non-government organizations and government agencies. We collaboratively developed a long list of 264 knowledge needs to help enhance the environmental sustainability of agriculture within the UK or for the UK market. We refined and selected the most important knowledge needs through a three-stage process of voting, discussion and scoring. Scientists and practitioners identified similar priorities. We present the 26 highest priority knowledge needs. Many of them demand integration of knowledge from different disciplines to inform policy and practice. The top five are about sustainability of livestock feed, trade-offs between ecosystem services at farm or landscape scale, phosphorus recycling and metrics to measure sustainability. The outcomes will be used to guide on-going knowledge exchange work, future science policy and funding.
Brussaard, L.; Ruiter, de P.C.; Brown, G.G.
We critically highlight some evidence for the importance of soil biodiversity to sustaining (agro-)ecosystem functioning and explore directions for future research. We first deal with resistance and resilience against abiotic disturbance and stress. There is evidence that soil biodiversity does
Full Text Available In the process of agricultural production we are using natural resources, human resources and capital. Responsible management of natural resources will allow the development of sustainable agriculture with the possibility of agricultural products to satisfy both quantitatively and qualitatively food requirements of the population. Natural resources that are irreplaceable in agricultural production are soil and water and now must be taken global measures for slowing and stopping global warming and climate change, which could jeopardize the attainment of agricultural production. In the paper reference is made to the quality of agricultural soils of Romania, the existence of water resources and measures to be taken to preserve soil fertility and combating drought.
Fernandes, Meenakshi; Galloway, Rae; Gelli, Aulo; Mumuni, Daniel; Hamdani, Salha; Kiamba, Josephine; Quarshie, Kate; Bhatia, Rita; Aurino, Elisabetta; Peel, Francis; Drake, Lesley
Interventions that enhance linkages between healthy diets and local agriculture can promote sustainable food systems. Home-grown school feeding programs present a promising entry point for such interventions, through the delivery of nutritious menus and meals. To describe the adaptation of the School Meals Planner Package to the programmatic and environmental reality in Ghana during the 2014 to 2015 school year. Guided by a conceptual framework highlighting key considerations and trade-offs in menu design, an open-source software was developed that could be easily understood by program implementers. Readily available containers from markets were calibrated into "handy measures" to support the provision of adequate quantities of food indicated by menus. Schools and communities were sensitized to the benefits of locally sourced, nutrient-rich diets. A behavior change communication campaign including posters and songs promoting healthy diets was designed and disseminated in schools and communities. The School Meals Planner Package was introduced in 42 districts in Ghana, reaching more than 320 000 children. Monitoring reports and feedback on its use were positive, demonstrating how the tool can be used by planners and implementers alike to deliver nutritious, locally-sourced meals to schoolchildren. The value of the tool has been recognized at the highest levels by Ghana's government who have adopted it as official policy. The School Meals Planner Package supported the design of nutritious, locally sourced menus for the school feeding program in Ghana. The tool can be similarly adapted for other countries to meet context-specific needs. © The Author(s) 2016.
Triviño-Tarradas, Paula; Jesús González-Sánchez, Emilio; Gómez-Ariza, Manuel; Rass, Gerard; Gardette, Sophie; Whitmore, Gavin; Dyson, Jeremy
The concept of sustainable development has evolved from a mere perception for the protection of the environment, to a holistic approach, seeking to preserve not only the environment, but also to achieve sustainability in economics and social wellbeing. Globally, there is a major challenge to face in the agricultural sector: to produce more food, feed and other raw materials to satisfy the increasing demand of a growing population, whilst also contributing to economic prosperity, climate change mitigation / adaptation, social wellbeing and preserving natural capital such as soil, water, biodiversity and other ecosystem services. Nowadays, conventional approaches to agriculture are under threat. A more productive and resource efficient agriculture that integrates natural resource protection into its approach will help to meet all these challenges, enabling us to have more of everything - more food, more feed, more non-food crops, more biodiversity and natural habitats - while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, INSPIA is an innovative approach that has worked since 2013 towards demonstration that sustainable productive agriculture is possible thanks to the implementation of a host of best management practices (BMPs) capable of delivering the above achievements. The purpose on INSPIA is to make visible with European decision makers that a sustainable and productive agricultural model exists in a small scale in Europe and that wider dissemination is possible with enabling legislation. INSPIA is demonstrating sustainable agriculture through the implementation of BMPs and the measurement and monitoring of a set of defined indicators (economic, social and environmental ones). INSPIA promotes sustainable practices that protect biodiversity, soils and water and contribute towards maintaining ecosystems services. This holistic sustainable system of productive agriculture is based on the combination of Conservation Agriculture (CA) and Integrated Pest
Hoffman, Matthew; Lubell, Mark; Hillis, Vicken
Linking knowledge to action requires understanding how decision-makers conceptualize sustainability. This paper empirically analyzes farmer "mental models" of sustainability from three winegrape-growing regions of California where local extension programs have focused on sustainable agriculture. The mental models are represented as networks where sustainability concepts are nodes, and links are established when a farmer mentions two concepts in their stated definition of sustainability. The results suggest that winegrape grower mental models of sustainability are hierarchically structured, relatively similar across regions, and strongly linked to participation in extension programs and adoption of sustainable farm practices. We discuss the implications of our findings for the debate over the meaning of sustainability, and the role of local extension programs in managing knowledge systems.
representative microbial, insect, animal and plant genomes. The research .... existence of heritable genetic or molecular (usually DNA) markers that are .... to manipulate or improve plant traits for agricultural uses in an environmentally sustainable manner. One key trait that has defied scientific unravelling is the phenomenon.
We present a methodology for holistic sustainability assessment of green infrastructure, applied to agricultural rainwater harvesting (RWH) in the Albemarle-Pamlico river basin. It builds upon prior work in the region through the use of detailed, crop-level management information...
Petrzelka, Peggy; Korsching, Peter F.; Malia, James E.
A mail survey of Iowa farmers with membership in Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), a sustainable agriculture organization, was used to examine the attitude-behavior relationship of these farmers and the role social influences played in this relationship. Results indicate that when controlling explanatory factors, the attitude-behavior relationship…
Dalgaard, Tommy; Ferrari, S; Rambonilaza, M
This introductive paper aims to address the features of environmental sustainability in agriculture. Recent developments of the concept, which are discussed here, emphasise its multi-faceted nature and lead to various definitions as well as to different implications for policy measures in society...
environment are changed, sustainable agricultural practices as conceived in the present form appear to be a distant dream ... At the same time the government in Rwanda is continuously under pressure to work towards ...... aspects perceived in this fashion (agrarian structure changes) would go a long way in addressing the ...
Azadi, Hossein; Ghanian, Mansour; Ghuchani, Omid M.; Rafiaani, Parisa; Taning, Clauvis N. T.; Hajivand, Roghaye Y.; Dogot, Thomas
The present debate on how to increase global food production in a sustainable way has focused on arguments over the pros and cons of genetically modified (GM) crops. Scientists in both public and private sectors clearly regard GM technology as a major new set of tools, whereas industry sees it as an opportunity for increased profits. However, it remains questionable whether GM crops can contribute to agricultural growth, agricultural development, and agricultural sustainability. This review p...
Gates, Jane Potter
This directory lists 151 programs in alternative farming systems (systems that aim at maintaining agricultural productivity and profitability, while protecting natural resources, especially sustainable, low-input, regenerative, biodynamic or organic farming and gardening). It includes programs conducted by colleges and universities, research…
Parr, Damian M.; Trexler, Cary J.
Student farms, developed largely out of student efforts, have served as centers for the development of experiential learning and sustainable agriculture and food systems educational activities on land-grant colleges of agriculture well before most formal sustainable agriculture and food systems programs were proposed. This study explored students'…
Pathak, Rajesh Kumar; Gupta, Sanjay Mohan; Gaur, Vikram Singh; Pandey, Dinesh
Abstract In recent years, rapid developments in several omics platforms and next generation sequencing technology have generated a huge amount of biological data about plants. Systems biology aims to develop and use well-organized and efficient algorithms, data structure, visualization, and communication tools for the integration of these biological data with the goal of computational modeling and simulation. It studies crop plant systems by systematically perturbing them, checking the gene, protein, and informational pathway responses; integrating these data; and finally, formulating mathematical models that describe the structure of system and its response to individual perturbations. Consequently, systems biology approaches, such as integrative and predictive ones, hold immense potential in understanding of molecular mechanism of agriculturally important complex traits linked to agricultural productivity. This has led to identification of some key genes and proteins involved in networks of pathways involved in input use efficiency, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, photosynthesis efficiency, root, stem and leaf architecture, and nutrient mobilization. The developments in the above fields have made it possible to design smart crops with superior agronomic traits through genetic manipulation of key candidate genes. PMID:26484978
The rapid evolution of civilisation within the last two hundred years has involved the replacement of extensive, pastoral livestock systems for intensive production methods. The dangers implicit in this rapid evolution are discussed by Forrester (1971),in the Meadows report (1972) and latterly the necessity for “sustainable development” was flagged by the Brudtland Report (1987). The last agrarian reform in Romania increased the weight of small farms and led to non sustainable agriculture. In...
Cuijpers, W.J.M.; Koopmans, C.J.; Erisman, J.W.
This paper introduces and explores the possibilities of a concept that may bridge apparent divergences within the sustainable agriculture approach. Sustainable agriculture concepts may depart from different paradigms, varying from securing global and local resource availability, to maintaining
Pacini, C.; Giesen, G.W.J.; Vazzana, C.; Wossink, G.A.A.
Agricultural researchers widely recognise the importance of sustainable agricultural production systems and the need to develop appropriate methods to measure sustainability. The principal purpose of this paper is to evaluate the financial and environmental aspects of sustainability of Organic,
Apr 21, 2016 ... Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, is home to an astonishing range of life forms found nowhere else on the planet. Much of this biodiversity is highly vulnerable to climate change. So too are the rainfed agriculture, fishing, and forestry that sustain the island's 20 million people.
Gates, Jane Potter
This directory provides information on over 200 institutions and organizations that are involved in organic, alternative, or sustainable agriculture and that also focus on education, training, or provision of information. The directory was compiled by the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC), which is 1 of 10 information centers…
Full Text Available In the current economic situation the former, intensive fertiliser recommendation system is unfit to help Hungarian farmers in their fertilising practice. The aim of the new system has been to apply the lowest possible NPK rates required to achieve safe and high yields as well as allowing minimal agricultural NP losses to surface and subsurface waters. The new system was developed by using the correlations revealed by analyzing the results of long-term fertilisation experiments set up in Hungary between 1960 and 2000. Several field experiments as well as comparative analyses confirmed the correctness of the basic principles as well as of the methods of calculating fertiliser rates of the new system. An estimated amount of 3,200,000 € was saved for the Hungarian farmers in 2007 alone by giving recommendations for more than 160,000 ha arable land applying the new system.
Ørsted Nielsen, Helle; Branth Pedersen, Anders; Christensen, Tove
in the world market could increase pressure to slacken regulatory requirements on agriculture. Thus, the question of whether liberalization will hinder or promote environmentally sustainable production methods in agriculture is unresolved. This paper analyses different scenarios of agricultural policy...... development and examines their consequences for the promotion of environmentally sustainable agriculture in the EU....
Siemianowska, Ewa; Wesołowski, Andrzej; Skibniewska, Krystyna A.; Tyburski, Józef; Gurzyński, Marcin
The economic, environmental and social development should not degrade the environment but it should leave it for the next generations in the state that it is presently or even better. The principle of sustainable agriculture is to cover the human needs for food without damage to the environment. The aim of the article was to research the farmers' awareness of the principle of sustainable agriculture and balanced fertilization and their influence on the environment. Among 100 farmers of the Tczew district (Poland) there was done questionnaire research on the determination rates of nitrogen fertilizers and on the regulation of fertilizers usage in Poland. Most of farmers declared a good knowledge of good agricultural practices and of balanced fertilization and the awareness of threats issuing from their activities. At the same time in Poland since the announcement of the Nitrate Directive of the former European Common Market (1992) up till now (2013) the application of nitrogen fertilizers doubled and the yield of wheat increased only by 15%, which means the increase of environmental burden with this chemical element.
Full Text Available The economic, environmental and social development should not degrade the environment but it should leave it for the next generations in the state that it is presently or even better. The principle of sustainable agriculture is to cover the human needs for food without damage to the environment. The aim of the article was to research the farmers’ awareness of the principle of sustainable agriculture and balanced fertilization and their influence on the environment. Among 100 farmers of the Tczew district (Poland there was done questionnaire research on the determination rates of nitrogen fertilizers and on the regulation of fertilizers usage in Poland. Most of farmers declared a good knowledge of good agricultural practices and of balanced fertilization and the awareness of threats issuing from their activities. At the same time in Poland since the announcement of the Nitrate Directive of the former European Common Market (1992 up till now (2013 the application of nitrogen fertilizers doubled and the yield of wheat increased only by 15%, which means the increase of environmental burden with this chemical element.
Datta, Shivika; Singh, Joginder; Singh, Sharanpreet; Singh, Jaswinder
The aim of this review is to generate awareness and understand the importance of earthworms in sustainable agriculture and effect of pesticides on their action. The natural resources are finite and highly prone to degradation by the misuse of land and mismanagement of soil. The world is in utter need of a healthy ecosystem that provides with fertile soil, clean water, food and other natural resources. Anthropogenic activities have led to an increased contamination of land. The intensification of industrial and agricultural practices chiefly the utilization of pesticides has in almost every way made our natural resources concave. Earthworms help in a number of tasks that support many ecosystem services that favor agrosystem sustainability but are degraded by exhaustive practices such as the use of pesticides. The present review assesses the response of earthworm toward the pesticides and also evaluates the relationship between earthworm activity and plant growth. We strictly need to refresh and rethink on the policies and norms devised by us on sustainable ecology. In an equivalent way, the natural resources should be utilized and further, essential ways for betterment of present and future livelihood should be sought.
Kanter, David R.; Musumba, Mark; Wood, Sylvia L.R.; Palm, Cheryl; Antle, John; Balvanera, Patricia; Dale, Virginia H.; Havlik, Petr; Kline, Keith L.; Scholes, R.J.; Thornton, Philip; Tittonell, Pablo; Andelman, Sandy
A vibrant, resilient and productive agricultural sector is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Bringing about such a transformation requires optimizing a range of agronomic, environmental and socioeconomic outcomes from agricultural systems – from crop yields, to
Pallant, Amy; Lee, Hee-Sun
During the past several decades, there has been a growing awareness of the ways humans affect Earth systems. As global problems emerge, educating the next generation of citizens to be able to make informed choices related to future outcomes is increasingly important. The challenge for educators is figuring out how to prepare students to think…
Full Text Available Sustainable palm oil production needs to be based on the application of a code of good practices, respecting a certain number of criteria related to economic, environmental and social aspects. We focus here on economic and environmental aspects, attempting to take stock of the current situation regarding the management of inputs (fertilizers, pesticides, and of oil mill waste (empty fruit bunches, effluent. We also take a look at the main agricultural research required if we are to be able to assess the situation on different scales and see how it is evolving, and also provide assistance for rational management that is compatible with farmers’ production targets.
Mallory, Ellen; White, Charles; Morris, Thomas; Kiernan, Nancy Ellen
Reading the Farm is a 2- to 3-day professional development program that brings together agricultural service providers from a range of agencies, with various expertise and levels of experience, to explore whole-farm systems and sustainability through in-depth study of two case-study farms. Over 90% of past participants reported that the program…
Rosa, Melissa F; Bonham, Curan A; Dempewolf, Jan; Arakwiye, Bernadette
Maintaining the long-term sustainability of human and natural systems across agricultural landscapes requires an integrated, systematic monitoring system that can track crop productivity and the impacts of agricultural intensification on natural resources. This study presents the design and practical implementation of a monitoring framework that combines satellite observations with ground-based biophysical measurements and household surveys to provide metrics on ecosystem services and agricultural production at multiple spatial scales, reaching from individual households and plots owned by smallholder farmers to 100-km 2 landscapes. We developed a set of protocols for monitoring and analyzing ecological and agricultural household parameters within two 10 × 10-km landscapes in Rwanda, including soil fertility, crop yield, water availability, and fuelwood sustainability. Initial results suggest providing households that rely on rainfall for crop irrigation with timely climate information and improved technical inputs pre-harvest could help increase crop productivity in the short term. The value of the monitoring system is discussed as an effective tool for establishing a baseline of ecosystem services and agriculture before further change in land use and climate, identifying limitations in crop production and soil fertility, and evaluating food security, economic development, and environmental sustainability goals set forth by the Rwandan government.
Full Text Available The rapid evolution of civilisation within the last two hundred years has involved the replacement of extensive, pastoral livestock systems for intensive production methods. The dangers implicit in this rapid evolution are discussed by Forrester (1971,in the Meadows report (1972 and latterly the necessity for “sustainable development” was flagged by the Brudtland Report (1987. The last agrarian reform in Romania increased the weight of small farms and led to non sustainable agriculture. In such conditions we are obliged to follow a twin-track strategy: (1livestock systems with high productivity potentials; (2traditional pastoral systems and organic agriculture, on marginal lands, which allow the utilisation of extensive grazing lands, the conservation of environment, genetic resources, landscape, the minimisation of the use of non-renewable resources and the production of "natural foods".
Goldberger, Jessica R.
It is often assumed that organic farming is synonymous with sustainable agriculture. The broad goals of sustainable agriculture include economic profitability, environmental stewardship, and community vitality. However, the "question of sustainability" (Ikerd, 2008) can be asked of any type of farming, including organic production. One…
This paper reviews the role of ergonomics on sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria. Agriculture plays a key role in the Nigerian economy and hence the need for sustained development within the sector. Ergonomic intervention in Nigeria was identified as a key driver for sustainable development while fostering ...
Le Cocq, Kate; Gurr, Sarah J; Hirsch, Penny R; Mauchline, Tim H
Intensive agriculture, which depends on unsustainable levels of agrochemical inputs, is environmentally harmful, and the expansion of these practices to meet future needs is not economically feasible. Other options should be considered to meet the global food security challenge. The plant microbiome has been linked to improved plant productivity and, in this microreview, we consider the endosphere - a subdivision of the plant microbiome. We suggest a new definition of microbial endophyte status, the need for synergy between fungal and bacterial endophyte research efforts, as well as potential strategies for endophyte application to agricultural systems. © 2016 THE AUTHORS. MOLECULAR PLANT PATHOLOGY PUBLISHED BY BRITISH SOCIETY FOR PLANT PATHOLOGY AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.
Alejandro Cotes Torres
Full Text Available El problema de la sostenibilidad es una temática que desde finales del siglo XX, ha venido preocupando cada vez mas a los diferentes sectores de la sociedad; pasando a ser uno de los temas de mayor interés para empresarios, consumidores, académicos e investigadores, que conforman las diferentes cadenas agroalimentarias del mundo. Este artículo presenta desde el punto de vista de la Teoría General de Sistemas, algunos elementos de reflexión critica, abordando la problemática de la sostenibilidad desde la complejidad de los sistemas de producción agropecuarios, partiendo desde la concepción filosófica original de la agricultura, hasta llegar a plantear algunas consideraciones que se deben tener en cuenta para el desarrollo de avances científicos y tecnológicos acordes con las necesidades de las cadenas agroalimentarias del siglo XXI; las cuales permiten orientar no solo el trabajo de los profesionales que lideran los procesos de producción animal y vegetal, sino que crea un sentido de pertenencia en todos los participantes de la cadena, resaltando la importancia de estudiar a través de un pensamiento sistémico, la Agronomía y la Zootecnia, como disciplinas que se aproximan a las complejidades de la Agricultura la cual es la piedra angular de la civilización, tal y como la conocemos actualmente.The problem of sustainability is a topic that since the end of the XX century has been worrying more the different sectors of society; becoming one of the topics of greatest interest for managers, consumers, academics and investigators that conform the different agricultural food chains of the world. This paper presents from the General Systems Theory point of view some elements of critical reflection, approaching the problem of sustainability from the complexity of agricultural production systems, beginning with the original philosophical conception of agriculture and ending by outlining some considerations that should be kept in mind for
Full Text Available Agriculture is one of the most important economic activities in each country or area, as it is in close correlation with all other the other economic activities, in a whole which must be structured so as to achieve a more efficient planning and organization of the territory. The practice of a traditional agriculture, based on industrialization, affects the natural environment through emissions of pollutants, waste and deforestation which together affects biodiversity. Green Agriculture suppose to empower managers to widespread the use of fertilizers, to improve the crop rotation, to realize a more efficient water consumption, to improve the storage methods and the supply chain of products. Agricultural policies are closely interrelated with environmental policies as agricultural activities have a considerable influence on the environment. The efficiency of agricultural policies is reflected in monetary transfers between agriculture and other economic sectors, in the costs due to the reallocation of the resources between different agricultural and non-agricultural activities and in the realized gains. Currently there is a constant concern of the governments for the transition to a green agriculture, and most countries recognize the importance of achieving sustainable economic development.
Hafsal, Leif Peder
This master thesis is reviewing the latest published research on remote sensing technology in the agricultural sector, for soil moisture estimations towards a more sustainable precision agriculture. Modern, exciting new technological innovations will also be presented, along with the sustainable aspect of conventional agriculture with more precise agricultural practices. The synergy between UAS, SMC and sustainability are the focus of attention for this review thesis, as the po...
Williams, David L.
High school agricultural students in Iowa (n=386) rated their knowledge of sustainable agriculture as limited. They expected it to have high impact environmentally and socially. Results provide a basis for curriculum development in this area. (SK)
Full Text Available Abstract Diversification of agroecological systems to enhance agrobiodiversity is likely to be critical to advancing environmental, economic, and social sustainability of agriculture. Temperate-zone agroecological systems that are currently organized for production of summer-annual crops can be diversified by integration of fallow-season and perennial crops. Integration of such crops can improve sustainability of these agroecological systems, with minimal interference with current agricultural production. Importantly, these crops can provide feedstocks for a wide range of new bio-products that are forming a new agricultural bioeconomy, potentially providing greatly increased economic incentives for diversification. However, while there are many fallow-season and perennial crops that might be used in such a “bioeconomic” strategy for diversification, most are not yet well adapted and highly-marketable. Efforts are underway to enhance adaptation and marketability of many such crops. Critically, these efforts require a strategic approach that addresses the inherent complexity of these projects. We outline a suitable approach, which we term “sustainable commercialization”: a coordinated innovation process that integrates a new crop into the agriculture of a region, while intentionally addressing economic, environmental and social sustainability challenges via multi-stakeholder governance. This approach centers on a concerted effort to coordinate and govern innovation in three critical areas: germplasm development, multifunctional agroecosystem design and management, and development of end uses, supply chains, and markets. To exemplify the approach, we describe an ongoing effort to commercialize a new fallow-season crop, field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L..
Chapman, Alexander; Darby, Stephen
Challenging dynamics are unfolding in social-ecological systems around the globe as society attempts to mitigate and adapt to climate change while sustaining rapid local development. The IPCC's 5th assessment suggests these changing systems are susceptible to unforeseen and dangerous 'emergent risks'. An archetypal example is the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (VMD) where the river dyke network has been heightened and extended over the last decade with the dual objectives of (1) adapting the delta's 18 million inhabitants and their livelihoods to increasingly intense river-flooding, and (2) developing rice production through a shift from double to triple-cropping. Negative impacts have been associated with this shift, particularly in relation to its exclusion of fluvial sediment deposition from the floodplain. A deficit in our understanding of the dynamics of the rice-sediment system, which involve unintuitive delays, feedbacks, and tipping points, is addressed here, using a system dynamics (SD) approach to inform sustainable adaptation strategies. Specifically, we develop and test a new SD model which simulates the dynamics between the farmers' economic system and their rice agriculture operations, and uniquely, integrates the role of fluvial sediment deposition within their dyke compartment. We use the model to explore a range of alternative rice cultivation strategies. Our results suggest that the current dominant strategy (triple-cropping) is only optimal for wealthier groups within society and over the short-term (ca. 10years post-implementation). The model suggests that the policy of opening sluice gates and leaving paddies fallow during high-flood years, in order to encourage natural sediment deposition and the nutrient replenishment it supplies, is both a more equitable and a more sustainable policy. But, even with this approach, diminished supplies of sediment-bound nutrients and the consequent need to compensate with artificial fertilisers will mean that smaller
Full Text Available As the world population and food production demands rise, keeping agricultural soils and landscapes healthy and productive are of paramount importance to sustaining local and global food security and the flow of ecosystem services to society. The global population, expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050, will put additional pressure on the available land area and resources for agricultural production. Sustainable production intensification for food security is a major challenge to both industrialized and developing countries. The paper focuses on the results from long-term multi-factorial experiments involving tillage practices, crop rotations and fertilization to study the interactions amongst the treatments in the context of sustainable production intensification. The paper discusses the results in relation to reported performance of crops and soil quality in Conservation Agriculture systems that are based on no or minimum soil disturbance (no-till seeding and weeding, maintenance of soil mulch cover with crop biomass and cover crops, and diversified cropping s involving annuals and perennials. Conservation Agriculture also emphasizes the necessity of an agro-ecosystems approach to the management of agricultural land for sustainable production intensification, as well as to the site-specificity of agricultural production. Arguments in favor of avoiding the use of soil tillage are discussed together with agro-ecological principles for sustainable intensification of agriculture. More interdisciplinary systems research is required to support the transformation of agriculture from the conventional tillage agriculture to a more sustainable agriculture based on the principles and practices of Conservation Agriculture, along with other complementary practices of integrated crop, nutrient, water, pest, energy and farm power management.
Chernyaeva, Victoria A.; Teng, Xiuyi; Sergio
China and Russia are both agriculture countries, agricultural environment sustainable development is very important for them. The paper studies three main agricultural wastes: straw, organic waste and plastic waste, and analyzes their treatments with the view of agricultural sustainable development.
Impact of an increasing supply of bioenergy sources on the sustainability of agricul-tural enterprises, evaluated with the Criteria System for Sustainable Agriculture (CSSA); Folgenabschaetzung einer zunehmenden Bereitstellung von Bioenergietraegern auf die Nachhaltigkeit landwirtschaftlicher Unternehmen, bewertet mit dem Kriteriensystem Nachhaltige Landwirtschaft (KSNL)
Breitschuh, Thorsten; Eckert, Hans; Maier, Uta; Gernand, Ulrich; Mueller, Anja [Thueringer Landesanstalt fuer Landwirtschaft (TLL), Jena (Germany); Verband fuer Agrarforschung und Bildung Thueringen e.V., Jena (Germany)
The report investigates how an increasing supply of bioenergy sources affects the sustainability situation of farms at different sites and with different structures. The ''Criteria System for Sustainable Agriculture'' (CSSA) was used as analysis and assessment criteria system. The CSSA is based on 34 selected criteria in the field of economy, environment and social conditions. Each criterion indicates a defined pres-sure or state and evaluates the results on the basis of defined tolerance ranges. In the study short-term scenarios of an increasing provision of bioenergy based on real data from agricultural farms were evaluated with the CSSA system. Altogether, 30 scenarios were analysed. As a result the most sustainable scenario for the supply of bioenergy was identified for each farm considered. Using this approach, the most important adaptation reactions of agricultural enterprises were determined and evaluated. Potential applications of the explained procedure are the ex-ante simulation and ex- ante evaluation of agricultural processes and the creation and evaluation of sup-port programmes. (orig.)
Full Text Available Since the end of the 1990s, sustainability reporting (SR has become an increasingly relevant topic in business and academia. However, it is still limited in food and agriculture sector in the Czech Republic and the European Union and only little information of the latest developments have thus far been presented. This paper provides current information dating from 2010 to 2014 from publications related to food and agriculture sector. The objective of the paper is to identify what determinants of SR are examined in the world initiatives to identify (in consistencies, gaps, and opportunities for our future research of this field. The paper focuses to new G4 Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI and the Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture (SAFA systems of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO of the United Nation. Finally, possible future research of SR including SR information systems are discussed by illuminating gaps and underexposed themes in the area of regulation and governance as well as stakeholder perception.
Diek Van Mansvelt, J
This work seeks to demonstrate how different types of organic agriculture can meet the need for renewable and sustainable agriculture, rural development, and management of the land and water resources. An obstacle to the spread of organic agriculture is the widespread perception that without intensive factors of production, demographic growth will necessarily outstrip the available food resources. Calculation of economic costs and benefits at present carries greater weight in planning than do soil erosion, deforestation, extinction of species, disappearance of habitats, and similar environmental damage. The different types of organic agriculture do not follow rigid rules and are not defined solely by the nonuse of nitrogenous fertilizers and pesticides. One of the main principles or organic agriculture is to respect local soil and climatic conditions. Self-sufficiency regarding external factors of production and an emphasis on recycling and optimal use of natural resources were concept ahead of their time when they initially were introduced in the 1920s. The specialization which restructured agriculture over the past century has seriously damaged the system of mixed agriculture and the chain of food production. The solution will be to seek for each region an appropriate balance linking animals and agricultural production in an organic process. The objective of organic agriculture, also known as autonomous ecosystem management, is to preserve as far as possible the balance between needs for food and fiber on the 1 hand and the potential of local ecosystems on the other. General principles of organic agriculture include mixed exploitation in which both plants and animals have specific functions in the context of their local soil and climatic characteristics. Different types of crop rotation are practiced to optimize mutual interactions between crops, and the varied organic cycles are also optimized within the framework of anorganic management in accord with nature
Sustainable agricultural practices describe the effort of farmers at protecting and enhancing the environment to preserve it for further exploitation. Therefore both men and women have important roles to play in preserving their environment. This paper analyzed the gender roles in the use of sustainable agricultural practices ...
Garcia, Maria Alice; Altieri, Miguel A.
The potential for genetically modified (GM) crops to threaten biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture is substantial. Megadiverse countries and centers of origin and/or diversity of crop species are particularly vulnerable regions. The future of sustainable agriculture may be irreversibly jeopardized by contamination of in situ…
This study focuses on intervention processes that support sustainable agriculture. It argues that we know very little about how to intervene for sustainable agriculture, particularly for those areas where the Green Revolution has passed almost unnoticed and where degradation of natural
Sasmal, J.; Weikard, H.P.
Sustainable agricultural growth in developing countries is jeopardized by soil degradation consequent upon intensive cultivation and use of increasing doses of chemical inputs. To pave the way to sustainable agricultural growth we develop a model that incorporates organic fertilizer into the
Kauppinen, Miia; Saikkonen, Kari; Helander, Marjo; Pirttilä, Anna Maria; Wäli, Piippa R
There is an urgent need to create new solutions for sustainable agricultural practices that circumvent the heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides and increase the resilience of agricultural systems to environmental change. Beneficial microbial symbionts of plants are expected to play an important role in integrated pest management schemes over the coming decades. Epichloë endophytes, symbiotic fungi of many grass species, can protect plants against several stressors, and could therefore help to increase the productivity of forage grasses and the hardiness of turf grasses while reducing the use of synthetic pesticides. Indeed, Epichloë endophytes have successfully been developed and commercialized for agricultural use in the USA, Australia and New Zealand. Many of the host grass species originate from Europe, which is a biodiversity hotspot for both grasses and endophytes. However, intentional use of endophyte-enhanced grasses in Europe is virtually non-existent. We suggest that the diversity of European Epichloë endophytes and their host grasses should be exploited for the development of sustainable agricultural, horticultural and landscaping practices, and potentially for bioremediation and bioenergy purposes, and for environmental improvement.
Gauri, Samiran S; Mandal, Santi M; Pati, Bikas R
Recently, increasing attention have lead to search other avenue of biofertilizers with multipurpose activities as a manner of sustainable soil health to improve the plant productivity. Azotobacter have been universally accepted as a major inoculum used in biofertilizer to restore the nitrogen level into cultivated field. Azotobacter is well characterized for their profuse production of exopolysaccharides (EPS). Several reviews on biogenesis and multifunctional role of Azotobacter EPS have been documented with special emphasis on industrial applications. But the impact of Azotobacter EPS in plant growth promotion has not received adequate attention. This review outlines the evidence that demonstrates not only the contribution of Azotobacter EPS in global nutrient cycle but also help to compete successfully in different adverse ecological and edaphic conditions. This also focuses on new insights and concepts of Azotobacter EPS which have positive effects caused by the biofilm formation on overall plant growth promotion with other PGPRs. In addition, their potentials in agricultural improvement are also discussed. Recent data realized that Azotobacter EPS have an immense agro-economical importance including the survivability and maintenance of microbial community in their habitat. This leads us to confirm that the next generation Azotobacter inoculum with high yielding EPS and high nitrogen fixing ability can be utilized to satisfy the future demand of augmented crop production attributed to increase plant growth promoting agents.
Luo, Fang; Xu, Dan
Based on the content of organic agriculture, sustainable management of agriculture in Japan is analyzed from four aspects. Firstly, organization and management institutions and relevant laws and regulations of organic agriculture in Japan are introduced. Secondly, certification procedure of organic agricultural products is briefly described, that is, determining production plan, reorganizing cultivation and management records, making certification application, on-site inspection, offering cer...
Muiño-García Berta Lina
Full Text Available The mission of INISAV is to contribute to the reduction of risks and losses by pests without affecting the environment on a sustainable basis. Its management is based on a science model linked with environment and characterized by 4 phases: the planning of research’s, their implementation, validation and adoption in the agriculture practice. Three main results of research are described: Biological control Program (PBC, Pest Management Programs (PMP and the Elimination of the use of methyl bromide. A national network of 251 Laboratories for reproduction of entomophagues and entomopathogens (CREE was designed and implemented, together with 4 biopesticide production plants. Thirteen (13 biological products and technologies were created. Furthermore, pest management programs (PMP were extended in more than 25 crops for conventional and agro-ecological systems, as well as adoption of PMP to replace methyl bromide. The impacts of the results to the environment, agricultural production, the country's economy, and rural communities, were confirmed by the significant reduction of imports of chemical pesticides, from 40 000 t in 1974 to about 3000 t in 2012. In 1988 the arable area benefited by bioproducts was 300 000 ha while in 2012 amounted to 1 354 000 ha. The elimination of 80 t of methyl bromide in tobacco, 35 t in the other sectors, the reduction of other agrochemicals, the incorporation of biological control applications and some management measures, are considered the main basis for sustainability in crops. At present, 72% of the total area planted is under applications of pesticides in PMP. Of these, 38% with only biological products, 34% the combination of biological and chemical pesticides and in the remaining 28% apply phytosanitary alternatives included in the pest management programs.
Agbaje, Kehinde Aderemi Ajaiyeoba; Martin, Robert A.; Williams, David L.
Responses from 298 of 600 secondary agriculture teachers in north central United States revealed limited impact of sustainable agriculture. Most teachers had neutral perceptions; a moderate number taught it, but not from a systems perspective. However, related agronomy topics were taught, providing a possible foundation for future inclusion of…
Shrinivas R. Zanwar
Full Text Available This article addresses the advanced system which improves agriculture processes like cultivation on ploughed land, based on robotic platform. We have developed a robotic vehicle having four wheels and steered by DC motor. The advanced autonomous system architecture gives us the opportunity to develop a complete new range of agricultural equipment based on small smart machines. The machine will cultivate the farm by considering particular rows and specific column at fixed distance depending on crop. The obstacle detection problem will also be considered, sensed by infrared sensor. The whole algorithm, calculation, processing, monitoring are designed with motors & sensor interfaced with microcontroller. The result obtained through example activation unit is also presented. The dc motor simulation with feedforward and feedback technique shows precise output. With the help of two examples, a DC motor and a magnetic levitation system, the use of MATLAB and Simulink for modeling, analysis and control is designed.
Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, Nigeria, 2015. Farmers' Perception of Sustainable Agriculture in South-. Western Nigeria: Implications for Rural Economy. *Adeola, R. G. And Adetunbi, S. I.. Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Development,. Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, ...
Hatai, L.D.; Sen, Chandra
The development of a method for generating Sustainable Livelihood Security Index (SLSI) for agricultural sustainability and evaluating the existing status has been reported. Some measures have been suggested to promote sustainable agriculture of Orissa. This state has been selected since it faces wide inequality, improper management and over-exploitation of natural resources and explosion of population. These have created a threat to ecological balance and economic as well as social status of...
In semiarid and arid Tunisia, water quality and agricultural practices are the major contributing factors to the degradation of soil resources threatening the sustainability of irrigation systems and agricultural productivity. Nowadays, about 50% of the total irrigated areas in Tunisia are considered at high risk for salinization. The aim of this thesis was to study soil management and salinity relationships in order to assure sustainable irrigated agriculture in areas under salin...
Olde, de Evelien
Current environmental, economic and social challenges urge agriculture to change to more sustainable modes of production. Insight in the impact of a system or a potential innovation on sustainability could support decision makers in identifying actions towards sustainable development. Over the past
Dudley, Nigel; Baldock, David; Nasi, Robert; Stolton, Sue
Most of the world's biodiversity will continue to exist outside protected areas and there are also managed lands within many protected areas. In the assessment of millennium targets, there is therefore a need for indicators to measure biodiversity and suitability of habitats for biodiversity both across the whole landscape/seascape and in specific managed habitats. The two predominant land uses in many inhabited areas are forestry and agriculture and these are examined. Many national-level criteria and indicator systems already exist that attempt to assess biodiversity in forests and the impacts of forest management, but there is generally less experience in measuring these values in agricultural landscapes. Existing systems are reviewed, both for their usefulness in providing indicators and to assess the extent to which they have been applied. This preliminary gap analysis is used in the development of a set of indicators suitable for measuring progress towards the conservation of biodiversity in managed forests and agriculture. The paper concludes with a draft set of indicators for discussion, with suggestions including proportion of land under sustainable management, amount of produce from such land, area of natural or high quality semi-natural land within landscapes under sustainable management and key indicator species. PMID:15814357
The United States and the world face serious societal challenges in the areas of food, environment, energy, and health. Historically, advances in plant genetics have provided new knowledge and technologies needed to address these challenges. Plant genetics remains a key component of global food security, peace, and prosperity for the foreseeable future. Millions of lives depend upon the extent to which crop genetic improvement can keep pace with the growing global population, changing climate, and shrinking environmental resources. While there is still much to be learned about the biology of plant-environment interactions, the fundamental technologies of plant genetic improvement, including crop genetic engineering, are in place, and are expected to play crucial roles in meeting the chronic demands of global food security. However, genetically improved seed is only part of the solution. Such seed must be integrated into ecologically based farming systems and evaluated in light of their environmental, economic, and social impacts-the three pillars of sustainable agriculture. In this review, I describe some lessons learned, over the last decade, of how genetically engineered crops have been integrated into agricultural practices around the world and discuss their current and future contribution to sustainable agricultural systems.
Full Text Available As global demand for livestock products (such as meat, milk and eggs is expected to double by 2050, necessary increases to future production must be reconciled with negative environmental impacts that livestock cause. This paper describes the LivestockPlus concept and demonstrates how the sowing of improved forages can lead to the sustainable intensification of mixed crop-forage-livestock-tree systems in the tropics by producing multiple social, economic and environmental benefits. Sustainable intensification not only improves the productivity of tropical forage-based systems but also reduces the ecological footprint of livestock production and generates a diversity of ecosystem services (ES such as improved soil quality and reduced erosion, sedimentation and greenhouse gas (GHG emissions. Integrating improved grass and legume forages into mixed production systems (crop-livestock, tree-livestock, crop-tree-livestock can restore degraded lands and enhance system resilience to drought and waterlogging associated with climate change. When properly managed tropical forages accumulate large amounts of carbon in soil, fix atmospheric nitrogen (legumes, inhibit nitrification in soil and reduce nitrous oxide emissions (grasses, and reduce GHG emissions per unit livestock product. The LivestockPlus concept is defined as the sustainable intensification of forage-based systems, which is based on 3 interrelated intensification processes: genetic intensification - the development and use of superior grass and legume cultivars for increased livestock productivity; ecological intensification - the development and application of improved farm and natural resource management practices; and socio-economic intensification - the improvement of local and national institutions and policies, which enable refinements of technologies and support their enduring use. Increases in livestock productivity will require coordinated efforts to develop supportive government, non
Rural communities in developing countries are most vulnerable to the plight of requiring repeated infusions of charitable aid over time. Micro-business opportunities that effectively break the cycle of poverty in resource-rich countries in the developing world are limited. However, a strong model for global commerce can break the cycle of donor-based economic supplements and limited local economic growth. Sustainable economic development can materialize when a robust framework combines engineering with the generous investment of profits back into the community. This research presents a novel, systems-based approach to sustainable community development in which a waste-to-resource methodology catalyzes the disruption of rural poverty. The framework developed in this thesis was applied to the rural communities of Cagmanaba and Badian, Philippines. An initial assessment of these communities showed that community members are extremely poor, but they possess an abundant natural resource: coconuts. The various parts of the coconut offer excellent potential value in global commerce. Today the sale of coconut water is on the rise, and coconut oil is an established $3 billion market annually that is also growing rapidly. Since these current industries harvest only two parts of the coconut (meat and water), the 50 billion coconuts that grow annually leave behind approximately 100 billion pounds of coconut shell and husk as agricultural waste. Coconuts thus provide an opportunity to create and test a waste-to-resource model. Intensive materials analysis, research, development, and optimization proved that coconut shell, currently burned as a fuel or discarded as agricultural waste, can be manufactured into high-grade coconut shell powder (CSP), which can be a viable filler in polymeric composites. This framework was modeled and tested as a case study in a manufacturing facility known as a Community Transformation Plant (CTP) in Cagmanaba, Philippines. The CTP enables local
Matthew Heron Wilson
Full Text Available Agriculture faces the unprecedented task of feeding a world population of 9 billion people by 2050 while simultaneously avoiding harmful environmental and social effects. One effort to meet this challenge has been organic farming, with outcomes that are generally positive. However, a number of challenges remain. Organic yields lag behind those in conventional agriculture, and greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient leaching remain somewhat problematic. In this paper, we examine current organic and conventional agriculture systems and suggest that agroforestry, which is the intentional combination of trees and shrubs with crops or livestock, could be the next step in sustainable agriculture. By implementing systems that mimic nature’s functions, agroforestry has the potential to remain productive while supporting a range of ecosystem services. In this paper, we outline the common practices and products of agroforestry as well as beneficial environmental and social effects. We address barriers to agroforestry and explore potential options to alter policies and increase adoption by farmers. We conclude that agroforestry is one of the best land use strategies to contribute to food security while simultaneously limiting environmental degradation.
Barbera, Guiseppe; Butera, Federico M.
In order to develop small islands, not only must a vital agricultural system be maintained, but the range of opportunities for tourism must be increased with respect to both the seaside and the environmental features of the rural landscape. As an alternative to the traditional and economically declining ones, many innovative production processes can be identified, but their success depends on their interaction with the physical, biological, economic and social environment. In order to identify the main nodes and the most critical interactions, so as to increase the probability of success of a new productive process, a methodological approach based on the science of complexity is proposed for the cultivation of capers ( Capparis spinosa L.) on the island of Pantelleria. The methodology encompasses the identification of actors and factors involved. the quantitative evaluation of their interactions with the different stages of the productive process, and a quasiquantitative evaluation of the probability that the particular action will be performed successfully. The study of “traditional,” “modernized,” and “modernized-sustainable” processes, shows that the modernized-sustainable process offers mutually reinforcing opportunities in terms of an integrated development of high-quality agricultural products and the enhancement of environmental features, in conjunction with high-efficiency production techniques, in conjunction with high-efficiency production techniques, in a way that suits the development of Pantelleria. There is a high probability of failure, however, as a result of the large number of critical factors. Nevertheless, the present study indicates which activities will enhance the probability of successful innovation in the production process.
The greatest ultimate impact will be in agricultural genomics, especially for marker assisted selection and breeding programs in crop and animal agriculture, development of animal disease diagnostics and vaccines, crop genetic engineering to overcome abiotic and biotic stresses and for improvement of the nutritional ...
The study explores problem situations in natural resource management in the Philippine uplands. It examines, through a knowledge systems perspective, the changing nature of development intervention that is required as sustainability becomes an important criterion of agricultural
Full Text Available Around 52% of the population of India rely on farming for their livelihood which accounts for 17% of India’s GDP. Whilst most farmers are familiar with conventional farming practices, they are often ill positioned to promptly deal with diseases and plant infestations affecting their crops. Current advisory systems tend to be generic and are not tailored to specific plots or farms. This work comprises an agriculture advisory call center similar to a modern call center to provide an agriculture disease mitigation system. The information regarding an individual farm is collected using mobile phones. The image of diseased/infected crop is also captured using mobile phones and is made available to the expert to provide the advisory. To scale the advisory, an attempt is also made to automate the disease recognition process using image processing. Unfortunately, the photos taken will be sensitive to a number of factors including camera type and lighting incident on the scene. Ideally, the images would be processed in such a way as to provide the expert with a visual representation of the affected crops that reflects the true nature of the scene. We describe a framework for standardising the colour of plant images taken using both mobile phones and compact cameras within the context of the advisory system.
System Innovation for Sustainability 2 focuses on change towards sustainable personal mobility based on implemented cases analysed from a system perspective. It examines what changes can be made to help us reduce our need for mobility, or start to make use of more sustainable mobility systems...... in order to provide sustainable solutions to our current ‘lock-in’ problems. Three major problem areas are considered (the ‘three Cs’): carbon emissions (and the growing contribution of mobility to the climate change crisis), congestion, and casualties. And each strategy proposed addresses one or more...... such as governments, manufacturers and consumers to intervene in the complex system to promote sustainable mobility. It concludes with a reflection on problems, trends and action needed. The ‘System Innovation for Sustainability’ series is the fruit of the first major international research network on SCP...
National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD.
Prepared by the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) staff and volunteers, this annotated bibliography provides a list of 85 recently published books pertaining to sustainable agriculture. AFSIC focuses on alternative farming systems (e.g., sustainable, low-input, regenerative, biodynamic, and organic) that maintain agricultural…
Basch, Gottlieb; Barão, Lúcia; Soares, Miguel
Today, after the International Year of Soils in 2015 and the proclamation by the International Union of Soil Sciences of the International Decade of Soils 2015-2020, much attention is paid to soil quality. Often used interchangeably, both terms, soil quality and soil health, refer to dynamic soil properties such as soil organic matter or pH, while soil quality also includes inherent soil properties such as texture or mineral composition. However, it is the dynamic or manageable properties that adequate soil management can influence and thus contribute to a well-functioning soil environment capable to deliver the soil-mediated provisioning, regulating and supporting ecosystem services and soil functions. This contribution intends to highlight the key principles of sustainable soil management and provide evidence that they are compliant with a productive, resource efficient and ecologically friendly agriculture. Paradoxically, and despite benefitting from good soil quality, agriculture itself when based on conventional, especially intensive tillage-based soil management practices contributes decisively to soil degradation and to several of the soil threats as identified by the Soil Thematic Strategy, being soil erosion and soil organic matter decline the most notorious ones. To mitigate soil degradation, the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy has introduced conservation measures, mainly through cross-compliance measures supposed to guarantee minimum soil cover, to limit soil erosion and to maintain the levels of soil organic matter. However, it remains unclear to what extent EU member states apply these 'Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition' (GAEC) measures to their utilized agricultural areas. Effective and cost-efficient soil management systems able to conserve or to restore favourable soil conditions, to minimize soil erosion and to invert soil organic matter and soil biodiversity decline and improve soil structure are those capable to mimic as
Wioletta Wrzaszcz; Józef St. Zegar
Sustainability of agriculture and agricultural farms is the subject of increasing interests of society and researchers. The main problem of this issue is appropriate methodology of measuring agriculture sustainability, due to its complexity. Different proposals are presented and discussed, and still, there is no generally accepted measures of agriculture sustainability. This problem also concerns agricultural holdings` economic and environment sustainability examination. The particular dilemm...
Huttunen, Suvi; Oosterveer, Peter
It is argued that sustainability transition in agriculture requires a shift from a regime oriented towards increasing agricultural productivity to a regime in which the environmental and social effects of production are regarded as central. Practice theories represent an emerging perspective on
This paper makes an attempt at reviewing agricultural extension ideologies or perspectives and their influence on stakeholder's world-view in relation to sustainable agriculture. Specifically, the paper brings together several perspectives that have been suggested to encourage farmers to do things differently in the interest of ...
The Costs of Using Draft Animals for Sustainable. Agricultural Production in Tanzania. S.M. Mpanduji*, Z.M. Mganilwa, P.J. Makungu and H.O. Dihenga. Sokoine University of Agriculture, P.O Box 3003, Morogoro, Tanzania. Abstract. This study was carried out to determine the annual costs oj owning and using a pair oj draJt ...
George, David; Clewett, Jeff; Birch, Colin; Wright, Anthony; Allen, Wendy
There are few professional development courses in Australia for the rural sector concerned with climate variability, climate change and sustainable agriculture. The lack of educators with a sound technical background in climate science and its applications in agriculture prevents the delivery of courses either stand-alone or embedded in other…
Fick, Gary W.
Presents the details and evaluation of a laboratory exercise that introduces professional and agricultural ethics into a course on sustainable agriculture. Concludes that including material on ethics in existing courses appears to be an effective way to increase the ethical content of a curriculum and emphasizes ethical decision making as an…
Ram Prasad; Atanu Bhattacharyya; Quang D. Nguyen
Nanotechnology monitors a leading agricultural controlling process, especially by its miniature dimension. Additionally, many potential benefits such as enhancement of food quality and safety, reduction of agricultural inputs, enrichment of absorbing nanoscale nutrients from the soil, etc. allow the application of nanotechnology to be resonant encumbrance. Agriculture, food, and natural resources are a part of those challenges like sustainability, susceptibility, human health, and healthy lif...
Full Text Available In the present world context, there is a need to assess the sustainability of agricultural systems. Various methods have been proposed to assess agricultural sustainability. Like in many other fields, Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA has recently been used as a methodological approach for the assessment of agricultural sustainability. In this paper, an attempt is made to apply Elimination, a MCDA method, to an agricultural sustainability assessment, and to investigate its benefits and drawbacks. This article starts by explaining the importance of agricultural sustainability. Common MCDA types are discussed, with a description of the state-of-the-art method for incorporating multi-criteria and reference values for agricultural sustainability assessment. Then, a generic description of the Elimination Method is provided, and its modeling approach is applied to a case study in coastal Bangladesh. An assessment of the results is provided, and the issues that need consideration before applying Elimination to agricultural sustainability, are examined. Whilst having some limitations, the case study shows that it is applicable for agricultural sustainability assessments and for ranking the sustainability of agricultural systems. The assessment is quick compared to other assessment methods and is shown to be helpful for agricultural sustainability assessment. It is a relatively simple and straightforward analytical tool that could be widely and easily applied. However, it is suggested that appropriate care must be taken to ensure the successful use of the Elimination Method during the assessment process.
Full Text Available Sustainable water systems often comprise complex combinations of traditional and new system components that mimic natural processes. These green systems aim to protect public health and safety, and restore natural and human landscapes. Green infrastructure elements such as most sustainable drainage systems trap storm water but may contaminate groundwater. There is a need to summarize recent trends in sustainable water systems management in a focused document. The aim of this special issue is therefore to disseminate and share scientific findings on novel sustainable water systems addressing recent problems and opportunities. This special issue focuses on the following key topics: climate change adaptation and vulnerability assessment of water resources systems; holistic water management; carbon credits; potable water savings; sustainable water technologies; nutrient management; holistic storm water reuse; water and wastewater infrastructure planning; ecological status of watercourses defined by the Water Framework Directive. The combined knowledge output advances the understanding of sustainable water, wastewater and storm water systems in the developed and developing world. The research highlights the need for integrated decision-support frameworks addressing the impact of climate change on local and national water resources management strategies involving all relevant stakeholders at all levels.
This article evaluates dry spell occurrence in the Mabogini Village—located within a semi-arid area in Tanzania—using a water balance approach with nineteen years of historical daily precipitation data. The water balance equation was related to crop water requirements to evaluate both the prevalence of agricultural dry ...
Nanotechnology is a promising field of interdisciplinary research. It opens up a wide array of opportunities in various fields like medicine, pharmaceuticals, electronics and agriculture. The potential uses and benefits of nanotechnology are enormous. The current global population is nearly 7 */billion with 50% living in Asia.
A participatory appraisal methodology was adopted. The analysis shows that inaccessibility to chemical fertilizer has negative impact on rural livelihood by causing low yield. However, it has a positive effect by inducing the adoption of organic fertilizer, which is deemed environment-friendly agriculture. The conclusion is that ...
Agricultural residues have significant potential as a near term source of cellulosic biomass for bioenergy production, but sustainable removal of agricultural residues requires consideration of the critical roles that residues play in the agronomic system. Previous work has developed an integrated m...
Enright, K. P.; Gilbert, L. A.; McGillis, A.
Small-scale agriculture has exploded with popularity in recent years, as teenagers and college students gain interest in local food sources. Outdoor experiences, including gardening and farming, are often among the motivations for students to take their first geoscience courses in college. The methods and theories of small agriculture translate well into geologic research questions, especially in the unique setting of college campus farms and gardens. We propose an activity or assignment to engage student-farmers in thinking about geosciences, and connect them with geoscience departments as a gateway to the major and career field. Furthermore, the activity will encourage a new generation of passionate young farmers to integrate the principles of earth science into their design and implementation of more sustainable food systems. The activity includes mapping, soil sampling, and interviewing professionals in agriculture and geology, and results in the students writing a series of recommendations for their campus or other farm. The activity includes assessment tools for instructors and can be used to give credit for a summer farming internship or as part of a regular course. We believe reaching out to students interested in farming could be an important recruitment tool for geosciences and helps build interdisciplinary and community partnerships.
Center for Rural Affairs, Hartington, NE.
This project increases opportunities for beginning farmers to learn about and implement sustainable farming methods through mutual-help discussion groups and continuing education opportunities. Local groups established in six areas in northeast Nebraska in 1991 constitute the Beginning Farmer Support Network (BFSN). At workshops held throughout…
Research and development can no longer be the exclusive domain of scientists. To find sustainable solutions to development problems, a wider range of actors must be involved. It is crucial, for example, that local stakeholders provide input to the process. Participatory research and development (PR&D) offers such an ...
The sourcebook captures and examines PR&D experiences from over 30 countries, illustrating applications in sustainable crop and animal production, forest and watershed management, soil and ... Their goal is to reduce the vulnerability of Colombia's smallholder coffee growers to the climate-related challenges posing a.
spurt in the environmental awareness in Rwanda is partly induced by donor agencies .... due to increase in fertilizer consumption with increasing soil salinisation and pollution. Many countries claiming green revolution (e.g. India) had this trade-off. ..... thus create conditions later livelihood-intensive and sustainable human.
Williams, David L.; Dollisso, Awoke D.
Sustainable agriculture is a multidisciplinary approach to food and fiber problems. Its inclusion in the secondary curriculum would enrich and align it with social concerns. Research is needed in the scholarship functions of discovery, integrative approaches, and teaching. (SK)
Despite its prediction 100 years ago by scientists studying CO2, man-made climate change has been officially recognised only in 2007 by the Nobel prize committee. Climate changes since the industrial revolution have already deeply impacted ecosystems. I report major impacts of climate change on waters, terrestrial ecosystems, agriculture, and economy in Europe. The lesson of the climate change story is that humans do not learn from scientists until it really hurts. Furthermore, all society is...
Bach, Heike; Mauser, Wolfram; Gernot, Klepper
The global and regional potentials of Earth Observation (EO) to contribute to food security and sustainable agriculture in the 2050-timeframe were analysed in the ESA study EO4Food, whose outcome will be presented (www.EO4Food.org). Emphasis was put on the global societal, economic, environmental and technological megatrends that will create demand for food and shape the future societies. They will also constitute the background for developments in EO for food security and sustainable agriculture. The capabilities of EO in this respect were critically reviewed with three perspectives 1) the role of EO science for society, 2) observables from space and 3) development of future science missions.It was concluded that EO can be pivotal for the further development of food security and sustainable agriculture. EO allows to support the whole economic and societal value chain from farmers through food industry to insurance and financial industry in satisfying demands and at the same time to support society in governing sustainable agriculture through verifyable rules and regulations. It has the potential to become the global source of environmental information that is assimilated into sophisticated environmental management models and is used to make agriculture sustainable.
Ola Homaidan Noueddine
Full Text Available Rural development is progressively seen as an important for solution for expanding the financial viability of large areas stimulating social recovery and enhancing the life style of rural groups. Many countries try to eliminate rural neediness and to have substantial potential in attracting visitors and social development looking for new progress. This paper argues that the social event of sustainable activities and attractions and the development of rural life empowers co-operation and organizations between groups and government. Meaningful community participation together with public sector support presents opportunities for the development of small-scale original sustainable and community projects in less developed areas. This paper interrogates the development of rural routes in Lebanon and highlights factors critical to its success.
Prasad, Ram; Bhattacharyya, Atanu; Nguyen, Quang D
Nanotechnology monitors a leading agricultural controlling process, especially by its miniature dimension. Additionally, many potential benefits such as enhancement of food quality and safety, reduction of agricultural inputs, enrichment of absorbing nanoscale nutrients from the soil, etc. allow the application of nanotechnology to be resonant encumbrance. Agriculture, food, and natural resources are a part of those challenges like sustainability, susceptibility, human health, and healthy life. The ambition of nanomaterials in agriculture is to reduce the amount of spread chemicals, minimize nutrient losses in fertilization and increased yield through pest and nutrient management. Nanotechnology has the prospective to improve the agriculture and food industry with novel nanotools for the controlling of rapid disease diagnostic, enhancing the capacity of plants to absorb nutrients among others. The significant interests of using nanotechnology in agriculture includes specific applications like nanofertilizers and nanopesticides to trail products and nutrients levels to increase the productivity without decontamination of soils, waters, and protection against several insect pest and microbial diseases. Nanotechnology may act as sensors for monitoring soil quality of agricultural field and thus it maintain the health of agricultural plants. This review covers the current challenges of sustainability, food security and climate change that are exploring by the researchers in the area of nanotechnology in the improvement of agriculture.
Full Text Available Nanotechnology monitors a leading agricultural controlling process, especially by its miniature dimension. Additionally, many potential benefits such as enhancement of food quality and safety, reduction of agricultural inputs, enrichment of absorbing nanoscale nutrients from the soil, etc. allow the application of nanotechnology to be resonant encumbrance. Agriculture, food, and natural resources are a part of those challenges like sustainability, susceptibility, human health, and healthy life. The ambition of nanomaterials in agriculture is to reduce the amount of spread chemicals, minimize nutrient losses in fertilization and increased yield through pest and nutrient management. Nanotechnology has the prospective to improve the agriculture and food industry with novel nanotools for the controlling of rapid disease diagnostic, enhancing the capacity of plants to absorb nutrients among others. The significant interests of using nanotechnology in agriculture includes specific applications like nanofertilizers and nanopesticides to trail products and nutrients levels to increase the productivity without decontamination of soils, waters, and protection against several insect pest and microbial diseases. Nanotechnology may act as sensors for monitoring soil quality of agricultural field and thus it maintain the health of agricultural plants. This review covers the current challenges of sustainability, food security and climate change that are exploring by the researchers in the area of nanotechnology in the improvement of agriculture.
Wezel, Alexander; Casagrande, Marion; Celette, Florian; Vian, Jean-François; Ferrer, Aurélie; Peigné, Joséphine
International audience; The forecasted 9.1 billion population in 2050 will require an increase in food production for an additional two billion people. There is thus an active debate on new farming practices that could produce more food in a sustainable way. Here, we list agroecological cropping practices in temperate areas. We classify practices according to efficiency, substitution, and redesign. We analyse their advantages and drawbacks with emphasis on diversification. We evaluate the pot...
Hodbod, Jennifer; Barreteau, Olivier; Allen, Craig R.; Magda, Danièle
The critical importance of agricultural systems for food security and as a dominant global landcover requires management that considers the full dimensions of system functions at appropriate scales, i.e. multifunctionality. We propose that adaptive management is the most suitable management approach for such goals, given its ability to reduce uncertainty over time and support multiple objectives within a system, for multiple actors. As such, adaptive management may be the most appropriate method for sustainably intensifying production whilst increasing the quantity and quality of ecosystem services. However, the current assessment of performance of agricultural systems doesn’t reward ecosystem service provision. Therefore, we present an overview of the ecosystem functions agricultural systems should and could provide, coupled with a revised definition for assessing the performance of agricultural systems from a multifunctional perspective that, when all satisfied, would create adaptive agricultural systems that can increase production whilst ensuring food security and the quantity and quality of ecosystem services. The outcome of this high level of performance is the capacity to respond to multiple shocks without collapse, equity and triple bottom line sustainability. Through the assessment of case studies, we find that alternatives to industrialized agricultural systems incorporate more functional goals, but that there are mixed findings as to whether these goals translate into positive measurable outcomes. We suggest that an adaptive management perspective would support the implementation of a systematic analysis of the social, ecological and economic trade-offs occurring within such systems, particularly between ecosystem services and functions, in order to provide suitable and comparable assessments. We also identify indicators to monitor performance at multiple scales in agricultural systems which can be used within an adaptive management framework to
Hodbod, Jennifer; Barreteau, Olivier; Allen, Craig; Magda, Danièle
The critical importance of agricultural systems for food security and as a dominant global landcover requires management that considers the full dimensions of system functions at appropriate scales, i.e. multifunctionality. We propose that adaptive management is the most suitable management approach for such goals, given its ability to reduce uncertainty over time and support multiple objectives within a system, for multiple actors. As such, adaptive management may be the most appropriate method for sustainably intensifying production whilst increasing the quantity and quality of ecosystem services. However, the current assessment of performance of agricultural systems doesn't reward ecosystem service provision. Therefore, we present an overview of the ecosystem functions agricultural systems should and could provide, coupled with a revised definition for assessing the performance of agricultural systems from a multifunctional perspective that, when all satisfied, would create adaptive agricultural systems that can increase production whilst ensuring food security and the quantity and quality of ecosystem services. The outcome of this high level of performance is the capacity to respond to multiple shocks without collapse, equity and triple bottom line sustainability. Through the assessment of case studies, we find that alternatives to industrialized agricultural systems incorporate more functional goals, but that there are mixed findings as to whether these goals translate into positive measurable outcomes. We suggest that an adaptive management perspective would support the implementation of a systematic analysis of the social, ecological and economic trade-offs occurring within such systems, particularly between ecosystem services and functions, in order to provide suitable and comparable assessments. We also identify indicators to monitor performance at multiple scales in agricultural systems which can be used within an adaptive management framework to increase
Williams, David L.; Wise, Kenneth L.
Responses from 41 of 60 Iowa secondary agriculture teachers and 464 11th- and 12th-grade students indicated both teachers and students had high perceptions of sustainable agriculture and its impact on the environment. Both groups felt the need to learn more about it. (SK)
Goede, de, J.
The general aim of the research described in this thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of the conceptualisation of robustness in agricultural science as well as its relevance to sustainability. Robustness rapidly gained attention as a potential solution for a variety of problems that characterize modern agriculture. The Dutch innovation programme “TransForum” considered robustness an important societal value that needed to be developed in relation to innovation...
Full Text Available Agriculture, a key component of the structure of economic branches, should be addressed directly related to the maintenance of natural resources and their exploitation in a controlled way or the enhancement of their own, without resorting to inconsistent stimulus elements that can in time generate dysfunctions in products and the environment. Looking at things from this perspective, there is a need for a sustainable agriculture approach, given its social, ecological and economic representativeness, with active and continuous character.
Huang, Jiao; Tichit, Muriel; Poulot, Monique; Darly, Ségolène; Li, Shuangcheng; Petit, Caroline; Aubry, Christine
Two scientific communities with broad interest in sustainable agriculture independently focus on multifunctional agriculture or ecosystem services. These communities have limited interaction and exchange, and each group faces research challenges according to independently operating paradigms. This paper presents a comparative review of published research in multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services. The motivation for this work is to improve communication, integrate experimental approaches, and propose areas of consensus and dialog for the two communities. This extensive analysis of publication trends, ideologies, and approaches enables formulation of four main conclusions. First, the two communities are closely related through their use of the term "function." However, multifunctional agriculture considers functions as agricultural activity outputs and prefers farm-centred approaches, whereas ecosystem services considers ecosystem functions in the provision of services and prefers service-centred approaches. Second, research approaches to common questions in these two communities share some similarities, and there would be great value in integrating these approaches. Third, the two communities have potential for dialog regarding the bundle of ecosystem services and the spectrum of multifunctional agriculture, or regarding land sharing and land sparing. Fourth, we propose an integrated conceptual framework that distinguishes six groups of ecosystem services and disservices in the agricultural landscape, and combines the concepts of multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services. This integrated framework improves applications of multifunctional agriculture and ecosystem services for operational use. Future research should examine if the framework can be readily adapted for modelling specific problems in agricultural management. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
An outline is given of the social dilemmas associated with agriculture and horticulture in the Netherlands. Ongoing innovation and accelerated sustainable development are essential to resolve these dilemmas. Given the importance of the Dutch agriculture and horticulture sector, there is every reason for the central government to play its part and help remove the obstacles to the continuing sustainable development of the sector. The Council recommends that the central government continues developing the Council's vision for agriculture and horticulture with the parties concerned, allows scope for the development of different agricultural business models, applies knowledge and innovation as drivers of continuing sustainable development, amends laws and regulations as necessary, and facilitates a permanent dialogue between the sector and society. The advisory report also sets out the Council's vision concerning the political and public debate on agriculture and horticulture. This debate is most clearly characterised by major and seemingly insurmountable differences of opinion. The Council hopes that its report will induce a shift in thinking about Dutch agriculture among politicians and society at large, so that the transitions considered necessary by the Council can be implemented more rapidly.
The Bioenergy Technologies Office hosted two workshops on Incorporating Bioenergy in Sustainable Landscape Designs with Oak Ridge and Argonne National Laboratories in 2014. The second workshop focused on agricultural landscapes and took place in Argonne, IL from June 24—26, 2014. The workshop brought together experts to discuss how landscape design can contribute to the deployment and assessment of sustainable bioenergy. This report summarizes the discussions that occurred at this particular workshop.
Cerf, Marianne; Guillot, Marie-Noëlle; Orly, Paul
Sustainability is an ill-defined concept. Many actors make claims about what sustainability should be, and farmers react to such claims in different ways. How do change agents and their managers deal with this diversity of farmers’ attitudes towards change and towards the future of agriculture? How do they themselves cope with change and understand their role as change agents? We chose a comprehensive, action-training approach to answer such questions. This approach enabled the agents to ackn...
The impact of modern agriculture on natural resources has become a major global concern. Population growth and expanding demand for agricultural products constantly increase the pressure on land and water resources. A major point of concern for many intensively managed agricultural systems with high
The impact of modern agriculture on natural resources has become a major global concern. Population growth and expanding demand for agricultural products constantly increase the pressure on land and water resources. A major point of concern for many intensively managed agricultural systems with high
Dahlan, M. Z.; Nurhayati, H. S. A.; Mugnisjah, W. Q.
This study was an explorative study of the various forms of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) of Sundanese people in the context of sustainable agriculture. The qualitative method was used to identify SundaParahiyangan landscape by using Rapid Participatory Rural Appraisal throughsemi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, and field survey. The Landscape Characteristic Assessment and Community Sustainability Assessment were used to analyze the characteristic of landscape to achieve the sustainable agricultural landscape criteria proposed by US Department of Agriculture. The results revealed that the SundaParahiyangan agricultural landscape has a unique characteristic as a result of the long-term adaptation of agricultural society to theirlandscape through a learning process for generations. In general, this character was reflected in the typical of Sundanese’s agroecosystems such as forest garden, mixed garden, paddy field, and home garden. In addition, concept of kabuyutan is one of the TEKs related to understanding and utilization of landscape has been adapted on revitalizing the role of landscape surrounding the agroecosystem as the buffer zone by calculating and designating protected areas. To support the sustainability of production area, integrated practices of agroforestry with low-external-input and sustainable agriculture (LEISA) system can be applied in utilizing and managing agricultural resources.
Full Text Available The ongoing debate about the use of genetically-modified (GM crops in agriculture has largely focused on food safety and genetic contamination issues. Given that the majority of GM crops have been produced to respond to the problem of crop yield reductions caused by diseases, insects and weeds, the paper argues that in those cases, the currently used GM crops are an unstable solution to the problem, because they represent such a strong selection pressure, that pests rapidly evolve resistance. Organic agriculture practices provide a more sustainable way of producing healthy food; however, the lower yields often associated with those practices, making the resultant healthy food more expensive, open the criticism that such practices will not be able to feed human populations. Evolutionary plant breeding offers the possibility of using the evolutionary potential of crops to our advantage by producing a continuous flow of varieties better adapted to organic systems, to climate change and to the ever changing spectrum of pests, without depending on chemical control.
Kesavan, P C; Swaminathan, M S
The green revolution of the 1960s and 1970s which resulted in dramatic yield increases in the developing Asian countries is now showing signs of fatigue in productivity gains. Intensive agriculture practiced without adherence to the scientific principles and ecological aspects has led to loss of soil health, and depletion of freshwater resources and agrobiodiversity. With progressive diversion of arable land for non-agricultural purposes, the challenge of feeding the growing population without, at the same time, annexing more forestland and depleting the rest of life is indeed daunting. Further, even with food availability through production/procurement, millions of marginal farming, fishing and landless rural families have very low or no access to food due to lack of income-generating livelihoods. Approximately 200 million rural women, children and men in India alone fall in this category. Under these circumstances, the evergreen revolution (pro-nature, pro-poor, pro-women and pro-employment/livelihood oriented ecoagriculture) under varied terms are proposed for achieving productivity in perpetuity. In the proposed 'biovillage paradigm', eco-friendly agriculture is promoted along with on- and non-farm eco-enterprises based on sustainable management of natural resources. Concurrently, the modern ICT-based village knowledge centres provide time- and locale-specific, demand-driven information needed for evergreen revolution and ecotechnologies. With a system of 'farm and marine production by masses', the twin goals of ecoagriculture and eco-livelihoods are addressed. The principles, strategies and models of these are briefly discussed in this paper.
Burkart, M R
Global expansion and intensification of industrialized agriculture during the last 50 years was facilitated by the replacement of labor by imported chemicals and energy, thus changing the economics and the social fabric of rural communities as well as impairing water, air, and soil resources essential to sustaining food and fiber production in a world with an increasing appetite. To effectively understand and solve complex problems resulting from this agricultural revolution, expanded communications are needed at a variety of levels. It is critical for the technical community to communicate through greater interdisciplinary research among agronomists, soil scientists, hydrologists, ecologists, and others to reduce diffuse pollution from agriculture. Also, more effective translations of technical problems and solutions are needed to influence policy. Accurate advice is needed in spite of the uncertainties that scientists too often use to obscure useful information. Education will be needed for producers and conservationists to gain confidence that promised environmental responses will occur if solutions are to be implemented at more than experimental or demonstration scales. The search for comprehensive solutions to environmental degradation will require understanding the ultimate causes of pollution, not just the proximal causes. The ultimate causes will only be found by examining the systems that facilitate the release of contaminants to the environment such as the wholesale landscape changes that replaced grazing land with annual crops leading to increased leaching and runoff. Research and demonstration projects increasingly need collaborations among agronomists, livestock scientists, soil scientists, hydrologists, economists, sociologists and others who have a stake in the study of diffuse pollution and the outcomes of any proposed solutions. Partnerships developed at the working level where basic principles can be shared will help avoid the pursuit of
Mirela Ionela Aceleanu
Full Text Available Currently, the development of any sector involves respecting the principles of sustainability, which means economic, social and environmental development. Moreover, organic farming is a very important field for ensuring sustainable development. Romania has great potential for the development of organic agriculture, especially due to the large number of available farmland and reduced use of fertilizers and other chemicals. However, the development of organic farming in Romania is in an early stage, due to the numerous problems that Romanian agriculture is still facing. Concern for the environment should be reflected at the level of production processes and consumption. As market demand influences and stimulates production, we can ask the question to what extent stimulating the consumption of organic products through green marketing can boost organic agriculture development and competitiveness of Romanian farms. Using several methods of research, such as analysis, synthesis, comparison, statistical methods and by calling on studies, reports and data series on organic farming in the EU and Romania, this paper highlights Romania's position in terms of the level of development of organic agriculture and recommends several ways to improve the outcomes obtained by Romania in the field. Moreover, based on regression equations, the trend of convergence of Romanian organic agriculture development in relation to the EU countries is analysed. The paper demonstrates that one of the measures that can be taken by Romanian farms is green marketing strategy development that can stimulate both consumption and production of organic products. Therefore, with increasing interest in the development of organic agriculture in Romania, green marketing can play an increasingly important role in promoting the benefits of consuming organic products, thus contributing to business development of organic products as well as to the development of Romanian agriculture
Expanding Agricultural and Rural Extension Roles for Sustainable Extension Practice in Nigeria. ... The expanded scope could include marketing extension, non-farm rural micro enterprise development, service to farmers' associations, technical extension service and urban extension. These services should be provided at ...
Apart from food and raw materials, agriculture can also provide ancillary benefits such as landscapes, biodiversity, cultural heritage and thriving rural communities. This book offers a state-of-the-art overview of strategies for sustainable management practices and their implementation through the
Gates, Jane Potter
This directory contains information about institutions and organizations involved in organic, alternative, or sustainable agriculture, and its focus is on education, training, and provision of information. The directory contains program and contact information for 122 institutions, associations, centers, universities, and foundations; and 4…
Termeer, C. J. A. M.; Hilhorst, T.; Oorthuizen, J.
The increased number of development cooperation and sustainable agriculture partnerships brings with it new challenges for professionals who are asked to facilitate these partnering processes. In this article we shed more light on the world of development cooperation and we explore questions that facilitators working with North-South partnerships…
Agronomists (scientists and extensionists), despite the emergence of interactive approaches, still have troubles with (the introduction of) innovations, such as sustainable forms of agriculture. This article critically addresses such difficulties based on the evaluation of a project mainly concerning the introduction of Integrated Crop Management…
Goede, de D.M.
The general aim of the research described in this thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of the conceptualisation of robustness in agricultural science as well as its relevance to sustainability. Robustness rapidly gained attention as a potential solution for a variety of problems
Özerol, Gül; Bressers, Johannes T.A.; Coenen, Franciscus H.J.M.
Irrigated agriculture is a key policy issue in many countries since it is the major user of water and land resources while it also threatens environmental sustainability due to the overexploitation, degradation and pollution of water and soil resources. Given its cross-cutting, unstructured and
Paula M. Toro-Mujica
Full Text Available The dynamics of sheep systems the Mediterranean region have been influenced by reforms coming from the Common Agricultural Policy, and the general economic evolution of markets. The aim of this study was the analysis of the structural changes that occurred between 1999 and 2009, and the identification of future implications for the sheep systems in Andalusia region, Spain. Analysis of the structural changes allowed the generation of strategic information, identified trends that should suggest new rural policies and changes that are likely to have social and environmental impacts, and lastly, prioritize future research. The application of multivariate methodology allowed clustering the farm population into four groups. The typology of these systems was determined by variables related to the sheep subsystem, by the set of agricultural activities, and by changes in swine husbandry, within a context of changes in land tenure and the drive for agricultural intensification. Major modifications of extant systems included a 42% reduction in the number of farms, a decrease in sheep numbers, replacement of native rangelands with improved pastures, olive trees and orchards, a reduction of traditional extensive pastoral activities, and increases in hog production in Dehesa grasslands. Given the historical economic and social importance of the sheep-cereal system, the observed substantial modifications of land use suggest a need to assess their consequences in terms of social and environmental impacts, as well as their implications for climate change.
Toro-Mujica, P.M.; Aguilar, C.; Vera, R.; Barba, C.; Rivas, J.; García-Martínez, A.
The dynamics of sheep systems the Mediterranean region have been influenced by reforms coming from the Common Agricultural Policy, and the general economic evolution of markets. The aim of this study was the analysis of the structural changes that occurred between 1999 and 2009, and the identification of future implications for the sheep systems in Andalusia region, Spain. Analysis of the structural changes allowed the generation of strategic information, identified trends that should suggest new rural policies and changes that are likely to have social and environmental impacts, and lastly, prioritize future research. The application of multivariate methodology allowed clustering the farm population into four groups. The typology of these systems was determined by variables related to the sheep subsystem, by the set of agricultural activities, and by changes in swine husbandry, within a context of changes in land tenure and the drive for agricultural intensification. Major modifications of extant systems included a 42% reduction in the number of farms, a decrease in sheep numbers, replacement of native rangelands with improved pastures, olive trees and orchards, a reduction of traditional extensive pastoral activities, and increases in hog production in Dehesa grasslands. Given the historical economic and social importance of the sheep-cereal system, the observed substantial modifications of land use suggest a need to assess their consequences in terms. (Author)
Giller, K.E.; Murwira, M.S.; Dhliwayo, D.K.C.; Mafongoya, P.L.; Mpepereki, S.
Maize is the dominant staple crop across most of southern Africa - it is so dominant in some areas that more than 80 per cent of the smallholder land area is planted with maize. Soyabean was identified as the crop with a potential to address the need for diversifying the cropping systems, which
Full Text Available Agriculture began in the eastern Mediterranean Levantine Corridor about 11000 years ago toward the end of the Younger Dryas when aridity had diminished wild food resources. During the subsequent Climatic Optimum, agricultural villages spread rapidly but subsequent climatic changes on centennial to millennial scales resulted in striking oscillations in settlement, especially in marginal areas. Natural climate change thus alternately enhanced and diminished the agricultural potential of the land. Growing populations and more intensive land us, both for agriculture and livestock, have led to changes in the structure of vegetation, hydrology, and land quality. Over the millennia, political and economic interventions, warfare and incursions by nomadic herding tribes all impacted sustainability of agriculture and the ability of the land to supports its populations. In much of the region today, agricultural land use is not sustainable given existing technology and national priorities. The Near Eastern case is instructive because of the quality of information, the length of the record, and the pace of modern change.
Full Text Available Skepticism about the longevity of conventional agriculture has resulted in the quest for sustainable agriculture. Like many developing countries, a homogenous definition of the term ‘sustainable agriculture’ is yet to be developed in Malaysia. To fill this gap, using an inclusive perspective, this study posits a refined definition of ‘sustainable agriculture’ for Malaysia.Cognizant of relevant past studies, which were built on rather narrow viewpoints, this study integrates qualitative insights from selected up-stream stakeholders in Malaysian vegetable sector. The structured results suggest that sustainable agriculture can be defined as the process by which anintegrative balanced agricultural system is realised through a dynamic set of practices that are (1 environmentally enhancing, (2 resource optimal, (3 economically viable, (4 socially justifiable and (5 functionally feasible over time. Though derived from Malaysia, this definition can be adapted to fit local nuances in other countries and sectoral emphases in agriculture. With these five inter-related operational attributes, which are capable of enhancement and/or modification periodically, this flexible definition can progressively provide potential direction towards academic understanding and development of agricultural sustainability.
Full Text Available The exposed carbonate rocks aged from Sinian to Mid-Triassic Periods cover an area of 500,000 Km2 in south-west China. In karst areas with spectacular landscapes characterized by magnificent tower karst and conical karst, rare surface drainage systems and prevalent subsurface drainage systems, the environment is ecologically very fragile. The rapid increase of population, over deforested and cultivated lands, worsted the ecological system, causing a higher frequency of draught, flood and various disasters, backward economic development, low living standard of the people. In order to improve the sustainability of the agriculture the experience shows that the following operations should be adopted: (1 serious control of the population increase, emigration, extra labours and improvement of the environmental education of the local inhabitants; (2 terracing of the slopes (shi jala di as to improve the cultivated land quality, to preserve the water, soil and fertiliser and ameliorate the effective utilisation of the land; (3 development of new rural energies such as the solar energy and gas energy, and expansion of the saving-fuel stoves to reduce the load of bio-energy; (4 reforestation and bounding the hills and mountains; the ecological, economic and fuel forests model has been developed in fengcong-depression areas: the tree species with high ecological, economical and energetic characteristics, should be chosen, such as the bamboo, wild grapes, Sapium rotundifolium etc.; (5 better utilisation of the ram water and karst water resource to solve the water supply problems. The karst landscape is well developed in the 500,000 km2 carbonate terrain in Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, west Hunan and south Sichuan provinces in south-west China, where 100 million habitants live (Song, 1997. The large population and its high density, serious deforestation, over-cultivation and fragile ecological system make the environmental problems very serious and about 30
Miguel A. Altieri
Full Text Available Most efforts to improve agricultural production remain focused on practices driven by an intensification agenda and not by an agroecological one. Agroecology transcends the reformist notion of organic agriculture and sustainable intensification proponents who contend that changes can be achieved within the dominant agroindustrial system with minor adjustments or “greening” of the current neoliberal agricultural model. In the technological realm, merely modifying practices to reduce input use is a step in the right direction but does not necessarily lead to the redesign of a more self sufficient and autonomous farming system. A true agroecological technological conversion calls into question monoculture and the dependency on external inputs. Traditional farming systems provide models that promote biodiversity, thrive without agrochemicals, and sustain year-round yields. Conversion of conventional agriculture also requires major social and political changes which are beyond the scope of this paper.
Karin Edvardsson Björnberg
Full Text Available Researchers have put forward agricultural biotechnology as one possible tool for increasing food production and making agriculture more sustainable. In this paper, it is investigated how key actors in the Swedish food supply chain perceive the concept of agricultural sustainability and the role of biotechnology in creating more sustainable agricultural production systems. Based on policy documents and semi-structured interviews with representatives of five organizations active in producing, processing and retailing food in Sweden, an attempt is made to answer the following three questions: How do key actors in the Swedish food supply chain define and operationalize the concept of agricultural sustainability? Who/what influences these organizations’ sustainability policies and their respective positions on agricultural biotechnology? What are the organizations’ views and perceptions of biotechnology and its possible role in creating agricultural sustainability? Based on collected data, it is concluded that, although there is a shared view of the core constituents of agricultural sustainability among the organizations, there is less explicit consensus on how the concept should be put into practice or what role biotechnology can play in furthering agricultural sustainability.
Ooi, Boon S.
A system and method are provided for indoor agriculture using at least one growth chamber illuminated by laser light. In an example embodiment of the agriculture system, a growth chamber is provided having one or more walls defining an interior portion of the growth chamber. The agriculture system may include a removable tray disposed within the interior portion of the growth chamber. The agriculture system also includes a light source, which may be disposed outside the growth chamber. The one or more walls may include at least one aperture. The light source is configured to illuminate at least a part of the interior portion of the growth chamber. In embodiments in which the light source is disposed outside the growth chamber, the light source is configured to transmit the laser light to the interior portion of the growth chamber via the at least one aperture.
Schoups, Gerrit; Hopmans, Jan W; Young, Chuck A; Vrugt, Jasper A; Wallender, Wesley W; Tanji, Ken K; Panday, Sorab
The sustainability of irrigated agriculture in many arid and semiarid areas of the world is at risk because of a combination of several interrelated factors, including lack of fresh water, lack of drainage, the presence of high water tables, and salinization of soil and groundwater resources. Nowhere in the United States are these issues more apparent than in the San Joaquin Valley of California. A solid understanding of salinization processes at regional spatial and decadal time scales is required to evaluate the sustainability of irrigated agriculture. A hydro-salinity model was developed to integrate subsurface hydrology with reactive salt transport for a 1,400-km(2) study area in the San Joaquin Valley. The model was used to reconstruct historical changes in salt storage by irrigated agriculture over the past 60 years. We show that patterns in soil and groundwater salinity were caused by spatial variations in soil hydrology, the change from local groundwater to snowmelt water as the main irrigation water supply, and by occasional droughts. Gypsum dissolution was a critical component of the regional salt balance. Although results show that the total salt input and output were about equal for the past 20 years, the model also predicts salinization of the deeper aquifers, thereby questioning the sustainability of irrigated agriculture.
Dougill, Andrew; Stringer, Lindsay
There are increasing pushes for agricultural land management to be both sustainable and climate-smart (in terms of increasing productivity, building resilience to climate change and enhancing carbon storage). Climate-smart agriculture initiatives include conservation agriculture, based on minimum soil disturbance, permanent soil cover and crop rotation, and agroforestry. Such efforts address key international goals of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), but as yet have not seen widespread uptake. Based on analyses of different project interventions from across a range of southern African countries, we outline the inter-related challenges that are preventing adoption of climate-smart agriculture initiatives. We then identify routes to building multi-stakeholder partnerships and empowering communities through participatory monitoring with the aim of increasing uptake of such sustainable land management practices. Good practice examples remain largely restricted to local-level project interventions with significant donor (or private-sector) support, aligned to short-term community priorities relating to access to inputs or reduced labour requirements. Scaling-up to district- and national-level initiatives is yet to be widely successful due to problems of: limited policy coherence; a lack of communication between stakeholders at different levels; and limited understanding of long-term benefits associated with changes in agricultural practices. We outline opportunities associated with improved communication of climate information, empowerment of district-level adaptation planning and diversification of agricultural livelihood strategies as key routes to guide farmers towards more sustainable, and climate-smart, land management practices. Recent experiences in Malawi, which has experienced significant floods and an El Niño drought year in the last two years, are used to
Urban water management has somewhat changed since the publication of The Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS) Manual in 2007 , transforming from building traditional sewers to implementing SuDS, which are part of the best management practice techniques used in the USA and seen as contributing to water-sensitive urban design in Australia. Most SuDS, such as infiltration trenches, swales, green roofs, ponds, and wetlands, address water quality and quantity challenges, and enhance the local bio...
Kanchiswamy, Chidananda Nagamangala; Malnoy, Mickael; Maffei, Massimo E
Current agricultural practice depends on a wide use of pesticides, bactericides, and fungicides. Increased demand for organic products indicates consumer preference for reduced chemical use. Therefore, there is a need to develop novel sustainable strategies for crop protection and enhancement that do not rely on genetic modification and/or harmful chemicals. An increasing body of evidence indicates that bacterial and fungal microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs) might provide an alternative to the use of chemicals to protect plants from pathogens and provide a setting for better crop welfare. It is well known that MVOCs can modulate the physiology of plants and microorganisms and in this Opinion we propose that MVOCs can be exploited as an ecofriendly, cost-effective, and sustainable strategy for agricultural practices. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jequier Quintas, Roberto
Water is the source of life. Leonardo da Vinci, constructor of the drainage system of a swamp area north of Rome, said that “water is the blood of the soil”. Without water there is not fertile soil and without any of them there is no harvest. Sustainable Agriculture Management is all about how to develop and improve the use of different resources to make agriculture more sustainable. This study is about how to apply this concept into the study area. The Balkhash Lake is among the biggest lake...
Sergio R. Ermolli
Full Text Available In the present paper, an analytical presentation of some popular aluminium systems that contribute to sustainability of structures is presented. Special emphasis has been given to the properties of aluminium, while the influence of these systems in the overall performance of the structure regarding environment and economy is described. In particular, characteristics of aluminium elements such as high reflectivity and recyclability and their role in life cycle analysis (LCA are analyzed. The connections between energy efficiency and conservation of buildings and aluminium application are also discussed. Building applications such as curtain walls, window frames and facade sheets are presented and thoroughly investigated, considering their environmental and economic aspects. Furthermore, many innovative techniques that use aluminium elements in collaboration with other systems in order to produce renewable energy, such as solar panels and photovoltaics, are introduced. Finally, environmental innovations such as optimized ventilation mechanisms and light and shade management systems based on aluminium members are presented.
Full Text Available The 2014-2020 Common Agricultural Policy (CAP reform defines new rules for farmers including maintenance of the ecological focus area (EFA. Sustainability is also a requirement to meet consumer expectations and a competitive advantage for firms. This paper aims to evaluate the farmers’ intention to implement sustainable practices related to the EFA measure and to the private sustainability schemes proposed by the food industry. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB was applied on a sample of durum wheat producers to analyse intentions 1 to maintain 7% of the arable land as an EFA, and 2 to implement the private sustainability scheme. Structural equation modelling was applied to test for the relative importance of intention determinants. The farmers’ attitude and past behaviour positively affect intentions to implement the EFA, while perceived behavioural control and attitudes predict intentions to adopt the private sustainability scheme. These results suggest possible interventions that public authorities and supply chain leaders might implement to stimulate farmers’ sustainable behaviours.
Pacini, G.C.; Wossink, G.A.A.; Vazzana, C.; Huirne, R.B.M.
Agricultural researchers widely recognise the importance of sustainable agricultural production systems and the need to develop appropriate methods to measure sustainability. The principal purpose of this paper is to evaluate the financial and environmental aspects of sustainability of organic,
Duro, Dennis Correa
Over the coming decades it is expected that the vast amounts of area currently in agricultural production will face growing pressure to intensify as world populations continue to grow, and the demand for a more Western-based diet increases. Coupled with the potential consequences of climate change, and the increasing costs involved with current energy-intensive agricultural production methods, meeting goals of environmental and socioeconomic sustainability will become ever more challenging. At a minimum, meeting such goals will require a greater understanding of rates of change, both over time and space, to properly assess how present demand may affect the needs of future generations. As agriculture represents a fundamental component of modern society, and the most ubiquitous form of human induced landscape change on the planet, it follows that mapping and tracking changes in such environments represents a crucial first step towards meeting the goal of sustainability. In anticipation of the mounting need for consistent and timely information related to agricultural development, this thesis proposes several advances in the field of geomatics, with specific contributions in the areas of remote sensing and spatial analysis: First, the relative strengths of several supervised machine learning algorithms used to classify remotely sensed imagery were assessed using two image analysis approaches: pixel-based and object-based. Second, a feature selection process, based on a Random Forest classifier, was applied to a large data set to reduce the overall number of object-based predictor variables used by a classification model without sacrificing overall classification accuracy. Third, a hybrid object-based change detection method was introduced with the ability to handle disparate image sources, generate per-class change thresholds, and minimize map updating errors. Fourth, a spatial disaggregation procedure was performed on coarse scale agricultural census data to render
Full Text Available Sustainable agriculture is a way to assure the availability of natural resources for future generations.Weed managementin cultivated and not cultivated areas is part of sustainable agriculture as well, and has to face three important challenges:economical (to increase income and competitiveness of farm sector, social (give rural areas opportunity of economicdevelopment and improvement of living conditions, environmental (promote good agricultural practices andpreserve habitats, biodiversity and landscape. The first two challenges involve the in-depth study of models, the economicthreshold of intervention, the management of herbicide resistance phenomena, the study and development ofnew herbicide molecules, or even modern formulations, leading to the optimization of treatments with possible reductionof distributed doses per hectare. Environmental issues must be set in the studies to assess and manage the factorsleading to phenomena of diffuse or point pollution (i.e. water volumes, soil, etc.. However, a sustainable agricultureproduction must take into account consumers’ needs and concerns, especially about food health and safety withrespect to production methods (traditional, integrated and biological. In this context, the results obtained by the developmentof more advanced active principles, the spread of public and private Integrated Production Specifications(Disciplinari di Produzione Integrata and the greater and greater commitment by the institutions in charge of monitoringthe agro-pharmaceutical residues in agro-food products, can be set. The SIRFI SIRFI (Società Italiana per laRicerca sulla Flora Infestante, thanks to the multi-disciplinarity of the structures supporting it, always takes an activepart into innovation especially aimed to the identification of tools implementing farm activity sustainability.
Full Text Available Urban water management has somewhat changed since the publication of The Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS Manual in 2007 , transforming from building traditional sewers to implementing SuDS, which are part of the best management practice techniques used in the USA and seen as contributing to water-sensitive urban design in Australia. Most SuDS, such as infiltration trenches, swales, green roofs, ponds, and wetlands, address water quality and quantity challenges, and enhance the local biodiversity while also being acceptable aesthetically to the public. Barriers to the implementation of SuDS include adoption problems, flood and diffuse pollution control challenges, negative public perception, and a lack of decision support tools addressing, particularly, the retrofitting of these systems while enhancing ecosystem services. [...
Du, Taisheng; Kang, Shaozhong; Zhang, Jianhua; Davies, William J
More than 70% of fresh water is used in agriculture in many parts of the world, but competition for domestic and industrial water use is intense. For future global food security, water use in agriculture must become sustainable. Agricultural water-use efficiency and water productivity can be improved at different points from the stomatal to the regional scale. A promising approach is the use of deficit irrigation, which can both save water and induce plant physiological regulations such as stomatal opening and reproductive and vegetative growth. At the scales of the irrigation district, the catchment, and the region, there can be many other components to a sustainable water-resources strategy. There is much interest in whether crop water use can be regulated as a function of understanding of physiological responses. If this is the case, then agricultural water resources can be reallocated to the benefit of the broader community. We summarize the extent of use and impact of deficit irrigation within China. A sustainable strategy for allocation of agricultural water resources for food security is proposed. Our intention is to build an integrative system to control crop water use during different cropping stages and actively regulate the plant's growth, productivity, and development based on physiological responses. This is done with a view to improving the allocation of limited agricultural water resources. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Du, Taisheng; Kang, Shaozhong; Zhang, Jianhua; Davies, William J.
More than 70% of fresh water is used in agriculture in many parts of the world, but competition for domestic and industrial water use is intense. For future global food security, water use in agriculture must become sustainable. Agricultural water-use efficiency and water productivity can be improved at different points from the stomatal to the regional scale. A promising approach is the use of deficit irrigation, which can both save water and induce plant physiological regulations such as stomatal opening and reproductive and vegetative growth. At the scales of the irrigation district, the catchment, and the region, there can be many other components to a sustainable water-resources strategy. There is much interest in whether crop water use can be regulated as a function of understanding of physiological responses. If this is the case, then agricultural water resources can be reallocated to the benefit of the broader community. We summarize the extent of use and impact of deficit irrigation within China. A sustainable strategy for allocation of agricultural water resources for food security is proposed. Our intention is to build an integrative system to control crop water use during different cropping stages and actively regulate the plant’s growth, productivity, and development based on physiological responses. This is done with a view to improving the allocation of limited agricultural water resources. PMID:25873664
Schoups, Gerrit; Addams, C. Lee; Minjares, Jose Luis; Gorelick, Steven M.
We develop optimal conjunctive use water management strategies that balance two potentially conflicting objectives: sustaining irrigated agriculture during droughts and minimizing unnecessary spills and resulting water losses from the reservoir during wet periods. Conjunctive use is specified by a linear operating rule, which determines the maximum surface water release as a function of initial reservoir storage. Optimal strategies are identified using multiobjective interannual optimization for sustainability and spill control, combined with gradient-based annual profit maximization. Application to historical conditions in the irrigated system of the Yaqui Valley, Mexico, yields a Pareto curve of solutions illustrating the trade-off between sustaining agriculture and minimizing spills and water losses. Minimal water losses are obtained by maximizing surface water use and limiting groundwater pumping, such that reservoir levels are kept sufficiently low. Maximum agricultural sustainability, on the other hand, results from increased groundwater use and keeping surface water reservoir levels high during wet periods. Selected optimal operating rules from the multiobjective optimization are tested over a large number of equally probable streamflow time series, generated with a stochastic time series model. In this manner, statistical properties, such as the mean sustainability and sustainability percentiles, are determined for each optimal rule. These statistical properties can be used to select rules for water management that are reliable over a wide range of streamflow conditions.
Bullas, Sheila; Bryant, John
Much has been published on the success and particularly the failure of IT projects; still failures are commonplace. This prospective study focused from the outset on assessing risk of failure and addressing critical success factors. The aim was to apply existing methods in a challenging acute care hospital where success demanded rapid achievement of sustainable improvements in clinical and administrative processes. The implementations were part of the English National Programme for IT. The desired outcomes required the integration of accepted tools and techniques to provide a pragmatic approach to systems implementation: Lean, Six Sigma, PRINCE2 and Benefits Management. The outcome and further insights into success and failure of IT projects in healthcare are described. In particular lessons are identified related to the business need for the project and the successful achievement of the required benefits and business change.
Igiehon, Nicholas O; Babalola, Olubukola O
Worldwide agricultural food production has to double in 2050 so as to feed the global increasing population while reducing dependency on conventional chemical fertilizers plus pesticides. To accomplish this objective, there is the need to explore the several mutualistic interactions between plant roots and rhizosphere microbiome. Biofertilization is the process of boosting the abundance of microorganisms such as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the natural plant rhizosphere which depicts a beneficial alternative to chemical fertilization practices. Mineral nutrients uptake by AMF are plausible by means of transporters coded for by different genes and example include phosphate transporter. These fungi can be produced industrially using plant host and these, including the possibility of AMF contamination by other microorganism, are factors militating against large scale production of AMF. AMF isolates can be inoculated in the greenhouse or field, and it has been shown that AMF survival and colonization level were enhanced in soybeans grown on land that was previously cultivated with the same plant. Next generation sequencing (NGS) is now used to gain insight into how AMF interact with indigenous AMF and screen for beneficial microbial candidates. Besides application as biofertilizers, novel findings on AMF that could contribute to maintenance of agricultural development include AMF roles in controlling soil erosion, enhancing phytoremediation, and elimination of other organisms that may be harmful to crops through common mycelia network. The combination of these potentials when fully harnessed under agricultural scenario will help to sustain agriculture and boost food security globally.
Harris, Paul; Takahashi, Taro; Lee, Michael
Agriculture at the global-scale is at a critical juncture where competing requirements for maximal production and minimal pollution have led to the concept of sustainable intensification. All farming systems (arable, grasslands, etc.) are part of this debate, where each have particular associated environmental risks such as water and air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and soil degradation, as well as issues affecting production efficiency, product quality and consumer acceptability, reflected in the development of agricultural sustainability policies. These challenges necessitate multidisciplinary solutions that can only be properly researched, implemented and tested in real-world production systems which are suited to their geographical and climatic production practice. In this respect, various high-profile agricultural data collection experiments have been set up, such as the North Wyke Farm Platform (http://www.rothamsted.ac.uk/farmplatform) to research agricultural productivity and ecosystem responses to different management practices. In this farm-scale grasslands experiment, data on hydrology, emissions, nutrient cycling, biodiversity, productivity and livestock welfare/health are collected, that in turn, are converted to trade-off metrics with respect to: (i) economic profits, (ii) societal benefits and (iii) environmental concerns, under the umbrella of sustainable intensification. Similar agriculture research platforms have similar objectives, where data collections are ultimately synthesised into trade-off metrics. Trade-offs metrics can then be usefully visualized via the usual sustainable triangle, with a new triangle for each key time period (e.g. baseline versus post-baseline). This enables a visual assessment of change in sustainability harmony or discord, according to the remit of the given research experiment. In this paper, we discuss different approaches to calculation of the sustainability trade-off metrics that are required from the farm
Reynolds, Lawrence P; Wulster-Radcliffe, Meghan C; Aaron, Debra K; Davis, Teresa A
A conservative projection shows the world's population growing by 32% (to 9.5 billion) by 2050 and 53% (to 11 billion) by 2100 compared with its current level of 7.2 billion. Because most arable land worldwide is already in use, and water and energy also are limiting, increased production of food will require a substantial increase in efficiency. In this article, we highlight the importance of animals to achieving food security in terms of their valuable contributions to agricultural sustainability, especially in developing countries, and the high nutritional value of animal products in the diet. © 2015 American Society for Nutrition.
Full Text Available A central goal of most sustainable agriculture programs is to encourage growers to adopt practices that jointly provide economic, environmental, and social benefits. Using surveys of outreach professionals and wine grape growers, we quantify the perceived costs and benefits of sustainable viticulture practices recommended by sustainability outreach and certification programs. We argue that the mix of environmental benefits, economic benefits, and economic costs determine whether or not a particular practice involves decisions about innovation or cooperation. Decision making is also affected by the overall level of knowledge regarding different practices, and we show that knowledge gaps are an increasing function of cost and a decreasing function of benefits. How different practices are related to innovation and cooperation has important implications for the design of sustainability outreach programs. Cooperation, innovation, and knowledge gaps are issues that are likely to be relevant for the resilience and sustainability of many different types of social-ecological systems.
Maximiliano Vila Seoane
Full Text Available This article argues that it is possible to transform innovation pathways in natural-resource-based industries towards more sustainable ones. In particular, it employs the socio-technical transitions framework to understand the structural barriers that the industrial agricultural system puts to COOPSOL, an Argentinean cooperative project of organic apiculture. The article is based on qualitative data that systematize, on the one hand, the pressures for continuity and change in the agricultural system. On the other hand, the data reveal the main perceptions of COOPSOL´s actors about the existing structural limits.
Pathak, T. B.; Doll, J. E.
It is evident that changes in climate will adversely impact various sectors including agriculture and natural resources worldwide. Increased temperatures, longer than normal growing seasons, more frequent extreme weather events, decreased winter snowpack, earlier snowmelt, and vulnerability to pest are some of the examples of changes and impacts documented in the literature. According to the IPCC 2007, mainstreaming` climate change issues into decision-making is an important aspect for sustainability. Due to the lack of locally and regionally focused educational programs, it becomes difficult for people to translate the science into meaningful actions. One of the strengths of the Cooperative Extension system is that it is one of the most trusted sources of science-based information that is locally relevant. In order to utilize strong network of Cooperative Extension system, we implemented a project to provide regionally tailored climate change and sustainable agriculture professional development for Cooperative Extension and Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) educators in 12 states in north central US. We conducted these activities: 1) creation and dissemination of a Climate Change and Sustainable Agriculture Resource Handbook and a curriculum and 2) two climate change and sustainable agriculture workshops. In general, this project resulted in improved ability of Cooperative Extension academics to respond to climate change questions with science-based information. Several workshop attendees also integrated information provided to them through resource handbook and curriculum into their existing programming. In the long-term, we hope these programs will result in educators and farmers making informed choices and recommendations that lead to sustainable agriculture in the face of climate change.
Full Text Available This article explores the impact of climate change and variability on agricultural productivity in the communal area of Bikita. The article further examines the adaptation and mitigation strategies devised by farmers to deal with the vagaries of climate change and variability. The sustainability of these is also interrogated in this article. This study juxtaposed qualitative and quantitative methodologies albeit with more bias on the former. A total of 40 farmers were sampled for unstructured interviews and focus group discussions. This article argues that the adverse impacts of climate change and variability are felt heavily by the poor communal farmers who are directly dependent on agriculture for livelihood. From the study, some of the widely reported signs of climate variability in Bikita included late and unpredictable rains, high temperatures (heat waves, successive drought, shortening rainfall seasons and seasonal changes in the timing of rainfall. The paper argues that climate change has compounded the vulnerability of peasant farmers in the drought - prone district of Bikita plunging them into food insecurity and abject poverty. It emerged in the study that some of effects of climate variability felt by communal farmers in Bikita included failure of crops, death of livestock and low crop yields, all of which have led to declining agricultural productivity. Findings in this study however established that communal farmers have not been passive victims of the vagaries of climate change and variability. They have rationally responded to it through various adaptation and mitigation strategies both individually and collectively.
Turner, James A.; Williams, Tracy; Nicholas, Graeme; Foote, Jeff; Rijswijk, Kelly; Barnard, Tim; Beechener, Sam; Horita, Akiko
This article describes a process for stimulating engagement among change agents to develop a shared understanding of systemic problems in the agricultural innovation system (AIS), challenge prevalent institutional logics and identify actions they might undertake to stimulate system innovation.
Full Text Available Agricultural biodiversity has hitherto been valued almost exclusively as a source of traits that can be used in scientific breeding programs to improve the productivity of crop varieties and livestock breeds. We argue that it can make a far greater contribution to increased productivity. In particular, a wider deployment of agricultural biodiversity is an essential component in the sustainable delivery of a more secure food supply. Diversity of kingdoms, species and genepools can increase the productivity of farming systems in a range of growing conditions, and more diverse farming systems are also generally more resilient in the face of perturbations, thus enhancing food security. Diversity can maintain and increase soil fertility and mitigate the impact of pests and diseases. Diversity of diet, founded on diverse farming systems, delivers better nutrition and greater health, with additional benefits for human productivity and livelihoods. Agricultural biodiversity will also be absolutely essential to cope with the predicted impacts of climate change, not simply as a source of traits but as the underpinnings of more resilient farm ecosystems. Many of the benefits of agricultural biodiversity are manifested at different ecological and human scales, and cut across political divisions, requiring a cross-sectoral approach to reassess the role of agricultural biodiversity in sustainable and secure food production.
Miraglia, Laurie L.
The Louis Bromfield Sustainable Agriculture Library is located in Lucas, Ohio, at Malabar Farm State Park. Established in 1992, the library is jointly maintained by the Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Program and the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The library's namesake, Louis Bromfield, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author and noted…
The depletion of plant biodiversity with the rapid development of agriculture has attracted growing interest in recent years. This paper discusses the evolutionary consequences of monoculture with emphasis on the buffering effects of genetic heterogeneity on disease. The use of host plant resistance and systemic fungicides ...
Christopher M. Bacon; Christy Getz; Sibella Kraus; Maywa Montenegro; Kaelin Holland
Agricultural systems are embedded in wider social-ecological processes that must be considered in any complete discussion of sustainable agriculture. Just as climatic profiles will influence the future viability of crops, institutions, i.e., governance agreements, rural household and community norms, local associations, markets, and agricultural ministries, to name but a few, create the conditions that foster sustainable food systems. Because discussions of agricultural sustainability often o...
Wishart, D. N.
Innovative training in 'Sustainable Agriculture' for an increasingly STEM-dependent agricultural sector will require a combination of approaches and technologies for global agricultural production to increase while offsetting climate change. Climate change impacts the water resources of nations as normal global weather patterns are altered during El Nino events. Agricultural curricula must incorporate awareness of 'climate change' in order to find novel ways to (1) assure global food security; (2) improve soil productivity and conservation; (3) improve crop yields and irrigation; (4) inexpensively develop site specific principles of crop management based on variable soil and associated hydrological properties; and (5) improve precision farming. In February 2015, Central State University (CSU), Ohio became an 1890 Land-Grant institution vital to the sustainability of Ohio's agricultural sector. Besides agricultural extension, the agriculture curriculum at CSU integrates multidisciplinary courses in science, technology engineering, agriculture, and mathematics (STEAM). The agriculture program could benefit from a technology-driven, interdisciplinary soil science course that promotes climate change education and climate literacy while being offered in both a blended and collaborative learning environment. The course will focus on the dynamics of microscale to mesoscale processes occurring in farming systems, those of which impact climate change or could be impacted by climate change. Elements of this course will include: climate change webinars; soil-climate interactions; carbon cycling; the balance of carbon fluxes between soil storage and atmosphere; microorganisms and soil carbon storage; paleoclimate and soil forming processes; geophysical techniques used in the characterization of soil horizons; impact of climate change on soil fertility; experiments; and demonstrations.
Full Text Available In this paper, different aspects of development sustainability will be highlighted by stressing the fact that even the smartest drivers are necessarily characterized by the continuous uncertainty we all must live with. Different development drivers will be illustrated in the field of agriculture, nature and environment, all attempting to weigh the contradicting, even conflicting parameters of life and decay. Agricultural sustainability drivers will encompass human, cultural, social and political aspects together with components of metabolism, genetics, energy, environment and farm management. It will be concluded that each sustainability approach should be precisely documented using exact parameters and not unproven social or emotional attributes. Quantitative cost to benefit ratios will be proposed as sustainability indicators. In short, sustainability is an ideal state in the area of conflict between environmental change, evolution of life and thermodynamic laws. It cannot be defined as a stable state, but as a state of relative stability during a certain but limited period of time. Sustainability strongly depends on a reliable energy resource that, in thermodynamic terms, enables the preservation of order in an open (eco- system at the expense of the order of the environment.
Haden, Andrew C. [Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala (Sweden). Dept. of Rural Development Studies
As the process of industrialization has run its course over the twentieth century, the relative importance of agriculture as an economic activity and a means of cultural sustenance for nations has declined dramatically. In this thesis, a historical ecological-economic perspective offers insights into both the causes and effects of Danish agriculture's decline in economic importance relative to the economy of Denmark as a whole. Emergy evaluations were made of the national economy and agricultural subsystem of Denmark for the years 1936, 1970 and 1999. Emergy is defined as all the available energy that was used in the work of making a product and expressed in units of one type of energy. In total, six separate emergy analyses were performed. By quantifying the emergy requirements of both a national agricultural system and the economy within which this system is nested, the analysis highlights the changing relationship of these two systems over a temporal scale of 63 years. The ecological sustainability of the studied systems is assessed through the calculation of emergy-based indices and ratios. In accordance with emergy theory, ecological sustainability is considered to be a function of the dependence of a system on renewable emergy, the degree to which the system depends on imported emergy, and the overall load that the system places on the environment. The analysis indicates that as the national economy of Denmark evolved to rely more on the use of nonrenewable emergy and on emergy appropriated through trade to stimulate economic activity and to generate wealth, its sustainability declined, and the importance of the Danish agricultural system to the national economy subsided. While the total amount of emergy supporting the economy of Denmark over the period studied increased substantially, the total emergy supporting agriculture remained relatively constant. Furthermore, though the emergy signature and thermodynamic efficiencies of Danish agricultural
Aggarwal, Rajan; Kaushal, Mohinder; Kaur, Samanpreet; Farmaha, Bhupinder
The state of Punjab comprising 1.5% area of the country has been contributing 40-50% rice and 60-65% wheat to the central pool since last three decades. During last 35 years The area under foodgrains has increased from 39,200 sq km ha to 63,400 sq km and the production of rice and wheat has increased from 0.18 to 0.32 kg/m2 and 0.22 to 0.43 kg/m2 respectively. This change in cropping pattern has increased irrigation water requirement tremendously and the irrigated area has increased from 71 to 95% in the state. Also the number of tube wells has increased from 0.192 to 1.165 million in the last 35 years. The excessive indiscriminate exploitation of ground water has created a declining water table situation in the state. The problem is most critical in central Punjab. The average rate of decline over the last few years has been 55 cm per year. The worst affected districts are Moga, Sangrur, Nawanshahar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar. This has resulted in extra power consumption, affects the socio-economic conditions of the small farmers, destroy the ecological balance and adversely affect the sustainable agricultural production and economy of the state. Therefore, in this paper attempt has been made to analyse the problem of declining water table, possible factors responsible for this and suggest suitable strategies for arresting declining water table for sustainable agriculture in Punjab. The strategies include shift of cropping pattern, delay in paddy transplantation, precision irrigation and rainwater harvesting for artificial groundwater recharge.
Full Text Available The main key in choosing manure is the level of ripeness, the ratio of Carbon and Nitrogen (C/N and the Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium (NPPt contents. So far, the farmers have not effectively utilized organic materials as fertilizers in agricultural lands. Organic materials which can be used include agricultural waste and animal waste. The existence of alternative fertilizers and in order to support the development of sustainable agriculture, utilizing agricultural waste as the materials to make organic fertilizers is encouraged. Organic fertilizers can be in the forms of manure, compost, and the combination of both. The research was aimed to study the NPPt content in compost from cocoa rind and cow waste. This research was done in May – September 2015 in Sub-district Luwuk, District Banggai and in the Laboratory of Chemistry and Soil Fertility, Department of Soil Science Faculty of Agriculture, Hasanuddin University, Makassar. The experiment was conducted in a Completely Randomized Design (CRD. The experiment contained one factor with three treatments, which were repeated 3 times; thus, there were 9 treatments units. The treatments were comparison dosages of cocoa rind and cow waste, i.e. P1 = 50 kg of cocoa rind : 10 kg of cow waste; P2 = 50 kg of cocoa rind : 20 kg cow of waste; P3 = 50 kg of cocoa rind : 30 kg of cow waste. Data were analysed by comparing the average of NPPt element in cocoa rind compost and cow waste. Data was then analyzed statistically by One Way Anova (One Way Variant Analysis by using SPSS 19.0 for Windows and further analyzed by Least Significant Difference (LSD 1% by using Microsoft Excel Windows 7. The results showed that the highest macro nutrients content was in P2 with N = 0.25%; P = 3.91%; K = 5.23% and the lowest was in P3 with N = 0.19% and P = 3.33% as well as in P1 with K = 4.16%.
The “Bio-Fuel, sustainability, and geospatial information technologies to enhance experiential learning paradigm for precision agriculture project”, recently funded by USDA extends the environmental stewardship archetype of the preceding project titled “Environmentally conscious precision agricultur...
Du, Taisheng; Kang, Shaozhong; Zhang, Jianhua; Davies, William J
.... For future global food security, water use in agriculture must become sustainable. Agricultural water-use efficiency and water productivity can be improved at different points from the stomatal to the regional scale...
Grace, Patricia Elizabeth
The Effects of Storytelling on Worldview and Attitudes toward Sustainable Agriculture Patricia E. Grace ABSTRACT There is evidence that the American agrifood system is a significant contributor to environmental, economic, social, and ethical-animal welfare damage to the earth and to society and is unsustainable, yet the worldview of a substantial percentage of the population conflicts with this assessment. A significant number of researchers, non-governmental organizations, and gove...
Current agricultural production systems must adapt to meet increasing demands for more economically and environmentally sustainable cropping systems. The application of precision agricultural technologies and geospatial and environmental modeling for conservation planning can aid in this transition....
Pierart, Antoine; Shahid, Muhammad; Séjalon-Delmas, Nathalie; Dumat, Camille
The increasing interest in urban agriculture highlights the crucial question of crop quality. The main objectives for environmental sustainability are a decrease in chemical inputs, a reduction in the level of pollutants, and an improvement in the soil's biological activity. Among inorganic pollutants emitted by vehicle traffic and some industrial processes in urban areas, antimony (Sb) is observed on a global scale. While this metalloid is known to be potentially toxic, it can transfer from the soil or the atmosphere to plants, and accumulate in their edible parts. Urban agriculture is developing worldwide, and could therefore increasingly expose populations to Sb. The objective of this review was in consequences to gather and interpret actual knowledge of Sb uptake and bioaccumulation by crops, to reveal investigative fields on which to focus. While there is still no legal maximal value for Sb in plants and soils, light has to be shed on its accumulation and the factors affecting it. A relative absence of data exists about the role of soil flora and fauna in the transfer, speciation and compartmentation of Sb in vegetables. Moreover, little information exists on Sb ecotoxicity for terrestrial ecosystems. A human risk assessment has finally been reviewed, with particular focus on Sb bioaccessibility. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Martin-Guay, Marc-Olivier; Paquette, Alain; Dupras, Jérôme; Rivest, David
Satisfying the nutritional needs of a growing population whilst limiting environmental repercussions will require sustainable intensification of agriculture. We argue that intercropping, which is the simultaneous production of multiple crops on the same area of land, could play an essential role in this intensification. We carried out the first global meta-analysis on the multifaceted benefits of intercropping. The objective of this study was to determine the benefits of intercropping in terms of energetic, economic and land-sparing potential through the framework of the stress-gradient hypothesis. We expected more intercropping benefits under stressful abiotic conditions. From 126 studies that were retrieved from the scientific literature, 939 intercropping observations were considered. When compared to the same area of land that was managed in monoculture, intercrops produced 38% more gross energy (mean relative land output of 1.38) and 33% more gross incomes (mean relative land output of 1.33) on average, whilst using 23% less land (mean land equivalent ratio of 1.30). Irrigation and the aridity index in non-irrigated intercrops did not affect land equivalent ratio, thereby indicating that intercropping remains beneficial, both under stressful and non-stressful contexts concerning moisture availability. Fertilisation and intercropping patterns (rows and strips vs. mixed) did not affect land equivalent ratio. Although intercropping offers a great opportunity for intensification of existing agricultural lands, many challenges need to be tackled by experts from multiple disciplines to ensure its feasible implementation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Full Text Available Proper agricultural water management in arid regions is the key to tackling climatic risks. However, an effective assessment of the current response to climate change in agricultural water use is the precondition for a group adaptation strategy. The paper, taking the Tarim River basin (TRB as an example, aims to examine the agricultural water use sustainability of water resource increase caused by climatic variability. In order to describe the response result, groundwater change has been estimated based on the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE and the Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS–Noah land surface model (NOAH data. In order to better understand the relationship between water resource increase and agricultural water consumption, an agricultural water stress index has been established. Agricultural water stress has been in a severe state during the whole period, although it alleviated somewhat in the mid–late period. This paper illustrates that an increase in water supply could not satisfy agricultural production expansion. Thus, seasonal groundwater loss and a regional water shortage occurred. Particularly in 2008 and 2009, the sharp shortage of water supply in the Tarim River basin directly led to a serious groundwater drop by nearly 20 mm from the end of 2009 to early 2010. At the same time, a regional water shortage led to water scarcity for the whole basin, because the water consumption, which was mainly distributed around Source Rivers, resulted in break-off discharge in the mainstream. Therefore, current agricultural development in the Tarim River basin is unsustainable in the context of water supply under climatic risks. Under the control of irrigation, spatial and temporal water allocation optimization is the key to the sustainable management of the basin.
Sustainable information systems development (ISD) in the context of this paper is not about products that support sustainability at large with its environmental, economic and social dimensions and little about the development of sustainable products, which are both without doubt important topics....... This paper is about a prerequisite for such products, namely, a sustainable ISD process, a process which exhibits reasonable and responsible stewardship and utilisation of the existing resources for ISD—people and information in the context of scope, time/schedule, budget/cost, quality and risk....
Busby, Posy E; Soman, Chinmay; Wagner, Maggie R; Friesen, Maren L; Kremer, James; Bennett, Alison; Morsy, Mustafa; Eisen, Jonathan A; Leach, Jan E; Dangl, Jeffery L
Feeding a growing world population amidst climate change requires optimizing the reliability, resource use, and environmental impacts of food production. One way to assist in achieving these goals is to integrate beneficial plant microbiomes-i.e., those enhancing plant growth, nutrient use efficiency, abiotic stress tolerance, and disease resistance-into agricultural production. This integration will require a large-scale effort among academic researchers, industry researchers, and farmers to understand and manage plant-microbiome interactions in the context of modern agricultural systems. Here, we identify priorities for research in this area: (1) develop model host-microbiome systems for crop plants and non-crop plants with associated microbial culture collections and reference genomes, (2) define core microbiomes and metagenomes in these model systems, (3) elucidate the rules of synthetic, functionally programmable microbiome assembly, (4) determine functional mechanisms of plant-microbiome interactions, and (5) characterize and refine plant genotype-by-environment-by-microbiome-by-management interactions. Meeting these goals should accelerate our ability to design and implement effective agricultural microbiome manipulations and management strategies, which, in turn, will pay dividends for both the consumers and producers of the world food supply.
… ""This is an ideal book for seniors and graduate students interested in learning about the sustainable energy field and its penetration. The authors provide very strong discussion on cost-benefit analysis and ROI calculations for various alternate energy systems in current use. This is a descriptive book with detailed case-based analyses of various systems and engineering applications. The text book provides real-world case studies and related problems pertaining to sustainable energy systems.""--Dr. Kuruvilla John, University of North Texas""The new edition of ""Principles of Sustainable En
Mad Nasir Shamsudin
Full Text Available Environmental protection is a basic element of sustainable agricultural development. Agricultural production practices, however, can cause negative externalities. One main concern of the externality is the negative effects of pesticide use. This has motivated the application of Integrated Pest Management (IPM program. This study attempts to evaluate the economic benefits of IPM to address the widespread misuse of pesticides in cabbage production. IPM application in cabbage production includes initiatives on the optimal use of pesticides, complementary weed control strategies, and alternative cultural and biological controls. Results of this study showed that the programme would generate economic benefits which include improvements in water quality, food safety, pesticide application safety, and long term sustainability of pest management systems. Thus there is justification for public investment of resources in training and educational programs to increase awareness about IPM and promote IPM adoption.
Alaska is food insecure, importing an estimated 95% of all agricultural products and 50 commodities and only maintaining a year round food supply of about three to five days. We 51 review the history, development and current state of sustainable agriculture at high-latitudes, 52 especially Alaska, a...
Sustainable Energy Systems and Applications presents analyses of sustainable energy systems and their applications, providing new understandings, methodologies, models and applications along with descriptions of several illustrative examples and case studies. This textbook aims to address key pillars in the field, such as: better efficiency, cost effectiveness, use of energy resources, environment, energy security, and sustainable development. It also includes some cutting-edge topics, such as hydrogen and fuel cells, renewable, clean combustion technologies, CO2 abatement technologies, and some potential tools for design, analysis and performance improvement. The book also: Discusses producing energy by increasing systems efficiency in generation, conversion, transportation and consumption Analyzes the conversion of fossil fuels to clean fuels for limiting pollution and creating a better environment Sustainable Energy Systems and Applications is a research-based textbook which can be used by senior u...
Al Zayed, Islam Sabry; Elagib, Nadir Ahmed
This study proposes a novel monitoring tool based on Satellite Remote Sensing (SRS) data to examine the status of water distribution and Water Use Efficiency (WUE) under changing water policies in large-scale and complex irrigation schemes. The aim is to improve our understanding of the water-food nexus in such schemes. With a special reference to the Gezira Irrigation Scheme (GeIS) in Sudan during the period 2000-2014, the tool devised herein is well suited for cases where validation data are absent. First, it introduces an index, referred to as the Crop Water Consumption Index (CWCI), to assess the efficiency of water policies. The index is defined as the ratio of actual evapotranspiration (ETa) over agricultural areas to total ETa for the whole scheme where ETa is estimated using the Simplified Surface Energy Balance model (SSEB). Second, the tool uses integrated Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (iNDVI), as a proxy for crop productivity, and ETa to assess the WUE. Third, the tool uses SSEB ETa and NDVI in an attempt to detect wastage of water. Four key results emerged from this research as follows: 1) the WUE has not improved despite the changing agricultural and water policies, 2) the seasonal ETa can be used to detect the drier areas of GeIS, i.e. areas with poor irrigation water supply, 3) the decreasing trends of CWCI, slope of iNDVI-ETa linear regression and iNDVI are indicative of inefficient utilization of irrigation water in the scheme, and 4) it is possible to use SSEB ETa and NDVI to identify channels with spillover problems and detect wastage of rainwater that is not used as a source for irrigation. In conclusion, the innovative tool developed herein has provided important information on the efficiency of a large-scale irrigation scheme to help rationalize laborious water management processes and increase productivity.
Weijden, van der W.J.; Huber, M.A.S.; Jetten, T.H.; Blom, P.; Egmond, Van N.D.; Lauwers, L.; Ommen, van B.; Vilsteren, van A.; Wijffels, H.H.F.; Zijpp, van der A.J.; Lammerts Van Bueren, E.
Sustainable agriculture and healthy nutrition are high on the social agenda. Work is now being done to face both challenges, often with measurable success. However, huge changes are still needed and some problems have even been exacerbated. Although agriculture and nutrition are closely linked, both
Sarkar, Sara F; Poon, Jacquelyne S; Lepage, Etienne; Bilecki, Lori; Girard, Benoit
Science and innovation are important components underpinning the agricultural and agri-food system in Canada. Canada's vast geographical area presents diverse, regionally specific requirements in addition to the 21st century agricultural challenges facing the overall sector. As the broader needs of the agricultural landscape have evolved and will continue to do so in the next few decades, there is a trend in place to transition towards a sustainable bioeconomy, contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emission and our dependency on non-renewable resources. We highlight some of the key policy drivers on an overarching national scale and those specific to agricultural research and innovation that are critical to fostering a supportive environment for innovation and a sustainable bioeconomy. As well, we delineate some major challenges and opportunities facing agriculture in Canada, including climate change, sustainable agriculture, clean technologies, and agricultural productivity, and some scientific initiatives currently underway to tackle these challenges. The use of various technologies and scientific efforts, such as Next Generation Sequencing, metagenomics analysis, satellite image analysis and mapping of soil moisture, and value-added bioproduct development will accelerate scientific development and innovation and its contribution to a sustainable and prosperous bioeconomy. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
de Prada, Jorge D.; Bravo-Ureta, Boris E.; Shah, Farhed A.
The tradeoff between short-term agricultural productivity and sustainability is examined with a statistical analysis of evidence from low input agriculture in Argentina. Estimation results show that more intensive land use, corporate leasing of land, and larger farm size are likely to increase current revenues, but at the cost of sustainability.
Cessna, Stephen; Neufeld, Douglas Graber; Horst, S. Jeanne
Claims of the (non-)sustainability of a given agricultural practice generally hinge on scientific evidence and the reliability of that evidence, or at least the perception of its reliability. Advocates of sustainable agriculture may dismiss science as purely subjective, or at the other extreme, may inappropriately elevate scientific findings to…
Alori, Elizabeth T; Glick, Bernard R; Babalola, Olubukola O
The use of excess conventional Phosphorus (P) fertilizers to improve agricultural productivity, in order to meet constantly increasing global food demand, potentially causes surface and ground water pollution, waterway eutrophication, soil fertility depletion, and accumulation of toxic elements such as high concentration of selenium (Se), arsenic (As) in the soil. Quite a number of soil microorganisms are capable of solubilizing/mineralizing insoluble soil phosphate to release soluble P and making it available to plants. These microorganisms improve the growth and yield of a wide variety of crops. Thus, inoculating seeds/crops/soil with Phosphate Solubilizing Microorganisms (PSM) is a promising strategy to improve world food production without causing any environmental hazard. Despite their great significance in soil fertility improvement, phosphorus-solubilizing microorganisms have yet to replace conventional chemical fertilizers in commercial agriculture. A better understanding of recent developments in PSM functional diversity, colonizing ability, mode of actions and judicious application should facilitate their use as reliable components of sustainable agricultural systems. In this review, we discussed various soil microorganisms that have the ability to solubilize phosphorus and hence have the potential to be used as bio fertilizers. The mechanisms of inorganic phosphate solubilization by PSM and the mechanisms of organic phosphorus mineralization are highlighted together with some factors that determine the success of this technology. Finally we provide some indications that the use of PSM will promote sustainable agriculture and conclude that this technology is ready for commercial exploitation in various regions worldwide.
Elizabeth T. Alori
Full Text Available The use of excess conventional Phosphorus (P fertilizers to improve agricultural productivity, in order to meet constantly increasing global food demand, potentially causes surface and ground water pollution, waterway eutrophication, soil fertility depletion, and accumulation of toxic elements such as high concentration of selenium (Se, arsenic (As in the soil. Quite a number of soil microorganisms are capable of solubilizing/mineralizing insoluble soil phosphate to release soluble P and making it available to plants. These microorganisms improve the growth and yield of a wide variety of crops. Thus, inoculating seeds/crops/soil with Phosphate Solubilizing Microorganisms (PSM is a promising strategy to improve world food production without causing any environmental hazard. Despite their great significance in soil fertility improvement, phosphorus-solubilizing microorganisms have yet to replace conventional chemical fertilizers in commercial agriculture. A better understanding of recent developments in PSM functional diversity, colonizing ability, mode of actions and judicious application should facilitate their use as reliable components of sustainable agricultural systems. In this review, we discussed various soil microorganisms that have the ability to solubilize phosphorus and hence have the potential to be used as bio fertilizers. The mechanisms of inorganic phosphate solubilization by PSM and the mechanisms of organic phosphorus mineralization are highlighted together with some factors that determine the success of this technology. Finally we provide some indications that the use of PSM will promote sustainable agriculture and conclude that this technology is ready for commercial exploitation in various regions worldwide.
Katherine A. Spielmann
Full Text Available For at least the past 8000 years, small-scale farmers in semi-arid environments have had to mitigate shortfalls in crop production due to variation in precipitation and stream flow. To reduce their vulnerability to a shortfall in their food supply, small-scale farmers developed short-term strategies, including storage and community-scale sharing, to mitigate inter-annual variation in crop production, and long-term strategies, such as migration, to mitigate the effects of sustained droughts. We use the archaeological and paleoclimatic records from A.D. 900-1600 in two regions of the American Southwest to explore the nature of variation in the availability of water for crops, and the strategies that enhanced the resilience of prehistoric agricultural production to climatic variation. Drawing on information concerning contemporary small-scale farming in semi-arid environments, we then suggest that the risk coping and mitigation strategies that have endured for millennia are relevant to enhancing the resilience of contemporary farmers' livelihoods to environmental and economic perturbations.
Driese, K. L.; Sivanpillai, R.
Ever increasing demand for food and fiber calls for farm management strategies such as effective use of chemicals and efficient water use that will maximize productivity while reducing adverse impacts on the environment. Remotely sensed data collected by satellites are a valuable resource for farmers and ranchers for gaining insights about farm and ranch productivity. While researchers in universities and agencies have made tremendous advances, technology transfer to end-users has lagged, preventing the farmers from taking advantage of this valuable resource. To overcome this barrier, the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium (UMAC), a NASA funded program headed by the University of North Dakota, has been working with end-users to promote the use of remote sensing technology for sustainable agricultural practices. We will highlight the UMAC activities in Wyoming aimed at promoting this technology to sugar-beet farmers in the Big Horn Basin. To assist farmers who might not have a computer at home, we provide them to local county Cooperative Extension Offices pre-loaded with relevant imagery. Our targeted outreach activities have resulted in farmers requesting and using new and old Landsat images to identify growth anomalies and trends which have enabled them to develop management zones within their croplands.
Withers, Paul J A; Rodrigues, Marcos; Soltangheisi, Amin; de Carvalho, Teotonio S; Guilherme, Luiz R G; Benites, Vinicius de M; Gatiboni, Luciano C; de Sousa, Djalma M G; Nunes, Rafael de S; Rosolem, Ciro A; Andreote, Fernando D; Oliveira, Adilson de; Coutinho, Edson L M; Pavinato, Paulo S
Brazil's large land base is important for global food security but its high dependency on inorganic phosphorus (P) fertilizer for crop production (2.2 Tg rising up to 4.6 Tg in 2050) is not a sustainable use of a critical and price-volatile resource. A new strategic analysis of current and future P demand/supply concluded that the nation's secondary P resources which are produced annually (e.g. livestock manures, sugarcane processing residues) could potentially provide up to 20% of crop P demand by 2050 with further investment in P recovery technologies. However, the much larger legacy stores of secondary P in the soil (30 Tg in 2016 worth over $40 billion and rising to 105 Tg by 2050) could provide a more important buffer against future P scarcity or sudden P price fluctuations, and enable a transition to more sustainable P input strategies that could reduce current annual P surpluses by 65%. In the longer-term, farming systems in Brazil should be redesigned to operate profitably but more sustainably under lower soil P fertility thresholds.
This study highlighted the relevance of agricultural innovation systems, challenges encountered by the organisations associated with these innovation systems and the various ways of strengthening the linkages among these organizations. Agricultural innovation systems such as commodity-based innovation system, ...
Nadal Fuentes, Ana
Agriculture represents a crucial phase in the development of mankind. Although cities initially had close ties with agriculture, which was a key element in ancient civilisations, in modern twentieth-century urban plans, such as Le Corbusier's Chandigarh or Lucio Costa's Brazilia, agriculture was banished from large cities. The demographic growth of urban areas today and its predictions for the short and long term have increased the value of urban agriculture.
Groot Koerkamp, P.W.G.; Bos, A.P.
The poultry sector in the Netherlands is confronted with the EU ban on conventional cages, the public debate on the welfare of hens in furnished cages, the limited perspectives of currently used more welfare-friendly single- or multi-tiered systems (either indoor or outdoor), and with questions
Schoups, Gerrit; Addams, C. Lee; Minjares, José Luis; Gorelick, Steven M.
This paper investigates strategies to alleviate the effects of droughts on the profitability and sustainability of irrigated agriculture. These strategies include conjunctive management of surface water and groundwater resources, and engineered improvements such as lining of irrigation canals and addition of regional pumping well capacity. A spatially distributed simulation-optimization model was developed for an irrigated system consisting of multiple surface water reservoirs and an alluvial aquifer. The simulation model consists of an agronomic component and simulators describing the hydrologic system. The physical models account for storage and flow through the reservoirs, routing through the irrigation canals, and regional groundwater flow. The agronomic model describes crop productivity as a function of irrigation quantity and salinity, and determines agricultural profit. A profit maximization problem was formulated and solved using large-scale constrained gradient-based optimization. The model was applied to a real-world conjunctive surface water/groundwater management problem in the Yaqui Valley, an irrigated agricultural region in Sonora, Mexico. The model reproduces recorded reductions in agricultural production during a historical drought. These reductions were caused by a decline in surface water availability and limited installed pumping capacity. Results indicate that the impact of the historical 8-year drought could have been significantly reduced without affecting profit in wet years by better managing surface water and groundwater resources. Namely, groundwater could have been more heavily relied upon and surface water allocation capped at a sustainable level as an operating rule. Lining the irrigation canals would have resulted in water savings of 30% of historical reservoir releases during wet years, which could have been used in subsequent drier years to increase agricultural production. The benefits of a greater reliance on groundwater pumping
Anderson, J.; Usher, J.
Authors: Jim Anderson VP, Global Network and Business Development WeatherBug® Professional Jeremy Usher Managing Director, Europe WeatherBug® Professional Localized, real-time weather information is vital for day-to-day agronomic management of all crops. The challenge for agriculture is twofold in that local and timely weather data is not often available for producers and farmers, and it is not integrated into decision-support tools they require. Many of the traditional sources of weather information are not sufficient for agricultural applications because of the long distances between weather stations, meaning the data is not always applicable for on-farm decision making processes. The second constraint with traditional weather information is the timeliness of the data. Most delivery systems are designed on a one-hour time step, whereas many decisions in agriculture are based on minute-by-minute weather conditions. This is especially true for decisions surrounding chemical and fertilizer application and frost events. This presentation will outline how the creation of an agricultural mesonet (weather network) can enable producers and farmers with live, local weather information from weather stations installed in farm/field locations. The live weather information collected from each weather station is integrated into a web-enabled decision support tool, supporting numerous on-farm agronomic activities such as pest management, or dealing with heavy rainfall and frost events. Agronomic models can be used to assess the potential of disease pressure, enhance the farmer's abilities to time pesticide applications, or assess conditions contributing to yield and quality fluctuations. Farmers and industry stakeholders may also view quality-assured historical weather variables at any location. This serves as a record-management tool for viewing previously uncharted agronomic weather events in graph or table form. This set of weather tools is unique and provides a
Full Text Available Because of the fact that specialty agricultural assistance is not always available when the farmers need it, we identified expert systems as a strong instrument with an extended potential in agriculture. This started to grow in scale recently, including all socially-economic activity fields, having the role of collecting data regarding different aspects from human experts with the purpose of assisting the user in the necessary steps for solving problems, at the performance level of the expert, making his acquired knowledge and experience available. We opted for a general presentation of the expert systems as well as their necessity, because, the solution to develop the agricultural system can come from artificial intelligence by implementing the expert systems in the field of agricultural insurance, promoting existing insurance products, farmers finding options in depending on their necessities and possibilities. The objective of this article consists of collecting data about different aspects about specific areas of interest of agricultural insurance, preparing the database, a conceptual presentation of a pilot version which will become constantly richer depending on the answers received from agricultural producers, with the clearest exposure of knowledgebase possible. We can justify picking this theme with the fact that even while agricultural insurance plays a very important role in agricultural development, the registered result got from them are modest, reason why solutions need to be found in the scope of developing the agricultural sector. The importance of this consists in the proposal of an immediate viable solution to correspond with the current necessities of agricultural producers and in the proposal of an innovative solution, namely the implementation of expert system in agricultural insurance as a way of promoting insurance products. Our research, even though it treats the subject at an conceptual level, it wants to undertake an
Full Text Available Currently, many have been concerned with the oil palm cultivation since it may also put land resources in danger and bring about environmental damage. Poor practices in managing agricultural land very often occur due to the inadequate knowledge of soil conservation. Application of soil and water conservation is to maintain the productivity of the land and to prevent further damage by considering land capability classes. This research was aimed at obtaining soil and water conservation techniques which are the most appropriate and optimal for oil palm cultivation areas based on land capability classes which can support sustainable oil palm cultivation. Several soil conservation techniques had been treated to each different class III, IV, and VI of the studied area. These treatment had been performed by a standard plot erosion. The results showed for the land capability class III, Cover plants + Manure was able to control runoff, erosion and reduce leaching of N (LSD P≤0,05, in which soil conservation produced the lowest erosion (3,73t/ha, and N leaching (0,25%. On land capability class IV, Sediment Trap + cover plants+ manure was able to control runoff, erosion and reduce organic C and P leaching (LSD P≤0,05, in which soil conservation produced the lowest runoff (127,77 m3/ha, erosion (12,38t/ha, organic C leaching (1,14 %, and P leaching (1,28 ppm. On land capability class VI, there isn’t significant effect of soil conservation, but Bench Terrace + cover plants +manure has the lowest runoff, erosion and soil nutrient leaching.
Full Text Available This paper provides identification and assessment of barriers to the implementation of the instruments of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP that support sustainable development of agriculture. This issue has been studied on the example of individual farms of south-eastern Poland, which benefited from programs to support sustainable agriculture in 2004-2013. The introduction of agriculture on the path of sustainable development depends on institutional factors (including political, which can induce farmers to take into account the environment and future generations in their microeconomic decisions. It has been shown that the most important barriers to the efficient and effective implementation of programs in support of sustainable agriculture are financial and information and education constraints.
Vani, Kohila P; Doble, Mukesh
The paper discusses the patents that have been filed in the areas of sustainable development in agriculture, food and nutrition and use of natural resources in achieving this goal. A large number of patents deal with the production of fertilizers from animal manure, plant sources and other organic wastes, which are more sustainable that the chemical fertilizers that are being currently used. Sustainability in agriculture is achieved in developing processes for the manufacture of biopesticides/insecticides and bioactive agricultural products. Development of novel sustainable agricultural processes has also been the focus of researchers and technologists. Plant derived nutritious food products are sustainable and can cater for the growing population burden. This has been the focus of several patents. Processes for enhancing the nutrition in food also serve the purpose of catering for the under nourished population.
The book is the proceedings from the bi-annual international scientific conference on organic agriculture. The chapters are: - plant and soil interactions, - animal production systems, - traditional knowledge in sustainable agriculture, - research, education and extension in sustainable agriculture...
Jared Abodeely; David Muth; Paul Adler; Eleanor Campbell; Kenneth Mark Bryden
Agricultural residues have significant potential as a near term source of cellulosic biomass for bioenergy production, but sustainable removal of agricultural residues requires consideration of the critical roles that residues play in the agronomic system. Previous work has developed an integrated model to evaluate sustainable agricultural residue removal potential considering soil erosion, soil organic carbon, greenhouse gas emission, and long-term yield impacts of residue removal practices. The integrated model couples the environmental process models WEPS, RUSLE2, SCI, and DAYCENT. This study uses the integrated model to investigate the impact of interval removal practices in Boone County, Iowa, US. Residue removal of 4.5 Mg/ha was performed annually, bi-annually, and tri-annually and were compared to no residue removal. The study is performed at the soil type scale using a national soil survey database assuming a continuous corn rotation with reduced tillage. Results are aggregated across soil types to provide county level estimates of soil organic carbon changes and individual soil type soil organic matter content if interval residue removal were implemented. Results show interval residue removal is possible while improving soil organic matter. Implementation of interval removal practices provide greater increases in soil organic matter while still providing substantial residue for bioenergy production.
Jun 3, 2008 ... and knowledge flows were not considered as important. The emerging reforms and changes in knowledge structure of agriculture explicitly indicate that the traditional agricultural research and extension system alone cannot sufficiently address the challenges of the new trends. Innovation system approach ...
Jones, James W; Antle, John M; Basso, Bruno; Boote, Kenneth J; Conant, Richard T; Foster, Ian; Godfray, H Charles J; Herrero, Mario; Howitt, Richard E; Janssen, Sander; Keating, Brian A; Munoz-Carpena, Rafael; Porter, Cheryl H; Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Wheeler, Tim R
Agricultural systems science generates knowledge that allows researchers to consider complex problems or take informed agricultural decisions. The rich history of this science exemplifies the diversity of systems and scales over which they operate and have been studied. Modeling, an essential tool in agricultural systems science, has been accomplished by scientists from a wide range of disciplines, who have contributed concepts and tools over more than six decades. As agricultural scientists now consider the "next generation" models, data, and knowledge products needed to meet the increasingly complex systems problems faced by society, it is important to take stock of this history and its lessons to ensure that we avoid re-invention and strive to consider all dimensions of associated challenges. To this end, we summarize here the history of agricultural systems modeling and identify lessons learned that can help guide the design and development of next generation of agricultural system tools and methods. A number of past events combined with overall technological progress in other fields have strongly contributed to the evolution of agricultural system modeling, including development of process-based bio-physical models of crops and livestock, statistical models based on historical observations, and economic optimization and simulation models at household and regional to global scales. Characteristics of agricultural systems models have varied widely depending on the systems involved, their scales, and the wide range of purposes that motivated their development and use by researchers in different disciplines. Recent trends in broader collaboration across institutions, across disciplines, and between the public and private sectors suggest that the stage is set for the major advances in agricultural systems science that are needed for the next generation of models, databases, knowledge products and decision support systems. The lessons from history should be
Agricultural systems science generates knowledge that allows researchers to consider complex problems or take informed agricultural decisions. The rich history of this science exemplifies the diversity of systems and scales over which they operate and have been studied. Modeling, an essential tool in agricultural systems science, has been accomplished by scientists from a wide range of disciplines, who have contributed concepts and tools over more than six decades. As agricultural scientists now consider the next generation models, data, and knowledge products needed to meet the increasingly complex systems problems faced by society, it is important to take stock of this history and its lessons to ensure that we avoid re-invention and strive to consider all dimensions of associated challenges. To this end, we summarize here the history of agricultural systems modeling and identify lessons learned that can help guide the design and development of next generation of agricultural system tools and methods. A number of past events combined with overall technological progress in other fields have strongly contributed to the evolution of agricultural system modeling, including development of process-based bio-physical models of crops and livestock, statistical models based on historical observations, and economic optimization and simulation models at household and regional to global scales. Characteristics of agricultural systems models have varied widely depending on the systems involved, their scales, and the wide range of purposes that motivated their development and use by researchers in different disciplines. Recent trends in broader collaboration across institutions, across disciplines, and between the public and private sectors suggest that the stage is set for the major advances in agricultural systems science that are needed for the next generation of models, databases, knowledge products and decision support systems. The lessons from history should be considered
Víctor Manuel Peinado Guevara
Full Text Available Water scarcity is an issue of worldwide concern since it is already having an impact on social development. Mexico is not an exception to this problem because in several regions of the country are great difficulties in supplying water, primarily for agricultural use. In Sinaloa, it had been mentioned repeatedly by the media that in the Irrigation District 063, located in the northern of the state, there are problems of water scarcity, and yet there still exist difficulties in conserving the resource. More than 49% of the water used for agriculture is wasted. To resolve this problem, producers and government agencies spend significant resources for investment in water conservation. However, the results have not been entirely satisfactory because the waste is high, a situation that motivates them to study more deeply the main weaknesses that affect sustainable resource use. Farmer’s participation in the administration of water infrastructure is important, as well as providing financial resources for the conservation of water system; and participation in activities of construction and repaired of water infrastructure. Farmer’s should also plan and design strategies for water conservation. This situation requires an appropriate level of technology and intellectual, rather than local producers and thus no complicated sustainable resource management. That is what local producers don’t have and therefore it complicates the sustainable management of the resource.
Ronald S., Jr. Zalesny; Rob Mitchell; Jim, eds. Richardson
The goal of this conference was to initiate and provide opportunities for an international forum on the science and application of producing both agricultural and forest crops for biofuels, bioenergy, and bioproducts. There is a substantial global need for development of such systems and technologies that can economically and sustainably produce short rotation crops...
Full Text Available Soil is an environmental resource and plays ecological, social and economic functions which are fundamental for the life. To guarantee its availability to future generations, soil resource needs sustainable management. The CEC Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection identifies a series of soil degradation processes or threats, which must be identified and combated. These include erosion, decline in organic matter, local and diffuse contamination, sealing, compaction, decline in biodiversity, salinisation, floods and landslides. With respect to management of contamination with potentially toxic elements, an approach based on the identification and quantification of the various forms or, at least, the main pools, in which contaminants occur in soil, is envisaged. The residence time of an element in soil depends, indeed, by the mobility of its predominant forms. Speciation studies provide information on the mobility and biological availability of contaminants, and seek to assess not simply the contamination level, but rather the risk/toxicity of a polluted soil and to predict its reduction after application of remediation techniques. Soil degradation is often associated with a decrease in the organic matter content, mainly caused by soil use change and global warming. Improving the accumulation of organic matter in soil or contrasting its reduction has positive effects on soil and water quality, crop yields, biodiversity and climate leading to a reduction of green-house gas emissions from soil to the atmosphere. In order to obtain a real accumulation of organic matter in soil, it is not sufficient to temporarily increase its total content, but it is necessary to favour the main processes which govern organic matter stabilization. This requires an approach at both molecular and multidisciplinary level. The reforestation of agricultural and highly degraded soils or conservative agronomic practices, such as the use of humified compounds characterized by
Full Text Available Soil is an environmental resource and plays ecological, social and economic functions which are fundamental for the life. To guarantee its availability to future generations, soil resource needs sustainable management. The CEC Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection identifies a series of soil degradation processes or threats, which must be identified and combated. These include erosion, decline in organic matter, local and diffuse contamination, sealing, compaction, decline in biodiversity, salinisation, floods and landslides. With respect to management of contamination with potentially toxic elements, an approach based on the identification and quantification of the various forms or, at least, the main pools, in which contaminants occur in soil, is envisaged. The residence time of an element in soil depends, indeed, by the mobility of its predominant forms. Speciation studies provide information on the mobility and biological availability of contaminants, and seek to assess not simply the contamination level, but rather the risk/toxicity of a polluted soil and to predict its reduction after application of remediation techniques. Soil degradation is often associated with a decrease in the organic matter content, mainly caused by soil use change and global warming. Improving the accumulation of organic matter in soil or contrasting its reduction has positive effects on soil and water quality, crop yields, biodiversity and climate leading to a reduction of green-house gas emissions from soil to the atmosphere. In order to obtain a real accumulation of organic matter in soil, it is not sufficient to temporarily increase its total content, but it is necessary to favour the main processes which govern organic matter stabilization. This requires an approach at both molecular and multidisciplinary level. The reforestation of agricultural and highly degraded soils or conservative agronomic practices, such as the use of humified compounds characterized by
In recent years, the high rate of conversion of wetlands for agriculture has raised environmental concerns in Uganda. A study was therefore conducted to identify issues that need to be addressed if communities are to continue deriving livelihoods from wetland agriculture, without causing stress to the wetlands of Lake ...
Hospers, A.; Louwsma, M.A.; Lammeren, van R.J.A.; Kuiper, P.P.
Land from many holdings is dispersed, which compels farmers to use public roads to access distant parcels. Agricultural traffic is different from other traffic with its large and heavy vehicles. When agricultural traffic mixes with other traffic, safety issues may arise. Another issue of
The increasing spate of rural-urban migration has remained a critical issue with far-reaching consequences on the agricultural and national development. Several policies guiding extension service delivery have focused primarily on the rural sector since agriculture has been recognized as a rural industry. This paper takes ...
The necessity of transition of agriculture to sustainability is complicated by the necessity to increase production of local environmentally safe food, unemployment indigenous growth of living standards of the peasant community, stable and balanced nature management. Due to the difficult economic conditions of natural and agricultural development for the Komi Republic principle of food self-sufficiency is unacceptable, but the production of basic food products, for which favorable there are conditions, is objective necessity in the short term. Priority directions of development of the agricultural and fisheries sectors: the production of socially significant food products - potatoes, vegetables of the local range, milk, fresh meat, eggs, dietary, preservation and development of traditional industries, and collecting wild mushrooms and berries and its processing. Off forecast in the northern agricultural areas three scenarios selected: a base (slow), optimistic and pessimistic. For all versions of the forecast to be considered systemic crisis of the agricultural sector of the North is ongoing. Functioning of on sector under a particular scenario will depend on the factors and conditions that affect the stability of the agricultural enterprises and farms. At the base, especially under unfavorable conditions, negative external factors and conditions will prevail. The baseline scenario of recent years assumes the maintenance of the rate of change indicators of agriculture, of the levels of state industry conditions of interbranch exchange in agriculture, of access to economic entities in the financial markets, of the pricing and taxation policies, of relatively low investment opportunities to upgrade production capacity. In this embodiment the growth of agricultural production and its reduction will occur in suburban (peripheral areas). The optimistic scenario will be characterized by protectionist policies of the state, increase investment to improve soil fertility
O. Shkuratov; V. Kyporenko
This paper deals with economic content of environmental marketing in the management system organic agriculture that allows operators of organic market to effectively plan the production of organic agricultural products and ensure the optimal balance between social and economic indicators throughout the life cycle of the product. Structural-logical scheme on the formation of environmentally oriented motivation of organic agricultural products consumer behavior has been grounded.
Praneetvatakul, S; Janekarnkij, P; Potchanasin, C; Prayoonwong, K
Sustainability is not a new concept but rather a prominent concept at the present time. Researchers have categorized sustainability indicators into economic, social, and ecological aspects. Sustainability of agriculture in the context of development efforts has to meet production efficiency, resilience of ecosystems, appropriate technology, maintenance of the environment, cultural diversity, and satisfaction of the basic needs. The research objective of this study is to determine the critical indicators of agricultural sustainability in the Mae Chaem Catchment, northern Thailand. In assessing sustainability, the authors applied the sustainability indicator analysis developed by FAO. The results of the study show that food sufficiency in the Wat Chan subcatchment is the most sustainable aspect of agriculture. The least sustainable facets of agriculture in the Wat Chan subcatchment are land holding size, land tenure, and water shortage. While expansion of agricultural land in the watershed area is not legally permitted, a practice of agroforestry is recommended. Insecure land tenure may result in reduced incentives to improve land productivity. Thus, official recognition of land ownership is required. As the problem of water shortage is most critical in the lower reaches, increased participation in the allocation scheme by downstream villagers should be encouraged. Finally, the construction of a small-scale water storage in the lower part of the catchment to increase water supply should be considered.
The features of the economic sustainability of agricultural enterprises have been determined. The factors of its formation have been identified. Algorithm research of economic stability and recommendations for its formation have been suggested.
Duvel, G. H.; Botha, A. J.
Interviews with 79 South African farmers in arid regions showed that their conservation practices were influenced by such human factors as needs, perceptions, and knowledge. Direct influence on adoption behaviors was recommended to encourage sustainable agriculture practices. (SK)
Christiane Fernandes dos Santos; Elisabete Stradiotto Siqueira; Iriane Teresa de Araújo; Zildenice Matias Guedes Maia
... Agroecological Producers Association) family farmers, who commercialize their production at the Agroecological Fair, intending to analyze whether or not such practices provide sustainable development of family-based agriculture...
Nepal is a developing country with the resources and prospects to flourish in the agricultural sector. Agriculture contributes the largest share of the GDP in Nepal. The effective production and marketing of agricultural products in the various regions of Nepal could bring significant changes to the economic development of the nation. To develop the agricultural sector, many foreign nations and their development agencies are assisting Nepal in various development programs. One of them is the ...
Food security and agricultural sustainability are of prime concern in the world today in light of the increasing trends in population growth in most parts of the globe excepting Europe. The need to develop capacity to produce more to feed more people is complicated since the arable land is decreasin...
R. M. Bajracharya
Full Text Available The soil and land resources play a vital role in sustaining the local livelihoods of rural communities in the Himalaya. Most of the arable land has already been brought under cultivation, hence the ever-increasing demand for food and fiber has left farmers with no choice but to intensify agriculture. However, producing more crops and greater quantities of food, fiber and other materials on the same parcel of land can to soil fertility and productivity decline with overall degradation of land quality. Therefore, ways and means to intensify agriculture to enhance productivity without degrading the soil and land resource base have become imperative. Agro-forestry, agro-slivi-pastoral systems, and the adoption of a variety of crop, soil and water management and conservation practices offer potential to deliver multiple benefits without sacrificing the very resource upon which the human population depends. Presented herein are findings on approaches to sustainable intensification of agriculture and land management related to soil OM management and C sequestration for multiple benefits, and, agro-forestry as a crop diversification strategy with both livelihood, and climate change adaptation/mitigation benefits. The results indicate that sustainable soil management practices could lead to significant SOC accumulations (4-8 t/ha over 6 yrs. SOC and soil C stocks tend to increase with elevation due to cooler climate and slow decomposition rates. Carbon stocks for the 3 LU types was in the order CF>AF/LH>AG, suggesting that diversified cropping practices including agro-forestry have good potential sequester C while providing livelihood opportunities and climate adaptive capacity for local farming communities. Biochar amendment increased growth of both coffee plants and radish with mixed grass/weed biochar being most effective. Biochar application also significantly decreased emission of GHGs, especially N2O.
Mogae, Festus G.
Africa has an abundance of energy and mineral assets and agricultural land. In spite of the variety of outlooks across its numerous countries there is a common understanding that these natural resources need to be used carefully and thoughtfully if there is to be sustainable development across Africa as a whole, especially pro-poor sustainable development. Botswana has poor soils and climate for agricultural production, but it has developed some of its other resources. That development, combi...
In many sub-Saharan African countries, poverty is linked to low agricultural productivity, which climate change threatens to aggravate. This action-research project aims to bring together institutions and individuals from the research, policymaking and farming communities to develop agricultural innovation systems that are ...
demographic data of the agricultural systems typically found in the study region as well as monitoring the ..... to 316,000 in 2005 (RGoB, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, National Strategy For. Community Forestry ...... in my family and village, our kids are educated and get to see lots of new things. Before we were just like ...
Zulkefli, Zainordin Firdaus; Zainol, Mohd Remy Rozainy Mohd Arif; Osman, Norhayati
In general of 80% the human activities is located in the building. Buildings constructed should be in line with full functions and optimum safety features. Aspects to be emphasized is the slip on the floor of the building. The selection of tiles must have anti-slip characteristics and achieve standard strength stress. This study is conducted to develop anti-slip tiles modification using agricultural waste. The material used is agricultural waste such rice husks, palm fibre and saw dusk mixed into the clay and then baked at a temperature of 900-1185 C °. Agricultural waste mixture ratio is 5%, 10% and 15%. The samples of tiles are produced for experiments. The results of agricultural waste tiles show that the strength is higher than standard strength, the water absorption less than standard tiles and pendulum value test is exceeds 36.
Jordan, N.R; Dorn, K; Runck, B; Ewing, P; Williams, A; Anderson, K.A; Felice, L; Haralson, K; Goplen, J; Altendorf, K; Fernandez, A; Phippen, W; Sedbrook, J; Marks, M; Wolf, K; Wyse, D; Johnson, G
.... Importantly, these crops can provide feedstocks for a wide range of new bio-products that are forming a new agricultural bioeconomy, potentially providing greatly increased economic incentives for diversification...
Adak, Subhas; Adhikari, Kalyan; Brahmachari, Koushik
Fly ash exhaust from Kolaghat thermal power plant, West Bengal, India,?? affects the areas within the radius of 3 - 4 km. Land information system indicated that surface texture within 4 km was silty loam and clay content increased with increase of distance. Soil pH was alkaline (7.58-8.01) in affected circles, whereas soil was acidic (5.95-6.41) in rest of block. Organic carbon (OC) is roving from 0.36 to 0.64% in the nearer circles which is lesser from others. The present Crop suitability analysis revealed that 96.98 % area was suitable (S1) for maize, sesame, jute, whereas these were cultivated in less than 1% of land. Flowers are the best suitable (S1) in 88.9 % but it was grown in 6.02 % area.? The present rice area within 4 km of KTPP is showing moderately suitable (S2) and S1 for the rest. Wheat is moderately suitable (S2) in the almost all the circles.? Cultivation of vegetable crops is limited in the affected circles while the highly suitable (S1) comprises 67.49 % for the remaining areas though it covered only 6.01 % of the block.? This evaluation precisely improves more than 300% from the earlier cropping intensity of 177.95 %. Suitability based land use allocation serves as stepping stone to promote agricultural sustainability. Geographic information system (GIS) model has been developed to assess site specific crop suitability for sustainable agricultural planning.
Thomas K. Rudel
Full Text Available As calls for bolstering ecosystem services from croplands have grown more insistent during the past two decades, the search for ways to foster these agriculture-sustaining services has become more urgent. In this context we examine by means of a meta-analysis the argument, proposed by Robert McC. Netting, that small-scale, mixed crop-livestock farming, a common livelihood among poor rural peoples, leads to environmentally sustainable agricultural practices. As predicted, mixed crop-livestock farms exhibit more sustainable practices, but, contrary to predictions, a small scale of operation does not predict sustainability. Many smallholders on mixed crop-livestock farms use sustainable practices, but other smallholders practice a degrading, input-scarce agriculture. Some large farm operators use soil-conserving, minimum-tillage techniques while other large operators ignore soil-conserving techniques and practice an industrialized, high chemical input agriculture. The strength and pervasiveness of the link in the data between mixed crop-livestock farming and sustainable agricultural practices argues for agricultural policies that promote mixed crop-livestock livelihoods.
Schubert, Martin J. W.
This communication contemplates political, biological and technical aspects for efficient and profitable irrigation in sustainable agriculture. A standard for irrigation components is proposed. The need for many, and three-dimensionally distributed, soil measurement points is explained, thus enabling the control of humidity in selected layers of earth. Combined wireless and wired data transmission is proposed. Energy harvesting and storage together with mechanical sensor construction are discussed.
Moshtaghi, Mehrdad; Adla, Soham; Pande, Saket; Disse, Markus; Savenije, Hubert
The concept of sustainability is central to smallholder agriculture as subsistence farming is constantly impacted by livelihood insecurity and is constrained by access to capital, water technology and alternative employment opportunities. This study compares two approaches which aim at quantifying smallholder sustainability but differ in their underlying principles, methodologies for assessment and reporting, and applications. The yield index based insurance can protect the smallholder agriculture and help it to more economic sustainability because the income of smallholder depends on selling crops and this insurance scheme is based on crop yields. In this research, the trigger of this insurance sets on the basis of yields in previous years. The crop yields are calculated every year through socio-hydrology modeling and smallholder can get indemnity when crop yields are lower than average of previous five years (a crop failure). The FAO Sustainability Assessment of Food and Agriculture (SAFA) is an inclusive and comprehensive framework for sustainability assessment in the food and agricultural sector. It follows the UN definition of the 4 dimensions of sustainability (good governance, environmental integrity, economic resilience and social well-being) and includes 21 themes and 58 sub-themes with a multi-indicator approach. The direct sustainability corresponding to the FAO SAFA economic resilience dimension is compared with the indirect notion of sustainability derived from the yield based index insurance. A semi-synthetic comparison is conducted to understand the differences in the underlying principles, methodologies and application of the two approaches. Both approaches are applied to data from smallholder regions of Marathwada in Maharashtra (India) which experienced a severe rise in farmer suicides in the 2000s which has been attributed to a combination of socio-hydrological factors.
Kassie, M.; Zikhali, P.; Manjur, K.; Edwards, S.
In the wake of the resource constraints for external farm inputs faced by farmers in developing countries, sustainable agriculture practices that rely on renewable local or farm resources present desirable options for enhancing agriculture productivity. In this study, plot-level data from the
Hassanein, Neva; Kloppenburg, Jack R., Jr.
Intensive rotational grazing by Wisconsin dairy farmers represents a local expression of the sustainable agriculture movement. Contrary to interpretations that view local knowledge in agriculture as idiosyncratic, these graziers use horizontal forms of organizing and information exchange to overcome the limits of personal experience and share…
Gamon, Julia A.; Scofield, Gaylan G.
Comparison of an older group of agricultural producers (n=45), young producers (n=102) , and potential producers (n=77) showed the following: potential producers were more positive about sustainable agriculture, younger and potential groups were more likely than older to use dealers as information sources, and potentials were more likely to be…
Brouwer, F.M.; Rheenen, van T.; Dhillion, S.; Elgersma, A.M.
In large parts of the world, the reduction in the viability of agriculture and rural areas is an escalating problem. "Sustainable Land Management" offers a contemporary overview of the strategies employed to cope with the marginalisation of agriculture, through analyses of case studies and regional
Guy Robertson; Andy. Mason
The Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), published the National Report on Sustainable Forests-2010 (USDA Forest Service 2011) (hereafter, National Report) several years ago and will be releasing a subsequent version of the report in 2017. Based on the Montreal Process Criteria and Indicators for Forest Sustainability, the National...
Qiu, Jiangxiao; Carpenter, Stephen R; Booth, Eric G; Motew, Melissa; Zipper, Samuel C; Kucharik, Christopher J; Chen, Xi; Loheide, Steven P; Seifert, Jenny; Turner, Monica G
-use changes and management may buffer water quality against undesirable future climate changes, but changing climate may overwhelm management efforts to sustain freshwater supply and flood regulation. Spatially, changes in ecosystem services were heterogeneous across the landscape, underscoring the power of local actions and fine-scale management. Our research highlights the value of embracing spatial and temporal perspectives in managing ecosystem services and their complex interactions, and provides a system-level understanding for achieving sustainability of the food-water-climate nexus in agricultural landscapes. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.
Mahanty, Trishna; Bhattacharjee, Surajit; Goswami, Madhurankhi; Bhattacharyya, Purnita; Das, Bannhi; Ghosh, Abhrajyoti; Tribedi, Prosun
The worldwide increase in human population raises a big threat to the food security of each people as the land for agriculture is limited and even getting reduced with time. Therefore, it is essential that agricultural productivity should be enhanced significantly within the next few decades to meet the large demand of food by emerging population. Not to mention, too much dependence on chemical fertilizers for more crop productions inevitably damages both environmental ecology and human health with great severity. Exploitation of microbes as biofertilizers is considered to some extent an alternative to chemical fertilizers in agricultural sector due to their extensive potentiality in enhancing crop production and food safety. It has been observed that some microorganisms including plant growth promoting bacteria, fungi, Cyanobacteria, etc. have showed biofertilizer-like activities in the agricultural sector. Extensive works on biofertilizers have revealed their capability of providing required nutrients to the crop in sufficient amounts that resulted in the enhancement of crop yield. The present review elucidates various mechanisms that have been exerted by biofertilizers in order to promote plant growth and also provides protection against different plant pathogens. The aim of this review is to discuss the important roles and applications of biofertilizers in different sectors including agriculture, bioremediation, and ecology.
Full Text Available Background/Purpose: An effective financial system should increase the efficiency of economic activities. This study provides evidence regarding the importance of financial development for agricultural growth in Ukraine.
Duhamel, Marie; Vandenkoornhuyse, Philippe
Food demand will increase concomitantly with human population. Food production therefore needs to be high enough and, at the same time, minimize damage to the environment. This equation cannot be solved with current strategies. Based on recent findings, new trajectories for agriculture and plant breeding which take into account the belowground compartment and evolution of mutualistic strategy, are proposed in this opinion article. In this context, we argue that plant breeders have the opportunity to make use of native arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) symbiosis in an innovative ecologically intensive agriculture. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This study examines to what extent corporations use sustainability control systems (SCS) to translate proactive sustainability strategy into corporate sustainability performance. The study investigates the mediating effect of SCS on the relationship between proactive sustainability strategy and corporate sustainability performance. Survey data were collected from top managers in 175 multinational and local corporations operating in Sri Lanka and analyzed using Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM). SCS were observed to only partially mediate the relationship between proactive sustainability strategy and corporate sustainability performance. The mediating effect of SCS is further examined under three sustainability strategies; environmental and social strategies reveal a partial mediation, while the economic strategy exhibits no mediation. The study also finds that (i) a proactive sustainability strategy is positively associated with SCS and corporate sustainability performance and (ii) SCS are positively associated with corporate sustainability performance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
German, Richard N; Thompson, Catherine E; Benton, Tim G
Given the pressures on land to produce ever more food, doing it 'sustainably' is growing in importance. However, 'sustainable agriculture' is complex to define, not least because agriculture impacts in many different ways and it is not clear how different aspects of sustainability may be in synergy or trade off against each other. We conducted a meta-analysis to assess the relationships between multiple measures of sustainability using novel analytical methods, based around defining the efficiency frontier in the relationship between variables, as well as using correlation analysis. We define 20 grouped variables of agriculture's impact (e.g. on soil, greenhouse gas, water, biodiversity) and find evidence of both strong positive and negative correlations between them. Analysis based on the efficiency frontier suggests that trade-offs can be 'softened' by exploiting the natural between-study variation that arises from a combination of farming best practice and context. Nonetheless, the literature provides strong evidence of the relationship between yields and the negative externalities created by farming across a range of measures. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.
Full Text Available Introduction: Generally, subsidies are the amounts of government payments in order to provide all society members with minimum well-being. In several countries such as Iran, the agriculture sector is supported by different methods to achieve goals such as increasing farmers' income, supporting domestic producers and eliminating dependence on imports, preserving employment and reducing poverty. A significant part of agriculture subsidies has been allocated to energy resources, chemical fertilizers, seeds, agriculture machines, vaccines, animal toxins, the interest on bank loans, insurance fees, certain airplane services, distributing young saplings, and government guaranteed purchase of products. However, examining the subsidies system in Iran reveals that most government payments are in the agriculture sector and more specifically on energy resources. Recently, the extra low cost of energy in the agriculture sector, which has had certain government supports, has resulted in low productivity and environmental damage, and has resulted in increased demand for agricultural products due to population growth, changes in life pattern, deviation in energy cost in agricultural sector, environment destruction and influences on sustainable agriculture indicators. Moreover, among different production units, agriculture has the closest relationship with the environment. This relationship is a mutual.On the one hand, erosion and destruction of the environment along with pollution growth and shortage of water resources negatively influences the production and efficiency of agricultural products, and on the other hand, agricultural pollutants and irregular use of chemical fertilizers in this sector impose indispensable damages to the environment.This study aims to apply a partial equilibrium model in order to examine direct and indirect effects of reduction of energy subsidies on economic and environmental indicators of agricultural sustainability in the Qorveh
Galford, Gillian L; Soares-Filho, Britaldo; Cerri, Carlos E P
The Brazilian Amazon frontier shows how remarkable leadership can work towards increased agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability without new greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to initiatives among various stakeholders, including national and state government and agents, farmers, consumers, funding agencies and non-governmental organizations. Change has come both from bottom-up and top-down actions of these stakeholders, providing leadership, financing and monitoring to foster environmental sustainability and agricultural growth. Goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land-cover and land-use change in Brazil are being achieved through a multi-tiered approach that includes policies to reduce deforestation and initiatives for forest restoration, as well as increased and diversified agricultural production, intensified ranching and innovations in agricultural management. Here, we address opportunities for the Brazilian Amazon in working towards low-carbon rural development and environmentally sustainable landscapes.
Galford, Gillian L.; Soares-Filho, Britaldo; Cerri, Carlos E. P.
The Brazilian Amazon frontier shows how remarkable leadership can work towards increased agricultural productivity and environmental sustainability without new greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to initiatives among various stakeholders, including national and state government and agents, farmers, consumers, funding agencies and non-governmental organizations. Change has come both from bottom-up and top-down actions of these stakeholders, providing leadership, financing and monitoring to foster environmental sustainability and agricultural growth. Goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land-cover and land-use change in Brazil are being achieved through a multi-tiered approach that includes policies to reduce deforestation and initiatives for forest restoration, as well as increased and diversified agricultural production, intensified ranching and innovations in agricultural management. Here, we address opportunities for the Brazilian Amazon in working towards low-carbon rural development and environmentally sustainable landscapes. PMID:23610175
One of the greatest challenges facing agriculture in the tropics is the need to develop viable cropping systems for the rained uplands that are capable of ensuring increased and sustained crop production with minimum degradation of the non- renewable soil resource base. Increased population has reduced the ...
Currently, studying crop-water response mechanism has become an important part in the development of new irrigation technology and optimal water allocation in water-scarce regions, which is of great significance to crop growth guidance, sustainable utilization of agricultural water, as well as the sustainable development of regional agriculture. Using multiple crop models(AquaCrop,SWAP,DNDC), this paper presents the results of simulating crop growth and agricultural water consumption of the winter-wheat and maize cropping system in north china plain. These areas are short of water resources, but generates about 23% of grain production for China. By analyzing the crop yields and the water consumption of the traditional flooding irrigation, the paper demonstrates quantitative evaluation of the potential amount of water use that can be reduced by using high-efficient irrigation approaches, such as drip irrigation. To maintain food supply and conserve water resources, the research concludes sustainable irrigation methods for the three provinces for sustainable utilization of agricultural water.
Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria is characterised with compact land mass and traditional farming practices with rudimentary farm tools and implements. Bush fallowing, constitutes the main farm management technique. Expansion of production can only be achieved through agricultural intensification rather than through ...
... technology is more suitable both socially and economically viable for farmers with tradition in animal keeping. Other technologies such as the use of single axle tractors should be thought for agricultural production in areas without tradition in animal keeping. Keywords: Draft animal, Oxen, Costs, Mechanization. Tanzania
Public pressure and societal changes induce interventions and policies, which aim to transform agriculture and food provision. This book shows that for upscaling novel practices and organizational models it is important to include meso-level regime aspects in analysis and practice. The argument
The 2014 IUPAC International Congress of Pesticide Chemistry (San Francisco, August, 2014) included a symposium on “Challenges Associated with Global Adoption of Agricultural Biotechnology” to review current obstacles in promoting GM crops. Challenges identified by symposium presenters included i) ...
International Journal of Applied Agriculture and Apiculture Research. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 11, No 1-2 (2015) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.
The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is a global network of 15 specialized centers employing around 2,000 international scientists and 6,000 national staff in over 100 countries. CGIAR educational approaches to environmental issues have varied amid conflicting perspectives. Inadequate policies, learning resources,…
The rural areas, which inhabit the greater proportion of the population, mostly in developing nations, are the main sources of primary products (agriculture and minerals) for urban and industrial areas, hence the rural dwellers are regarded as the set of population that provide engine of in the development process of a nation ...
Payne, Charlotte L R; Van Itterbeeck, Joost
Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the additional harvest and ecology of accompanying food insects. Yet such insects provide many valuable ecosystem services, and their sustainable management could be crucial to ensuring future food security. This review considers the multiple ecosystem services provided by edible insects in existing agricultural systems worldwide. Directly and indirectly, edible insects contribute to all four categories of ecosystem services as outlined by the Millennium Ecosystem Services definition: provisioning, regulating, maintaining, and cultural services. They are also responsible for ecosystem disservices, most notably significant crop damage. We argue that it is crucial for decision-makers to evaluate the costs and benefits of the presence of food insects in agricultural systems. We recommend that a key priority for further research is the quantification of the economic and environmental contribution of services and disservices from edible insects in agricultural systems.
Charlotte L. R. Payne
Full Text Available Many of the most nutritionally and economically important edible insects are those that are harvested from existing agricultural systems. Current strategies of agricultural intensification focus predominantly on increasing crop yields, with no or little consideration of the repercussions this may have for the additional harvest and ecology of accompanying food insects. Yet such insects provide many valuable ecosystem services, and their sustainable management could be crucial to ensuring future food security. This review considers the multiple ecosystem services provided by edible insects in existing agricultural systems worldwide. Directly and indirectly, edible insects contribute to all four categories of ecosystem services as outlined by the Millennium Ecosystem Services definition: provisioning, regulating, maintaining, and cultural services. They are also responsible for ecosystem disservices, most notably significant crop damage. We argue that it is crucial for decision-makers to evaluate the costs and benefits of the presence of food insects in agricultural systems. We recommend that a key priority for further research is the quantification of the economic and environmental contribution of services and disservices from edible insects in agricultural systems.
Stattman, S.L.; Mol, A.P.J.
Biofuels have been criticized in academic and activist circles not only for their environmental consequences but also for their social impacts on food availability and on small-scale family farming. Meanwhile (global) initiatives and policies have been developed to stimulate "sustainable biofuels".
Strategies to improve food security should receive priority to support sustainable resource management, increase access to finance and suitable inputs on credit to be worked out and soil fertility conservation to be exercised with particular focus on organic farming. Emphasis should be placed on environmental management ...
Zaks, D. P.; Jahn, M.
Managing ecosystems for the outcomes of agricultural productivity and resilience will require fundamentally different knowledge management systems. In the industrial paradigm of the 20th century, land was considered an open, unconstrained system managed for maximum yield. While dramatic increases in yield occurred in some crops and locations, unintended but often foreseeable consequences emerged. While productivity remains a key objective, we must develop analytic systems that can identify better management options for the full range of monetized and non-monetized inputs, outputs and outcomes that are captured in the following framing question: How much valued service (e.g. food, materials, energy) can we draw from a landscape while maintaining adequate levels of other valued or necessary services (e.g. biodiversity, water, climate regulation, cultural services) including the long-term productivity of the land? This question is placed within our contemporary framing of valued services, but structured to illuminate the shifts required to achieve long-term sufficiency and planetary resilience. This framing also highlights the need for fundamentally new knowledge systems including information management infrastructures, which effectively support decision-making on landscapes. The purpose of this initiative by authors from diverse fields across government and academic science is to call attention to the need for a vision and investment in sustainability science for landscape management. Substantially enhanced capabilities are needed to compare and integrate information from diverse sources, collected over time that link choices made to meet our needs from landscapes to both short and long term consequences. To further the goal of an information infrastructure for sustainability science, three distinct but interlocking domains are best distinguished: 1) a domain of data, information and knowledge assets; 2) a domain that houses relevant models and tools in a curated
Halloran, Afton Marian Szasz; Magid, Jakob
comprehensive and formalized regulatory tools to draw from. Different cities around the world are now deciding how to fit urban agriculture into the urban agenda; however, in many places urban agriculture continues to operate in the absence of legitimization due to its relatively mobile and dynamic nature...... to the conservation of existing urban agriculture and future initiatives. The findings suggest that municipal recognition and institutional support for urban agriculture is an important component in increasing the sustainability of related initiatives. Local and central government plays a role in the legitimization...
Full Text Available The aim of this article is to present an overall image of the way Accounting responds to nowadays user’s needs in relation to the quantification of the impact companies have towards the environment. Regarding this, there have been analyzed concepts like sustainable development, environmental accounting, environmental costs and there have been presented the main progress towards environmental cost identification and measurement from the perspective of Activity Based Costing system. To provide an overall image of this concepts, there have been used as research methodology methods the documentation from literature review, analysis, synthesis and comparison.
Wally W. Wilhelm; J. Richard Hess; Douglas L. Karlen; David J. Muth; Jane M. F. Johnson; John M. Baker; Hero T. Gollany; Jeff M. Novak; Diane E. Stott; Gary E. Varvel
Advanced biofuels will be developed using cellulosic feedstock rather than grain or oilseed crops that can also be used for food and feed. To be sustainable, these new agronomic production systems must be economically viable without degrading soil resources. This review examines six agronomic factors that collectively define many of the limits and opportunities for harvesting crop residue for biofuel feedstock. These six “limiting factors” are discussed in relationship to economic drivers associated with harvesting corn (Zea mays L.) stover as a potential cellulosic feedstock. The limiting factors include soil organic carbon, wind and water erosion, plant nutrient balance, soil water and temperature dynamics, soil compaction, and off-site environmental impacts. Initial evaluations using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation 2.0 (RUSLE2) show that a single factor analysis based on simply meeting tolerable soil loss might indicate stover could be harvested sustainably, but the same analysis based on maintaining soil organic carbon shows the practice to be non-sustainable. Modifying agricultural management to include either annual or perennial cover crops is shown to meet both soil erosion and soil carbon requirements. The importance of achieving high yields and planning in a holistic manner at the landscape scale are also shown to be crucial for balancing limitations and drivers associated with renewable bioenergy production.
The ongoing debate about the use of genetically-modified (GM) crops in agriculture has largely focused on food safety and genetic contamination issues. Given that the majority of GM crops have been produced to respond to the problem of crop yield reductions caused by diseases, insects and weeds, the paper argues that in those cases, the currently used GM crops are an unstable solution to the problem, because they represent such a strong selection pressure, that pests rapidly evolve resistance...
Markland, Sarah M; Ingram, David; Kniel, Kalmia E; Sharma, Manan
Agricultural water is a precious and limited resource. Increasingly more water types and sources are being explored for use in irrigation within the United States and across the globe. As outlined in this chapter, the Produce Safety Rule (PSR) in the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) provide irrigation water standards for application of water to fruits and vegetables consumed raw. These rules for production and use of water will continue to develop and be required as the world experiences aspects of a changing climate including flooding as well as drought conditions. Research continues to assess the use of agricultural water types. The increased use of reclaimed water in the United States as well as for selected irrigation water needs for specific crops may provide increased water availability. The use of surface water can be used in irrigation as well, but several studies have shown the presence of some enteric bacterial pathogens (enterohemorrhagic E. coli , Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes ) in these waters that may contaminate fruits and vegetables. There have been outbreaks of foodborne illness in the U.S., South America, Europe, and Australia related to the use of contaminated water in fruit and vegetable irrigation or washing. Unreliable water supplies, more stringent microbial water standards, mitigation technologies and expanded uses of reclaimed waters have all increased interest in agricultural water.
Tilman, David; Balzer, Christian; Hill, Jason; Befort, Belinda L
Global food demand is increasing rapidly, as are the environmental impacts of agricultural expansion. Here, we project global demand for crop production in 2050 and evaluate the environmental impacts of alternative ways that this demand might be met. We find that per capita demand for crops, when measured as caloric or protein content of all crops combined, has been a similarly increasing function of per capita real income since 1960. This relationship forecasts a 100-110% increase in global crop demand from 2005 to 2050. Quantitative assessments show that the environmental impacts of meeting this demand depend on how global agriculture expands. If current trends of greater agricultural intensification in richer nations and greater land clearing (extensification) in poorer nations were to continue, ~1 billion ha of land would be cleared globally by 2050, with CO(2)-C equivalent greenhouse gas emissions reaching ~3 Gt y(-1) and N use ~250 Mt y(-1) by then. In contrast, if 2050 crop demand was met by moderate intensification focused on existing croplands of underyielding nations, adaptation and transfer of high-yielding technologies to these croplands, and global technological improvements, our analyses forecast land clearing of only ~0.2 billion ha, greenhouse gas emissions of ~1 Gt y(-1), and global N use of ~225 Mt y(-1). Efficient management practices could substantially lower nitrogen use. Attainment of high yields on existing croplands of underyielding nations is of great importance if global crop demand is to be met with minimal environmental impacts.
Ahlfeld, D.; Mulligan, K.; Brown, C. M.; Yang, Y. E.
In many agricultural regions of the world, aquifer overdrafting for agricultural irrigation continues. Management strategies are investigated that transition from this unsustainable use of water to a future, diminished use of irrigation. Complications arising from climate change and volatile energy prices are considered. A command and control strategy is modeled using combined simulation and optimization techniques. This strategy is compared with market based mechanisms such as cap and trade and Pigouvian pricing that are modeled using agent based methods. The formulations are designed to model the effects of different management strategies including those that seek to avoid rapid changes in basin-wide water utilization (considered a surrogate for agricultural production) over this time period. Formulations also include limits on total reduction in aquifer storage and controls on streamflow in the basin. The management formulations used in this study are developed for planning horizons of 50 to 100 years and use the Republican River Basin in the High Plains Aquifer as a case study. Historical and climate-adjusted recharge patterns are considered. Spatial and temporal variation in total irrigated acreage and the aquifer storage change determined by the solutions of the management formulations are analyzed and presented.
Canavan, Chelsey R; Noor, Ramadhani A; Golden, Christopher D; Juma, Calestous; Fawzi, Wafaie
Sustainable food systems are an important component of a planetary health strategy to reduce the threat of infectious disease, minimize environmental footprint and promote nutrition. Human population trends and dietary transition have led to growing demand for food and increasing production and consumption of meat, amid declining availability of arable land and water. The intensification of livestock production has serious environmental and infectious disease impacts. Land clearing for agriculture alters ecosystems, increases human-wildlife interactions and leads to disease proliferation. Context-specific interventions should be evaluated towards optimizing nutrition resilience, minimizing environmental footprint and reducing animal and human disease risk. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Nyström, Tobias; Mustaquim, Moyen
Nowadays, the importance of sustainability is persuading novel shifts in everyday life. This diversity makes it significant and challenging for sustainability to be quantified and measured. While the existence of perfect sustainability indicators is relatively unreasonable, they have important pragmatic roles in quantification and measurement by bridging sustainability's three pillars. Information system (IS) and sustainability are popular research areas, which clearly reflect the divergent a...
This paper presents a methodology that combines the power of an Artificial Neural Network and Information Theory to forecast variables describing the condition of a regional system. The novelty and strength of this approach is in the application of Fisher information, a key method in Information Theory, to preserve trends in the historical data and prevent over fitting projections. The methodology was applied to demographic, environmental, food and energy consumption, and agricultural production in the San Luis Basin regional system in Colorado, U.S.A. These variables are important for tracking conditions in human and natural systems. However, available data are often so far out of date that they limit the ability to manage these systems. Results indicate that the approaches developed provide viable tools for forecasting outcomes with the aim of assisting management toward sustainable trends. This methodology is also applicable for modeling different scenarios in other dynamic systems. Indicators are indispensable for tracking conditions in human and natural systems, however, available data is sometimes far out of date and limit the ability to gauge system status. Techniques like regression and simulation are not sufficient because system characteristics have to be modeled ensuring over simplification of complex dynamics. This work presents a methodology combining the power of an Artificial Neural Network and Information Theory to capture patterns in a real dyna
DeRuyter, T.; Saito, L.; Nowak, B.; Rossi, C.; Toderich, K.
A major problem for irrigated agricultural production is soil salinization, which can occur naturally or can be human-induced. Human-induced, or secondary salinization, is particularly a problem in arid and semi-arid regions, especially in irrigated areas. Irrigated land has more than twice the production of rainfed land, and accounts for about one third of the world's food, but nearly 20% of irrigated lands are salt-affected. Many farmers worldwide currently seasonally leach their land to reduce the soil salt content. These practices, however, create further problems such as a raised groundwater table, and salt, fertilizer, and pesticide pollution of nearby lakes and groundwater. In Uzbekistan, a combination of these management practices and a propensity to cultivate 'thirsty' crops such as cotton has also contributed to the Aral Sea shrinking nearly 90% by volume since the 1950s. Most common agricultural crops are glycophytes that have reduced yields when subjected to salt-stress. Some plants, however, are known as halophytic or 'salt-loving' plants and are capable of completing their life-cycle in higher saline soil or water environments. Halophytes may be useful for human consumption, livestock fodder, or biofuel, and may also be able to reduce or maintain salt levels in soil and water. To assess the potential for these halophytes to assist with salinity management, we are developing a model that is capable of tracking salinity under different management practices in agricultural environments. This model is interdisciplinary as it combines fields such as plant ecology, hydrology, and soil science. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) model, Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender (APEX), is being augmented with a salinity module that tracks salinity as separate ions across the soil-plant-water interface. The halophytes Atriplex nitens, Climacoptera lanata, and Salicornia europaea are being parameterized and added into the APEX model database. Field sites
Zeweld, Woldegebrial; Van Huylenbroeck, Guido; Tesfay, Girmay; Speelman, Stijn
The introduction of sustainable practices is considered a win-win strategy for low-income countries because of its potential to simultaneously improve food security and address environmental issues. Despite the numerous studies that focus on the adoption of technological innovations, little work has been done on the socio-psychological behaviour of farmers with regard to sustainable practices. This study investigates smallholder farmers' intentions towards two practices: minimum tillage and row planting. The decomposed theory of planned behaviour is used as a theoretical framework to analyse the intentions. The findings reveal that attitudes and normative issues positively explain farmers' intentions to adopt both practices. Perceived control also has a positive significant effect on the intention to apply minimum tillage. When the intention is formed, farmers are expected to carry out their intention when opportunities arise. Moreover, perceived usefulness, social capital, and perceived ease of operation are also significant predictors of farmers' attitudes. Furthermore, social capital and training are factors that positively affect the normative issue, which in turn also positively mediates the relationship between training, social capital and intention. Finally, it is shown that neither the perceived resources nor information from the media significantly affect farmers' intentions. This paper thus confirms that social capital, personal efficacy, training and perceived usefulness play significant roles in the decision to adopt sustainable practices. In addition, willingness to adopt seems to be limited by negative attitudes and by weak normative issues. Therefore, to improve adoption of sustainable practices by smallholder farmers, attention should be given to socio-psychological issues. This could lead to improvements in farm productivity and enhance the livelihoods of smallholders. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Jennifer A. Mathews; Leandri Kruger; Gideon J. Wentink
Climate change is an environmental phenomenon with the potential to exacerbate existing disaster risks and cause extensive human, financial and environmental losses. The Mooifontein agricultural region in South Africa is considered to be a region vulnerable to climate change– associated risks. These climate risks would pose a substantial threat to the livelihoods of farmers in the Mooifontein area. This article aims to explore climate-smart agriculture (CSA) as a resilience-building tool to e...
Important green house gases (GHG) attributed to animal agriculture are methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), though carbon dioxide (CO2) contributes almost half of total greenhouse effect. Rumen CH4 production in an enteric fermentation can be accounted as the biggest anthropogenic source. Some of prebiotics and probiotics have been innovated to mitigate rumen CH4 emission. The possible use of agricultural biomass consisted of non-edible parts of crop plants such as cellulose and hemi cellul...
Full Text Available The existence and development of humankind depends mainly upon the co-ordinated operation of all areas and levels of human activity. However, in theory and in practice there is no model of operation, which would provide a harmonized and target oriented development. A partial solution is offered by sustainable development, which tries to define and carry out common goals of mankind with a harmonized implementation of human activities at all levels of its living and behaviour. Companies belong to central institutions of modern society which essentially co–create the sustainability of society. The company’s endeavour by simulation to prepare models of their goals concerning their internal and external environment. On the base of systemic treatment, we can define companies as business system, which can survive in a log-run only on the basis of sustainable development. The business system can also be supported by the application of the anticipatory systems. The anticipatory systems can be, in this sense, understood as an entity of the methodological approach, techniques and modes of work. Their characteristics have, a direct impact on the determination of goals, on the orientation of operation, and hence on the achievement of the business system results.
Van Passel, Steven, E-mail: Steven.email@example.com [Hasselt University, Faculty of Business Economics, Centre for Environmental Sciences, Agoralaan, Building D, 3590, Diepenbeek (Belgium); University of Antwerp, Department Bioscience Engineering, Groenenborgerlaan 171, 2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Meul, Marijke [University College Ghent, Department of Biosciences and Landscape Architecture, Campus Schoonmeersen, Building C, Schoonmeersstraat 52, 9000, Gent (Belgium)
Sustainability assessment is needed to build sustainable farming systems. A broad range of sustainability concepts, methodologies and applications already exists. They differ in level, focus, orientation, measurement, scale, presentation and intended end-users. In this paper we illustrate that a smart combination of existing methods with different levels of application can make sustainability assessment more profound, and that it can broaden the insights of different end-user groups. An overview of sustainability assessment tools on different levels and for different end-users shows the complementarities and the opportunities of using different methods. In a case-study, a combination of the sustainable value approach (SVA) and MOTIFS is used to perform a sustainability evaluation of farming systems in Flanders. SVA is used to evaluate sustainability at sector level, and is especially useful to support policy makers, while MOTIFS is used to support and guide farmers towards sustainability at farm level. The combined use of the two methods with complementary goals can widen the insights of both farmers and policy makers, without losing the particularities of the different approaches. To stimulate and support further research and applications, we propose guidelines for multilevel and multi-user sustainability assessments. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We give an overview of sustainability assessment tools for agricultural systems. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer SVA and MOTIFS are used to evaluate the sustainability of dairy farming in Flanders. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Combination of methods with different levels broadens the insights of different end-user groups. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We propose guidelines for multilevel and multi-user sustainability assessments.
Giourga, Christina; Loumou, Angeliki
Pluriactivity of farms, or part-time farming, is a common feature of agriculture in all countries regardless of their socioeconomic system and level of development. Currently, pluriactivity is related to the values of sustainable agriculture. The objective of this study is to delineate those specific characteristics of pluriactive farms that contribute to sustainable agriculture. In rural areas of Boetia in Greece, a socioeconomic survey was carried out on 114 farms to determine the types of farming applied. The results demonstrate that pluriactivity is a stable component of the agricultural structure in the rural areas of Boetia. It is widespread in plains, but its presence is more important in mountainous and semimountainous areas. The choice of young farmers is to opt for pluriactivity. Farm size does not differ between pluriactive and full-time farms. Pluriactive and full- time farms use the same level of input and get the same output for the same type of crop. However, pluriactive farmers under the same land-productive conditions are oriented toward a more extensive farming system, managing their land with crops that need less inputs. Considering these findings, it can be claimed that pluriactivity can contribute to diminishing the demand on natural resources in favored (level and irrigated) areas, to continue agricultural production in unfavorable (mountainous and semimountainous) areas, and to help the sustenance of the rural population.
Full Text Available This study analyzes the changes osberved in the agri-food system with the advent of logistical management of the flow of goods and information along the food supply chain. Agri-food functions and responsibilities towards society are also analyzed. This field of research has been widely explored in recent years following the development of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR certification in agri-business. The analysis starts by examining the coherence of the ethical basis of human choices in a homo oeconomicus framework in which social relationships are merely exploitable activities. CSR development is then studied in the light of the new stakeholder theory for firms. The main fields of economic research into sustainable development and the most important goals achieved are examined and the methodological perspectives of agricultural economics research will also be discussed.
Thomas, Evan A.
Sustainable spacecraft life support concepts may allow the development of more reliable technologies for long duration space missions. Currently, life support technologies at different levels of development are not well evaluated against each other, and evaluation methods do not account for long term reliability and sustainability of the hardware. This paper presents point-of-departure sustainability evaluation criteria for life support systems, that may allow more robust technology development, testing and comparison. An example sustainable water recovery system concept is presented.
Full Text Available The subject of this paper is environmental sustainability assessment of agricultural holdings in the Podlaskie voivodeship, participating in the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN in the years 2007–2012. The assessment was conducted based on agro-ecological indicators and environmental burden (material pressure. The analysis was conducted according to a classification into agricultural holding types: field crops, dairy cattle, and mixed holdings. The factor with the strongest impact on the agro-ecological sustainability of the studied agricultural holdings was the holding type. Field crop and mixed holdings achieved more favorable environmental sustainability indicators. Holdings specializing in dairy cattle breeding pose a threat to the natural environment due to their excessive number of livestock.
Hu, Jun-Mei; Wang, Xin-Jie
Based on the introduction of agricultural cleaner production, technology system design of planting cleaner production is discussed from five aspects of water-saving irrigation technology, fertilization technology, diseases and insects control technology, straw comprehensive utilization technology and plastic film pollution control technology. Cleaner production technology system of livestock and poultry raise is constructed from the aspects of source control technology, reduction technique in...
Faure, Guy; Penot, Eric; Rakotondravelo, Jean Chrysostome; Ramahatoraka, Haja Andrisoa; Dugue, Patrick; Toillier, Aurelie
Purpose: To promote sustainable agriculture, various development projects are encouraging farmers around Madagascar's Lake Alaotra to adopt conservation agriculture techniques. This article's objective is to analyze the capacity of a project-funded advisory system to accompany such an innovation and to design and implement an advisory method aimed…
Vico, Giulia; Porporato, Amilcare
The optimality of irrigation strategies may be sought with respect to a number of criteria, including water requirements, crop yield, and profitability. To explore the suitability of different demand-based irrigation strategies, we link the probabilistic description of irrigation requirements under stochastic hydro-climatic conditions, provided in a companion paper [Vico G, Porporato A. From rainfed agriculture to stress-avoidance irrigation: I. A generalized irrigation scheme with stochastic soil moisture. Adv Water Resour 2011;34(2):263-71], to crop-yield and economic analyses. Water requirements, application efficiency, and investment costs of different irrigation methods, such as surface, sprinkler and drip irrigation systems, are described via a unified conceptual and theoretical approach, which includes rainfed agriculture and stress-avoidance irrigation as extreme cases. This allows us to analyze irrigation strategies with respect to sustainability, productivity, and economic return, using the same framework, and quantify them as a function of climate, crop, and soil parameters. We apply our results to corn ( Zea mays), a food staple and biofuel source, which is currently mainly irrigated through surface systems. As our analysis shows, micro-irrigation maximizes water productivity, but more traditional solutions may be more profitable at least in some contexts.
Grundmann, Jens; Schütze, Niels; Lennartz, Franz
In this paper we present a new simulation-based integrated water management tool for sustainable water resources management in arid coastal environments. This tool delivers optimised groundwater withdrawal scenarios considering saltwater intrusion as a result of agricultural and municipal water abstraction. It also yields a substantially improved water use efficiency of irrigated agriculture. To allow for a robust and fast operation we unified process modelling with artificial intelligence tools and evolutionary optimisation techniques. The aquifer behaviour is represented using an artificial neural network (ANN) which emulates a numerical density-dependent groundwater flow model. The impact of agriculture is represented by stochastic crop water production functions (SCWPF). Simulation-based optimisation techniques together with the SCWPF and ANN deliver optimal groundwater abstraction and cropping patterns. To address contradicting objectives, e.g. profit-oriented agriculture vs. sustainable abstraction scenarios, we performed multi-objective optimisations using a multi-criteria optimisation algorithm.
Catedral, Isagani; Villegas, Pablito
The Kasama Ka Organik Koop is a staunch advocate in the promotion of Sustainable Organic and Ecological Agriculture and farming systems. The establishment of urban techno-demo organic gardens cum livelihood and entrepreneurship development center is one of the hands-on strategies adopted. The farm has been envisaged to serve as an eco-tourism venue to promote environmental awareness and knowledge, and livelihood and employment opportunities to the community.
Nevertheless, agricultural advisory services remain crucial to improving the livelihoods of rural poor people as well as facilitating sustainable agricultural development. Even the best policy environment will not result in pro-poor agricultural growth if the concerned rural people do not have access to adequate services be ...
Growing population, changing climate, and human development will require sustainable agricultural intensification in sub-Saharan Africa -- a region where most people still live in rural areas, and rural poverty remains severe. While the 20th century saw massive increases in agricultural productivity over most of the world, sub-Saharan Africa was largely bypassed. In many respects, catching up in the 21st century poses more difficult challenges than were faced in the 20th -- with the novel c...
Carrouee, Benoir; Ellis, Noel; Jensen, Erik Steen; Schneider, Anne
The promotion of grain legumes would be a valuable strategy for the European Union because these crops (i) contribute to an energy efficient and sustainable agriculture, (ii) increase local sources of plant proteins, and (iii) reduce the agricultural contribution to greenhouse gases, as required by the Kyoto agreement. The environmental and social consequences of Europes policys for production of mainly cereals and to import protein in the form of soyabeans are not financially accountable, an...
Sun, Tong; Zhang, Fangming; Ying, Yibin
Automation of agricultural equipments in the near term appears both economically viable and technically feasible. This paper describes measurement and control system for agriculture robot. It consists of a computer, a pair of NIR cameras, one inclinometer, one potentionmeter and two encoders. Inclinometer, potentionmeter and encoders are used to measure obliquity of camera, turning angle of front-wheel and velocity of rear wheel, respectively. These sensor data are filtered before sending to PC. The test shows that the system can measure turning angle of front-wheel and velocity of rear wheel accurately whether robot is at stillness state or at motion state.
Sigurjonsson, Hafthor Ægir; Elmegaard, Brian; Clausen, Lasse Røngaard
Due to increased burden on the environment caused by human activities, focus on industrial ecology designs are gaining more attention. In that perspective an environ- mentally effective integration of bionergy and agriculture systems has significant potential. This work introduces a modeling...... approach that builds on Life Cycle Inventory and carries out Life Cycle Impact Assessment for a con- sequential Life Cycle Assessment on integrated bioenergy and agriculture systems. The model framework is built in Python which connects various freely available soft- ware that handle different aspects...
Future demand in agricultural output is supposed to match the needs of 9 billion people with less input of resources. Can we transform our agricultural practices and move behind existing paradigms to develop innovative and sustainable agriculture production systems? A transformation of the regime is needed: a change in the socio-economic system through new narratives and diversification. Not driven by monopolising technologies but supported by innovation, knowledge and careful evaluation of s...
Koeijer, de T.J.
Keywords: Sustainable farming systems, Agronomic efficiency, Economic efficiency, Environmental efficiency, Sustainability index, Interdisciplinary analysis.
The objective of the research described in this thesis was to determine what role improved agronomic efficiency can play in
Full Text Available With sustainability within food systems becoming an increasingly important issue, several approaches that claim to assess the sustainability of farms, farming systems, and supply chains have been developed. Looking more closely at these sustainability impact assessment approaches, we discerned considerable differences between them in terms of scope, the level of assessment, and the precision of indicators used for impact assessment. Our aim was to classify and analyze a range of available sustainability impact assessment approaches with respect to scope and precision. From a total of 35 sustainability assessment approaches, we selected 6 for a detailed comparison. From our analysis, we concluded that there are 3 different types of trade-offs in these approaches: between different kinds of scope, between different indicators for precision and trade-offs, and between the scope and precision. Thus, one-size-fits-all solutions, with respect to tool selection, are rarely feasible. Furthermore, as indicator selection determines the assessment results, different and inconsistent indicators can lead to contradictory assessment results that may not be comparable. To overcome these shortcomings, sustainability impact assessments should include a precise definition of the notion of "sustainability" along with a description of the methodological approach and the indicator sets and should aim for harmonization of indicators and assumptions. Global initiatives such as the Sustainability Assessment in Food and Agriculture Systems (SAFA Guidelines are a helpful step toward shedding light on the differences of these approaches and making the assessment results more comparable.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. United Nations Development Programme
This "Framework for Action" developed from a Technical Workshop held at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) offices in Rome in 2008 came about because of rising cereal and fuel prices. The "Framework for Action" gives details on how to spread Conservation
Full Text Available Alternative food and agriculture movements increasingly rely on market-based approaches, particularly voluntary standards and certification, to advance environmental sustainability and social justice. Using a case study of an ecological shrimp project in Indonesia that became certified organic, this paper raises concerns regarding the impacts of certification on alternative food and agriculture movements, and their aims of furthering sustainability and justice. Drawing on George Ritzer’s McDonaldization framework, I argue that the ecological shrimp project became McDonaldized with the introduction of voluntary standards and certification. Specifically, efficiency, calculability, predictability, and control became key characteristics of the shrimp project. While the introduction of such characteristics increased market access, it also entailed significant costs, including an erosion of trust and marginalization and alienation of farmers. Given such tradeoffs, in concluding I propose that certification is producing particular forms of environmental sustainability and social justice, what I term McSustainability and McJustice. While enabling the expansion of alternative food and agriculture, McSustainability and McJustice tend to allow little opportunity for farmer empowerment and food sovereignty, as well as exclude aspects of sustainable farming or ethical production that are not easily measured, standardized, and validated.
Alison J. Duff
Full Text Available Working lands have potential to meet agricultural production targets while serving as reservoirs of biological diversity and as sources of ecological services. Yet agricultural policy creates disincentives for this integration of conservation and production goals. While necessary, the development of a policy context that promotes agroecosystem sustainability will take time, and successful implementation will depend on a receptive agricultural audience. As the demands placed on working lands grow, there is a need for regional support networks that build agricultural producers' capacity for land stewardship. We used a social-ecological system framework to illustrate the Healthy Grown Potato Program as an agricultural network case study. Our Capacity-Building Stewardship Model reflects a 20-year experience working in collaboration with potato growers certified under an ecolabel in Wisconsin, USA. The model applies an evolving, modular farm stewardship standard to the entire farm - croplands and noncroplands. The model demonstrates an effective process for facilitating communication and shared learning among program participants, including agricultural producers, university extension specialists, nonprofit conservation partners, and industry representatives. The limitation of the model in practice has been securing funding to support expansion of the program and to ensure that the ecolabel standard is responsive to changes in the social-ecological system. Despite this constraint, the Capacity-Building Stewardship Model reveals an important mechanism for building regional commitment to conservation, with agricultural producers in a leadership role as architects, adopters, and advocates for stewardship behavior. Our experience provides important insight for the application of agri-environment schemes on private lands. The durability of a conservation ethic on working farms is likely to be enhanced when networks engage and support producers in an
The world water strategy is to be changed because the current imitational gravitational frontal isotropic-continual paradigm of irrigation is not sustainable. This paradigm causes excessive consumption of fresh water - global deficit - up to 4-15 times, adverse effects on soils and landscapes. Current methods of irrigation does not control the water spread throughout the soil continuum. The preferable downward fluxes of irrigation water are forming, up to 70% and more of water supply loses into vadose zone. The moisture of irrigated soil is high, soil loses structure in the process of granulometric fractions flotation decomposition, the stomatal apparatus of plant leaf is fully open, transpiration rate is maximal. We propose the Biogeosystem technique - the transcendental, uncommon and non-imitating methods for Sustainable Natural Resources Management. New paradigm of irrigation is based on the intra-soil pulse discrete method of water supply into the soil continuum by injection in small discrete portions. Individual volume of water is supplied as a vertical cylinder of soil preliminary watering. The cylinder position in soil is at depth form 10 to 30 cm. Diameter of cylinder is 1-2 cm. Within 5-10 min after injection the water spreads from the cylinder of preliminary watering into surrounding soil by capillary, film and vapor transfer. Small amount of water is transferred gravitationally to the depth of 35-40 cm. The soil watering cylinder position in soil profile is at depth of 5-50 cm, diameter of the cylinder is 2-4 cm. Lateral distance between next cylinders along the plant raw is 10-15 cm. The soil carcass which is surrounding the cylinder of non-watered soil remains relatively dry and mechanically stable. After water injection the structure of soil in cylinder restores quickly because of no compression from the stable adjoining volume of soil and soil structure memory. The mean soil thermodynamic water potential of watered zone is -0.2 MPa. At this potential
Liu, Haitao; Meng, Jie; Bo, Wenjing; Cheng, Da; Li, Yong; Guo, Liyue; Li, Caihong; Zheng, Yanhai; Liu, Meizhen; Ning, Tangyuan; Wu, Guanglei; Yu, Xiaofan; Feng, Sufei; Wuyun, Tana; Li, Jing; Li, Lijun; Zeng, Yan; Liu, Shi V; Jiang, Gaoming
Organic farming (OF) has been believed to be capable of curtailing some hazardous effects associated with chemical farming (CF). However, debates also exist on whether OF can feed a world with increasing human population. We hypothesized that some improvements on OF may produce adequate crops and reduce environmental pollutions from CF. This paper makes comparative analysis of crop yield, soil organic matter and economic benefits within the practice on Biodiversity Management of Organic Farming (BMOF) at Hongyi Organic Farm (HOF) over eight years and between BMOF and CF. Linking crop production with livestock to maximal uses of by-products from each production and avoid xenobiotic chemicals, we have achieved beneficial improvement in soil properties, effective pest and weed control, and increased crop yields. After eight years experiment, we have obtained a gradual but stable increase in crop yields with a 9.6-fold increase of net income. The net income of HOF was 258,827 dollars and 24,423 dollars in 2014 and 2007 respectively. Thus, BMOF can not only feed more population, but also increase adaptive capacity of agriculture ecosystems and gain much higher economic benefits.
Ana Patricia HOMORODEAN (CSATLOS
Full Text Available In the context of globalization, sustainable development is the key to the development of contemporary society and future generations. Sustainability has become a key point for the debates in the political, economic, and academic environment. Therefore, today wehave reached the point when we speak of a country or company sustainability, of environmentalor agricultural sustainability, while speaking,at the same time, of fiscal policy sustainability. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Romanian fiscal policy sustainability in terms of tax revenues. The methodology used in this research is bibliographical analysis of specialist literature and statistical analysis of data. Bibliographical analysis was used to define operating concepts: fiscal sustainability and tax revenues. Statistical analysis was used to analyze the evolution of tax revenues in Romania between2005and2013, as well as the share of tax revenues in the general consolidated budget of Romania. Statistical data were processed using Microsoft Excel and presented as evolution diagrams. The novelty and originality of the present work consist in the bibliographical study on Romanian fiscal policy sustainability, the statistical study on the evolution of tax revenues in Romania between 2005and2013, and the analysisof fiscal policy sustainability in Romania in terms of tax revenues.
Porporato, A. M.; Bartlett, M. S., Jr.; Hartzell, S. R.
We use a recently proposed model that can simulate the different photosynthetic pathways coupled to the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum (SPAC) to discuss their ecohydrological implications in relation to water use and plant water stress in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Built around the classical C3 photosynthesis core model (light reactions and Calvin cycle), the model includes a simple CO2-pump parameterization for C4 plants and a circadian rhythm and carbon storage components for the CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) plants. Its architecture takes advantage of the interesting modularity in which photosynthesis evolved in geological times to provide a relatively simple but comprehensive framework to explore the advantages and tradeoffs in water energy and carbon fluxes of the three photosynthetic pathways under fluctuating environmental forcing. We calibrate the model with reference to a series of C3,C4 and CAM plants, and discuss the trade-offs in water use and plan productivity and the related impact on hydrologic fluxes and soil biogeochemistry. We also consider some important crop species to analyze the implications of choosing crops with different photosynthetic pathways to improve sustainability of agriculture and irrigation in semiarid systems.
The rural economic situation in China-with a living standard mostly at subsistence level-lags far behind the prosperous development in the cities and coastal areas. To balance this disequilibrium, comprehensive concepts and endeavors are necessary keeping in view all-not just economic-interests and needs that contribute to lively rural identities. In this context the role of agriculture, where still 50% of the Chinese population are working, will be newly defined, and sustainability concepts can help to find a readjusted position within the Chinese economy focusing on environmental health and food safety as main targets of political and other supporting measures. Within the SUCCESS project, a Concept of Sustainable Agriculture was developed and it drafts one conceivable relation between the exposure to natural resources and economy and tries to find new answers to the broad range of rural challenges in China. It is a qualitative model and, therefore, not always fully applicable, but in the concrete situation of villages, it shows possible directions of sustainability-oriented development by considering the typical local potentials. In the Chinese context that means identifying the different functions of agriculture-the well-known and the hidden-to make them explicit for the Chinese public and therewith to give them new significance. The article is based on a 3-years study within the EU-China Project SUCCESS with field research in four Chinese rural communities. It analyzes the agricultural sustainability potential of these selected villages against the background of massive structural changes within the next 20 years in rural China. Starting from the current agricultural reality, based on a qualitative analysis of the actual situation, local potentials and needs towards sustainable production and marketing are identified, and possible functions of the Chinese agriculture are formulated for the future.
Tiffany L. Fess
Full Text Available We are at a pivotal time in human history, as the agricultural sector undergoes consolidation coupled with increasing energy costs in the context of declining resource availability. Although organic systems are often thought of as more sustainable than conventional operations, the lack of concise and widely accepted means to measure sustainability makes coming to an agreement on this issue quite challenging. However, an accurate assessment of sustainability can be reached by dissecting the scientific underpinnings of opposing production practices and crop output between cropping systems. The purpose of this review is to provide an in-depth and comprehensive evaluation of modern global production practices and economics of organic cropping systems, as well as assess the sustainability of organic production practices through the clarification of information and analysis of recent research. Additionally, this review addresses areas where improvements can be made to help meet the needs of future organic producers, including organic-focused breeding programs and necessity of coming to a unified global stance on plant breeding technologies. By identifying management strategies that utilize practices with long-term environmental and resource efficiencies, a concerted global effort could guide the adoption of organic agriculture as a sustainable food production system.
Nelson Novaes Pedroso Júnior
Full Text Available Slash-and-burn agriculture has been practiced for thousands of years in the forests around the world, especially in the tropics, where it provides for the livelihood of countless poor rural populations. Characterized by an array of techniques based on crop diversification and shifting land use, this cultivation system has on the utilization of forest decomposing vegetation´s energetic capital its main asset. Many studies claim that slash-and-burn agriculture is sustainable only when performed under conditions of low human demographic density and maintenance or even increase of local biodiversity. However, it is growing in the academic literature, as well as in development debates, the concern regarding the role that this system has been playing in the deforestation of the planet´s tropical forests. This process appears to be closely linked to changes in land use patterns (agricultural intensification and urban and rural demographic growth. On the thread of these concerns, this article presents a critical review of the international and national academic literature on slash-and-burn agriculture. Thus, this review intend to draw a broad scenario of the current academic debate on this issue, as well as to identify the main alternatives strategies proposed to maintain or replace this cultivation system.
Pan, Genxing; Zhang, Dengxiao; Yan, Ming; Niu, Yaru; Liu, Xiaoyu; van Zwieten, Lukas; Chen, De; Bian, Rongjun; Cheng, Kun; Li, Lianqing; Joseph, Stephen; Zheng, Jinwei; Zhang, Xuhui; Zheng, Jufeng; Crowley, David; Filley, Timothy
Global soil degradation has been increasingly threatened sustainability of world agriculture. Use of biochar from bio-wastes has been proposed as a global option for its great potential in tackling soil degradation and mitigating climate change in agriculture. For last 10 years, there have been greatly increasing interests in application of charred biomass, more recently termed biochar, as a soil amendment for addressing soil constraints for sustainable agriculture. Biochar soil studies could deliver reliable information for appropriate application of biochar to soils where for sustainable agriculture has been challenged. Here we review the literature of 798 publications reporting biochar soil studies by August, 2015 to address potential gaps in understanding of biochar's role in agriculture. We have found some substantial biases and gaps inherent in the current biochar studies. 1) The majority of published studies were from developed regions where the soils are less constrained and were much more frequent in laboratory and glasshouse pot experiments than field studies under realistic agriculture. 2) The published biochar soil studies have used more often small kiln or lab prepared biochar than commercial scale biochars, more often wood and municipal waste derived biochars than crop straw biochars. Overall, the lack of long-term well designed field studies using biochar produced in commercial processes may have limited our current understanding of biochar's potential to enhance global crop production and climate change mitigation. We have also recommended a global alliance between longer-term research experiments and biochar production facilities to foster the uptake of this important technology at a global scale. Keywords: biochar, soil study, literature review, research gap, global perspective, quantitative assessment, sustainable agriculture
Full Text Available Conservation agriculture (CA is an increasingly adopted production system to meet the goals of sustainable crop production intensification in feeding a growing world population whilst conserving natural resources. Mechanization (especially power units, seeders, rippers and sprayers is a key input for CA and smallholder farmers often have difficulties in making the necessary investments. Donors may be able to provide mechanization inputs in the short term, but this is not a sustainable solution as a machinery input supply chain needs to be built up to continue availability after external interventions cease. Local manufacture should be supported, as was the case in Brazil, but this is a slow development process, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. A more immediate solution is to equip and train CA service provision entrepreneurs. With the right equipment, selected for the needs of their local clientele, and the right technical and business management training, such entrepreneurs can make a livelihood by supplying high quality CA and other mechanization services on a fully costed basis. Elements of the required training, based on extensive field experience, are provided. To catalyse the growth of CA providers’ business, the market can be stimulated for an initial period by issuing e-vouchers for services and inputs.
De La Cueva Bueno, Patricia; Gillerman, Leonid; Gehr, Ronald; Oron, Gideon
Nanotechnology applications can be used for filtering low quality waters, allowing under given conditions, the removal of salts and other micropollutants from these waters. A long-term field experiment, implementing nanotechnology in the form of UltraFiltration (UF) and Reverse Osmosis (RO) for salt removal from treated wastewater, was conducted with secondary effluents, aiming to prove the sustainability of agricultural production using irrigation with treated wastewater. Six outdoor field treatments, each under four replications, were conducted for examining the salt accumulation effects on the soil and the crops. The field experiments proved that crop development is correlated with the water quality as achieved from the wastewater filtration capability of the hybrid nanotechnology system. The key goal was to maintain sustainable food production, despite the low quality of the waters. Of the six treatment methods tested, irrigation with RO-treated effluent produced the best results in terms of its effect on soil salinity and crop yield. Nevertheless, it must be kept in mind that this process is not only costly, but it also removes all organic matter content from the irrigation water, requiring the addition of fertilizers to the effluent. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Full Text Available In this paper the utility of the treated municipal wastewaters in agriculture, analyzing the chemical, physical and microbiological characteristics and their pollution indicators evaluation are being illustrated. Some methods employed for treating wastewaters are examined, as well as instructions and rules actually in force in different countries of the world, for evaluating the legislative hygienic and sanitary and agronomic problems connected with the treated wastewaters use, are being collected and compared. Successively, in order to provide useful indications for the use of treated municipal wastewaters, results of long-term field researches, carried out in Puglia, regarding two types of waters (treated municipal wastewater and conventional water and two irrigation methods (drip and capillary sub-irrigation on vegetable crops grown in succession, are being reported. For each crop cycle, chemical physical and microbiological analyses have been performed on irrigation water, soil and crop samples. The results evidenced that although irrigating with waters having high colimetric values, higher than those indicated by law and with two different irrigation methods, never soil and marketable yield pollutions have been observed. Moreover, the probability to take infection and/or disease for ingestion of fruits coming from crops irrigated with treated wastewaters, calculated by Beta-Poisson method, resulted negligible and equal to 1 person for 100 millions of exposed people. Concentrations of heavy metals in soil and crops were lesser than those admissible by law. The free chlorine, coming from disinfection, found in the wastewaters used for watering, in some cases caused toxicity effects, which determined significant yield decreases. Therefore, municipal wastewaters, if well treated, can be used for irrigation representing a valid alternative to the conventional ones.
Dozier, André Q.; Arabi, Mazdak; Wostoupal, Benjamin C.; Goemans, Christopher G.; Zhang, Yao; Paustian, Keith
In rapidly urbanizing semi-arid regions, increasing amounts of historically irrigated cropland lies permanently fallowed due to water court policies as agricultural water rights are voluntarily being sold to growing cities. This study develops an integrative framework for assessing the effects of population growth and land use change on agricultural production and evaluating viability of alternative management strategies, including alternative agricultural transfer methods, regional water ownership restrictions, and urban conservation. A partial equilibrium model of a spatially-diverse regional water rights market is built in application of the framework to an exemplary basin. The model represents agricultural producers as profit-maximizing suppliers and municipalities as cost-minimizing consumers of water rights. Results indicate that selling an agricultural water right today is worth up to two times more than 40 years of continued production. All alternative policies that sustain agricultural cropland and crop production decrease total agricultural profitability by diminishing water rights sales revenue, but in doing so, they also decrease municipal water acquisition costs. Defining good indicators and incorporating adequate spatial and temporal detail are critical to properly analyzing policy impacts. To best improve agricultural profit from production and sale of crops, short-term solutions include alternative agricultural transfer methods while long-term solutions incorporate urban conservation.
Using mainly, the secondary data sourced from the reports of these institutions, the CBN, journals, interviews and presentations of various stakeholders, the study concluded that though important as a factor of production, finance per se, cannot work in isolation of other factors to successfully achieve the much expected result in agricultural sector. These identified factors include among others, policy inconsistency and somersaults, absence of commodities marketing and pricing institutions, lack of effective and adequate storage, inadequate insurance coverage and more importantly, corruption.
This paper is based on a study (Wambura et al., 2016) which assessed extension and advisory service delivery for maize production in Morogoro and Dodoma Regions of Tanzania using Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS) Approach. Maize productivity in Tanzania is low in spite of its importance to the country's food ...
delivery for maize production in Morogoro and Dodoma Regions of Tanzania using Agricultural. Innovation Systems (AIS) Approach. Maize productivity in Tanzania is low in spite of its importance to the country's food security and economic well-being of farmers. New approaches to extension and advisory service delivery ...
Momot, M. V.; Proskokov, A. V.; Natalchenko, A. S.; Biktimirov, A. S.
The present article discusses automatic positioning systems of agricultural robots used in field works. The existing solutions in this area have been analyzed. The article proposes an original solution, which is easy to implement and is characterized by high- accuracy positioning.
Wechsung, F.; Möhring, J.; Otto, I. M.; Wang, X.; Guanting Project Team
The Yongding River System is an important water source for the northeastern Chinese provinces Shanxi, Hebei, Beijing, and Tianjin. The Guanting Reservoir within this river system is one of the major water sources for Beijing, which is about 70 km away. Original planning assumed a discharge of 44 m3/s for the reservoir, but the current mean discharge rate is only about 5 m3/s; there is often hardly any discharge at all. Water scarcity is a major threat for the socio-economic development of the area. The situation is additionally aggravated by climate change impacts. Typical upstream-downstream conflicts with respect to water quantity and quality requests are mixed up with conflicts between different sectors, mainly mining, industry, and agriculture. These conflicts can be observed on different administrative levels, for example between the provinces, down to households. The German-Chinese research project "Sustainable water and agricultural land use in the Guanting Watershed under limited water resources" investigates problems and solutions related to water scarcity in the Guanting Catchment. The aim of the project is to create a vulnerability study in order to assess options for (and finally achieve) sustainable water and land use management in the Guanting region. This includes a comprehensive characterization of the current state by gap analysis and identification of pressures and impacts. The presentation gives an overview of recent project results regarding regionalization of global change scenarios and specification for water supply, evaluation of surface water quantity balances (supply-demand), evaluation of the surface water quality balances (emissions-impact thresholds), and exploration of integrative measurement planning. The first results show that climate in the area is becoming warmer and drier which leads to even more dramatically shrinking water resources. Water supply is expected to be reduced between one and two thirds. Water demand might be
Baker, Syed; Volova, Tatiana; Prudnikova, Svetlana V; Satish, S; Prasad M N, Nagendra
Increment of technical knowledge has remarkably uplifted logical thinking among scientific communities to shape the theoretical concepts into near product-oriented research. The concept of nanotechnology has overwhelmed almost all forms of lives and has traded its applications in myriad fields. Despite rapid expansion of nanotechnology, sustainable competitions still do exist in the field of agriculture. In current scenario, agriculture is a manifestation demand to provide adequate nutrition for relentless growing global population. It is estimated that nearly one-third of the global crop production is destroyed annually. The loss owes to various stresses such as pest infestation, microbial pathogens, weeds, natural calamities, lack of soil fertility and much more. In order to overcome these limitations, various technological strategies are implemented but a majority of these have their own repercussions. Hence there is a scrawling progress on the evaluation of nanoparticles into agriculture sector which can reform the modern agricultural system. Applications of these nanomaterials can add tremendous value in the current scenario of a global food scarcity. Nanotechnology can address the adverse effects posed by the abundant use of chemical agrochemicals which are reported to cause biomagnification in an ecosystem. Based on these facts and consideration, present review envisages on nanoparticles as nanoherbicides, nanopesticides, onsite detection agro-pathogens and nanoparticles in post harvest management. The review also elucidates on the importance of nanoparticles in soil fertility, irrigation management and its influence on improving crop yield. With scanty reports available on nanotechnology in agriculture system, present review attributes toward developing nanoagroparticles as the future prospect which can give new facelift for existing agriculture system. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Rudel, Thomas K.; Kwon, Oh-Jung; Paul, B.K.
As calls for bolstering ecosystem services from croplands have grown more insistent during the past two decades, the search for ways to foster these agriculture-sustaining services has become more urgent. In this context we examine by means of a meta-analysis the argument, proposed by Robert McC.
Kerkhof, van de M.; Groot, A.M.E.; Borgstein, M.H.; Bos-Gorter, L.
Environmental pollution, animal diseases, and food scandals have marked the agricultural sector in the Netherlands and elsewhere in the 1990s. The sector was high on the political and societal agenda and plans were developed to redesign the sector into a more sustainable direction. Generally,
Weber, Eldon C.; And Others
This instructional packet introduces students to soil biology, ecology, and specific farming practices that promote sustainable agriculture. It helps students to discover the role of earthworms in improving the environment of all other soil-inhabiting organisms and in making the soil more fertile. The activities (classroom as well as outdoor)…
Özerol, Gül; Bressers, Johannes T.A.
Irrigated agriculture plays a significant role in global food security and poverty reduction. At the same time its negative impacts on water and land resources threaten environmental sustainability. With the objective of improving the understanding on the complexity of governing water resources for
Vaninee, Hassan Sadough; Veisi, Hadi; Gorbani, Shiva; Falsafi, Peyman; Liaghati, Houman
This study analyzes heterogeneous research with a focus on the knowledge, attitude, and behavior of farmers and the components of sustainable agriculture literacy through an interdisciplinary, systematic literature review for the time frame from 1996 to 2013. The major research databases were searched and 170 papers were identified. Paper…
Carolan, Michael S.
This paper examines the epistemic barriers to sustainable agriculture, which are those aspects of food production that are not readily revealed by direct perception: such as decreases in rates of soil and nutrient loss, increases in levels of beneficial soil micro-organisms, and reductions in the amount of chemicals leaching into the water table.…
Lauwere, de C.C.
In today’s Dutch agriculture emphasis is put on entrepreneurship, social responsibility and sustainability. But do these fit together? In economic theories entrepreneurs are seen as movers of the markets, seekers of profit opportunities and innovators. Not all farmers however meet these conditions
Qadir, M; Oster, J D
Irrigation has long played a key role in feeding the expanding world population and is expected to play a still greater role in the future. As supplies of good-quality irrigation water are expected to decrease in several regions due to increased municipal-industrial-agricultural competition, available freshwater supplies need to be used more efficiently. In addition, reliance on the use and reuse of saline and/or sodic drainage waters, generated by irrigated agriculture, seems inevitable for irrigation. The same applies to salt-affected soils, which occupy more than 20% of the irrigated lands, and warrant attention for efficient, inexpensive and environmentally acceptable management. Technologically and from a management perspective, a couple of strategies have shown the potential to improve crop production under irrigated agriculture while minimizing the adverse environmental impacts. The first strategy, vegetative bioremediation--a plant-assisted reclamation approach--relies on growing appropriate plant species that can tolerate ambient soil salinity and sodicity levels during reclamation of salt-affected soils. A variety of plant species of agricultural significance have been found to be effective in sustainable reclamation of calcareous and moderately sodic and saline-sodic soils. The second strategy fosters dedicating soils to crop production systems where saline and/or sodic waters predominate and their disposal options are limited. Production systems based on salt-tolerant plant species using drainage waters may be sustainable with the potential of transforming such waters from an environmental burden into an economic asset. Such a strategy would encourage the disposal of drainage waters within the irrigated regions where they are generated rather than exporting these waters to other regions via discharge into main irrigation canals, local streams, or rivers. Being economically and environmentally sustainable, these strategies could be the key to future
The food security issue was addressed by the development of "modern agriculture" in the last century. But food safety issues and environment degradation were the consequences suffered as a result. Climate change has been recognized as the result of release of stored energy in fossil fuel into the atmosphere. Homogeneous crop varieties, machinery, pesticides and fertilizers are the foundation of uniform commodities in modern agriculture. Fossil fuels are used to manufacture fertilizers and pesticides as well as the energy source for agricultural machinery, thus characterizes modern agriculture. Bio-fuel production and the possibility of the agriculture system as a form of energy input are discussed.
Mirza B. Baig
Full Text Available Pakistan is an agricultural country spreading over an area of about 79. 6 million hectares (Mha with an arid and semi arid climate. Of 79. 6 Mha, about 23 Mha is suitable for crop production and nearly 25 percent of the total cultivated area is designated for rainfed agriculture. Unfortunately, rain-fed agriculture is constrained with multifarious problems such as moisture stress, soil erosion and crusting, nutrient deficiency, depletion and poor nutrient use efficiency, and weed infestation limiting the yield potential of these lands. In addition, deforestation and poor crop husbandry techniques are commonly noticed features. To meet the food requirements, farmers bring all the available pieces of lands under plough including steep slopes. Farming on steep slopes if not managed on scientific lines, results in severe erosion. The problems faced by the farmers are due to the unsustainable practices they adopt to practice dryland agriculture, limiting the productive potential of these important ecosystems. However, their potential can be improved by adopting suitable rainwater harvesting techniques; employing scientific soil and water conservation methods and using sustainable agricultural practices. This paper highlights some important issues associated with the rainfed agriculture of Pakistan. Working strategies for realizing optimum and sustainable yields have been outlined while conserving both land and water resources.
Full Text Available Important green house gases (GHG attributed to animal agriculture are methane (CH4 and nitrous oxide (N2O, though carbon dioxide (CO2 contributes almost half of total greenhouse effect. Rumen CH4 production in an enteric fermentation can be accounted as the biggest anthropogenic source. Some of prebiotics and probiotics have been innovated to mitigate rumen CH4 emission. The possible use of agricultural biomass consisted of non-edible parts of crop plants such as cellulose and hemi cellulose and animal wastes was proposed as a renewable energy and nitrogen sources. The ammonia stripping from digested slurry of animal manure in biogas plant applied three options of nitrogen recycling to mitigate nitrous oxide emission. In the first option of the ammonia stripping, the effect of ammonolysis on feed value of cellulose biomass was evaluated on digestibility, energy metabolism and protein utilization. Saccharification of the NH3 treated cellulose biomass was confirmed in strictly anaerobic incubation with rumen cellulolytic bacteria, Ruminoccous flavefaciens, to produce bio-ethanol as the second option of ammonia stripping. In an attempt of NH3 fuel cell, the reformed hydrogen from the NH3 stripped from 20 liter of digested slurry in thermophilic biogas plant could generate 0.12 W electricity with proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEM as the third option.
Johnson, Bjørn; Lehmann, Martin
Cities often constitute relevant environments for interactive learning and innovation potentially capable of tackling sustainability problems. In this paper we ask if the concept of systems of innovation can increase our understanding of city dynamics and help promoting the sustainable development...... of cities. Through a combination of the innovation system approach and the perspective of creative cities, we argue that a slightly modified concept – sustainable city systems of innovation – may be helpful in this context. To underline this, we discuss certain ‘city-traits’ of sustainability and conclude...
Full Text Available As the climate changes, the effects of agriculture on the environment may change. In the future, an increasing frequency of climate extremes, such as droughts, heat waves, and excess moisture, is expected. Past research on the interaction between environment and resources has focused on climate change effects on various sectors, including agricultural production (especially crop production, but research on the effects of climate change using agri-environmental indicators (AEI of environmental sustainability of agriculture is limited. The aim of this paper was to begin to address this knowledge gap by exploring the effects of future drought and excess moisture on environmental sustainability of agriculture. Methods included the use of a conceptual framework, literature reviews, and an examination of the climate sensitivities of the AEI models. The AEIs assessed were those for the themes of soil and water quality, and farmland management as developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Additional indicators included one for desertification and another for water supply and demand. The study area was the agricultural region of the Canadian Prairie Provinces. We found that the performance of several indicators would likely decrease in a warming climate with more extremes. These indicators with declining performances included risks for soil erosion, soil salinization, desertification, water quality and quantity, and soil contamination. Preliminary trends of other indicators such as farmland management were not clear. AEIs are important tools for measuring climate impacts on the environmental sustainability of agriculture. They also indicate the success of adaptation measures and suggest areas of operational and policy development. Therefore, continued reporting and enhancement of these indicators is recommended.
Wiseman, Samuel R
In the wake of growing public concerns over salmonella outbreaks and other highly publicized food safety issues, Congress passed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act in 2011, which placed more stringent standards on food growing and packaging operations. In negotiations preceding the Act's passage, farmers of local, sustainable food argued that these rules would unduly burden local agricultural operations or, at the extreme, drive them out of business by creating overly burdensome rules. These objections culminated in the addition of the Tester-Hagan Amendment to the Food Safety Modernization Act, which created certain exemptions for small farms. Proposed Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules to implement the Act threatened to weaken this victory for small farm groups, however, prompting a loud response from small farmers and local food proponents. The FDA's second set of proposed rules, issued in September 2014 in response to these and other complaints, were, perhaps surprisingly, responsive to small farmers' concerns. Using comments submitted to the FDA, this article explores the responses of the agriculture industry and public health organizations, as well as small farm groups, consumers of local food, and sustainable agriculture interests (which, for simplicity, I alternately describe as comprising the "sustainable agriculture" or "small farm" movement), to three aspects of the FDA's proposed rules--involving manure application, on-farm packing activities, and exemptions for very small farms--to assess the strength of the sustainable agriculture movement. The rules involving manure application and on-farm packing, it turns out, reveal little about the independent political strength of the local food movement, as large industry groups also objected to these provisions. But for the third issue discussed here--exemptions for very small farms--the interests of sustainable agriculture groups were directly opposed to both industry and public health organizations
Milder, Jeffrey C; Arbuthnot, Margaret; Blackman, Allen; Brooks, Sharon E; Giovannucci, Daniele; Gross, Lee; Kennedy, Elizabeth T; Komives, Kristin; Lambin, Eric F; Lee, Audrey; Meyer, Daniel; Newton, Peter; Phalan, Ben; Schroth, Götz; Semroc, Bambi; Van Rikxoort, Henk; Zrust, Michal
Sustainability standards and certification serve to differentiate and provide market recognition to goods produced in accordance with social and environmental good practices, typically including practices to protect biodiversity. Such standards have seen rapid growth, including in tropical agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, and tea. Given the role of sustainability standards in influencing land use in hotspots of biodiversity, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, much could be gained from efforts to evaluate and increase the conservation payoff of these schemes. To this end, we devised a systematic approach for monitoring and evaluating the conservation impacts of agricultural sustainability standards and for using the resulting evidence to improve the effectiveness of such standards over time. The approach is oriented around a set of hypotheses and corresponding research questions about how sustainability standards are predicted to deliver conservation benefits. These questions are addressed through data from multiple sources, including basic common information from certification audits; field monitoring of environmental outcomes at a sample of certified sites; and rigorous impact assessment research based on experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Integration of these sources can generate time-series data that are comparable across sites and regions and provide detailed portraits of the effects of sustainability standards. To implement this approach, we propose new collaborations between the conservation research community and the sustainability standards community to develop common indicators and monitoring protocols, foster data sharing and synthesis, and link research and practice more effectively. As the role of sustainability standards in tropical land-use governance continues to evolve, robust evidence on the factors contributing to effectiveness can help to ensure that such standards are designed and
Full Text Available The permaculture includes landscape shaping, terrace formation, establishment of raised planes and hilly beds. Sepp Holzer’s permaculture has been practices since 1962, having its followers in Columbia, Thailand, Brazil, the USA and Scotland, etc. Important specifics of the Fukuoka method consists of the requirement that the agricultural farm is close to nature, without any attempts to conquer or improve it, whence the method’s name “natural”, i.e. real or natural. In his book entitled “The One-Straw Revolution” the author examines the issues of natural agriculture. The Biodynamic French Intensive method of vegetable gardening combines two gardening traditions: biodynamics, created in the 1920s by Rudolph Steiner, and French intensive gardening, a method practiced by 19th century farmers on the outskirts of Paris. British horticulturist Alan Chadwick bought these methods to the United States in the 1960s and coined the term biointensive. This style of organic gardening focuses on sustainable, high productivity using minimal space.
Sandri, Orana Jade
This paper presents a framework for understanding the role that systems theory might play in education for sustainability (EfS). It offers a sketch and critique of Land and Meyer's notion of a "threshold concept", to argue that seeing systems as a threshold concept for sustainability is useful for understanding the processes of…
This volume describes the contributions made by women scientists to the field of agricultural biotechnology, the most quickly adopted agricultural practice ever adopted. It features the perspectives of women educators, researchers and key stakeholders towards the development, implementation and acceptance of this modern technology. It describes the multiplying contemporary challenges in the field, how women are overcoming technological barriers, and their thoughts on what the future may hold. As sustainable agricultural practices increasingly represent a key option in the drive towards building a greener global community, the scientific, technological and implementation issues covered in this book are vital information for anyone working in environmental engineering. Provides a broad analysis of the science of agriculture, focusing on the contributions of women to the field, from basic research to applied technology Offers insights into hot topics in the field across the life cycle, from genetic engineering t...
Full Text Available Ending hunger, achieving food security and promoting sustainable development are at the top of the list of United Nations sustainable global development priorities after 2015. In addition to many positive effects, efforts of mankind regarding the reduction of rural poverty realized through the Green Revolution have had many negative effects, primarily related to natural resources. Irreversible devastation of land, air and water quality deterioration and jeopardizing biodiversity have been recognized as key elements of unsustainability of existing agricultural development concept. Consequently, there is a need for the adoption of a new concept of agricultural development, which will lie between intensive conventional and organic farming. The concept which has already been applied in some regions of the world and whose basic goal is to find a way to increase production with a negligible negative impact on the environment is sustainable agricultural intensification. The aim of this paper is to look at both positive and negative aspects of biotechnology development so far and point out the place and role the sustainable intensification concept should have in relation to conservation of natural resources and achievement of food security.
Full Text Available Land Fund in Ukraine is experiencing excessive human impact, which is reflected in its performance exceeding the allowable agricultural development and land structure imbalance. The environmental condition of land resources close to critical. Among the largest land area occupied by agricultural land (71% of which - 76% is arable land. Violation environmentally acceptable ratio of arable land, natural grasslands and forests negatively affected the sustainability of agricultural landscapes. Throughout the widespread land degradation processes, among which the most ambitious is the erosion (about 57.5% of the territory, pollution (20% of the territory, flooding (about 12% of the territory. Sustainable (balanced land is one of the key factors of sustainable nature of territorial entities and may be formed of a priority, taking into account environmental factors. In ecological optimization based on value criteria ekolohostabilizuyuchyh and anthropogenic pressures lands should necessarily provide for withdrawal of intensive land use, which in its modal properties can not ensure sustainability of land use. However, today in Ukraine within the territories of communities no project development to optimize land use on the basis of sustainable development. Accordingly, the purpose of the article was the study of certain aspects of Land Management sustainable development of agricultural land within the territories of local communities. The current structure of the land fund of Ukraine was actually formed in the Soviet period, under the influence of policies of extensive agricultural development. Violation environmentally acceptable ratio of arable land, natural grasslands and forests negatively affected the stability and condition of land, which is confirmed by relevant research. In such circumstances, balancing the land proposed to carry out in two stages - the ecological and economic. In ecological optimization criteria based on land value necessarily
Taher Al-ashwal, Mohammed; Abdullah, Redzuan; Zakaria, Rozana
The traditional formwork system is one of the commonly used systems in concrete construction. It is considered as one of the least observed activities in term of sustainability performance. In this paper, the sustainability performance of the traditional formwork has been assessed by using a multi-criteria assessment tool to facilitate the decision on the sustainability performance measurement. A quantitative five Likert scale survey study using judgemental sampling is employed in this study. A sample of 93 of engineering construction experts, with different fields including contractors, developers, and consultants in the Malaysian context has made the body of the collected primary data. The results show variety in the distribution of the respondents’ working experience. The sustainability performance is considered moderately sustainable by the experts with only given 40.24 % of the overall total score for the three sustainable categories namely environmental, social and economic. Despite the finding that shows that the economic pillar was rated as the most sustainable aspect in comparison to the environmental and social pillars the traditional formwork system sustainability still needs enhancement. Further incorporation of the social and environmental pillars into the concrete construction the sustainability performance of traditional formwork system could be improved.
Bretagnolle, Vincent; Berthet, Elsa; Gross, Nicolas; Gauffre, Bertrand; Plumejeaud, Christine; Houte, Sylvie; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Monceau, Karine; Allier, Fabrice; Monestiez, Pascal; Gaba, Sabrina
Agriculture is currently facing unprecedented challenges: ensuring food, fiber and energy production in the face of global change, maintaining the economic performance of farmers and preserving natural resources such as biodiversity and associated key ecosystem services for sustainable agriculture. Addressing these challenges requires innovative landscape scale farming systems that account for changing economic and environmental targets. These novel agricultural systems need to be recognized, accepted and promoted by all stakeholders, including local residents, and supported by public policies. Agroecosystems should be considered as socio-ecological systems and alternative farming systems should be based on ecological principles while taking societal needs into account. This requires an in-depth knowledge of the multiple interactions between sociological and ecological dynamics. Long Term Socio-Ecological Research platforms (LTSER) are ideal for acquiring this knowledge as they (i) are not constrained by traditional disciplinary boundaries, (ii) operate at a large spatial scale involving all stakeholders, and (iii) use systemic approaches to investigate biodiversity and ecosystem services. This study presents the socio-ecological research strategy from the LTSER "Zone Atelier Plaine & Val de Sèvre" (ZA PVS), a large study area where data has been sampled since 1994. Its global aim is to identify effective solutions for agricultural development and the conservation of biodiversity in farmlands. Three main objectives are targeted by the ZAPVS. The first objective is intensive monitoring of landscape features, the main taxa present and agricultural practices. The second objective is the experimental investigation, in real fields with local farmers, of important ecosystem functions and services, in relation to pesticide use, crop production and farming socio-economic value. The third aim is to involve stakeholders through participatory research, citizen science and
Full Text Available The non-agricultural economy (small and medium-sized enterprises in industry, services, rural tourism has a low share in Romania's rural area. To start a business in the countryside can be both an advantage and a risk. The investments in the non-agricultural and food economy, while contributing to gross value added increase through the processing of agricultural and non-agricultural raw products from local resources, have another great advantage, by creating new jobs and by using and maintaining the local (rural labour, revitalization of rural localities, mainly those in the less-favoured and remote rural areas. The paper presents aspects of the management of small and medium enterprises in agriculture and services, in order to create a concrete analysis framework for sustainable development in rural areas. The socioeconomic analysis based on current data and future forecasts is the basis in drawing conclusions on the possibilities of encouraging a sustainable entrepreneurship in the less-developed regions and also for the economic revitalization.
Kiliszek, A.; Vaicunas, R.; Zook, K.; Popkin, J.; Inamdar, S. P.; Duke, J.; Awokuse, T.; Sims, T.; Hansen, D.; Wani, S. P.
The goal of sustainable agricultural and watershed management is to enhance agricultural productivity while protecting and preserving our environment and natural resources. The vast majority of information on sustainable watershed management practices is primarily derived from studies in developed nations with very few inputs from developing nations. Through a USDA-funded project, the University of Delaware (UD) initiated a collaboration with the International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) located in Hyderabad, India to study sustainable agricultural management practices in developing countries and their impacts on the environment, crop productivity, and socioeconomic conditions of the watershed community. As a part of this project, ICRISAT provided us with a vast amount of data on sustainable agricultural practices and their impacts on runoff, soil and water quality, crop yields, nutrient management and socioeconomic conditions. Conservation practices that were implemented included check dams, groundwater recharge wells, intercropping, nutrient management, integrated pest management and a suite of other practices. Using this information, students and faculty at UD developed teaching modules that were used for education and enrichment of existing UD courses and are also being used for the development of a stand-alone online course. The students and faculty visited India in July 2010 to get a first-hand experience of the conditions in the agricultural watersheds and the impacts of sustainable management practices. The project was a tremendous learning experience for US students and faculty and highlighted the challenges people face in developing countries and how that affects every aspect of their lives. Such challenges include environmental, agricultural, technological, economic, and transportation. Although we experience many of the same challenges, developing countries do not have the technology or economic infrastructure in place to
Gaidau, Carmen; Niculescu, Mihaela; Stepan, Emil; Epure, Doru-Gabriel; Gidea, Mihai
The world's population, areas intended for the production of bio-mass and bio-fuels and the food demand of mankind are on a continuous ascending trend. In this context, an increased efficiency in obtaining large and steady productions, in compliance with the requirements of sustainable development of the agricultural eco-system, is a priority. To be effective, the seed treatment will fulfill the following requirements: shall disinfect and protect the seeds against the pests and pathogen agents found in the soil, shall ensure the system protection, shall not pollute the soil, water and environment, shall have no remnant effect onto the environment and onto the crops and shall be bio-degradable, easy to transport and to use. This paper aims at presenting new collagen based materials for cereal seed treatment, which generates an increase of the quality and protection indicators for treated seeds. Creation of a new and advanced technology for treatment of cereal seeds, by using pesticide-collagen hydrolysate mixes has the objectives of increasing seed quality indexes; reducing pesticide consumption, which will in turn decrease environmental pollution and the cost of treatment for cereal seeds; achieving a better management of resources; reducing production expenses while preserving the environment. The technologies developed for protein raw material processing and characteristics of collagen hydrolysates with bioactive properties are presented. The future route for ecological treatment of seeds is the use of microencapsulated plant extracts (thyme and cinnamon essential oils) with insecticidal and antifungal properties in a shell made using collagen hydrolysate.
Kollah, Bharati; Patra, Ashok Kumar; Mohanty, Santosh Ranjan
This review addresses the perspectives of Azolla as a multifaceted aquatic resource to ensure ecosystem sustainability. Nitrogen fixing potential of cyanobacterial symbiont varies between 30 and 60 kg N ha(-1) which designates Azolla as an important biological N source for agriculture and animal industry. Azolla exhibits high bioremediation potential for Cd, Cr, Cu, and Zn. Azolla mitigates greenhouse gas emission from agriculture. In flooded rice ecosystem, Azolla dual cropping decreased CH4 emission by 40 % than did urea alone and also stimulated CH4 oxidation. This review highlighted integrated approach using Azolla that offers enormous public health, environmental, and cost benefits.
Full Text Available We begin by examining the multidimensional nature of sustainability, a concept we generally understand in terms of three overarching dimensions (environmental, social and economic, and propose that the concept of social sustainability be translated in terms of those aspects that we believe connote good working conditions. Stepping beyond a concept of sustainability that is dependent on the imposition of limits, we take as our starting point the concept of decent work adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO and argue that it is possible to conceive of, and even design, a sustainable job within a sustainable economy and society by thinking in terms of quality of working life. Subsequently, having introduced some of the changes we are witnessing in the world of work, and in the agricultural sector in particular, we provide a theoretical and methodological description of a model framework we propose for analysing quality of working life. In the concluding part of the essay, we include some of the results of a research project that investigated quality of working life among employees of farms and agricultural businesses in a province in northern Italy.
Menalled, Fabian D.; Grimberg, Bruna I.; Jones, Clain A.
This study assessed needs, knowledge, and interests of agricultural professionals who were likely to enroll in an online extension course in sustainable agriculture. The objectives of the study were: to (1) describe their demographic characteristics, (2) identify their concerns and interests related to farming, (3) evaluate participants' knowledge…
Zhou, Yi; Shao, Hong-Bo
The mutual-responding relationship between plants and environment is involved in all life processes, which are the essential bases for different types of sustainable development on the globe, particularly the critical basis for agricultural sustainable development. How to regulate the above relationship between plants and the corresponding environment (in particular soil environment) is the key problem to modern sustainable agriculture development under global climate change, which is one of the hot topics in the field of plant biology. Detailed dissection of this responding relationship is also important for conducting global eco-environmental restoration and construction. Although powerful methodology and dataset related to genomics, post-genomics, and metabolomics have provided some insights into this relationship, crop physiological measures are also critical for crop full performance in field. With the increase of tested plants (including model plants) and development of integrated molecular biology, a complete understanding of the relationship at different scales under biotic and abiotic stresses will be accelerated. In the current paper, we will cover some important aspects in combination with the recent work from our laboratory and related advances reflected by international academic journals, as follows: plant physiological function performance under natural condition, plant gene regulatory network system under abiotic stresses, gene regulatory network system and drought resistance improvement, summary of the related work from our laboratory, conclusions, and acknowledgement.
Full Text Available This paper shows that the concepts and methodology contained in the system theory and operations research are suitable for application in the planning and control of the sustainable development. The sustainable development problems can be represented using the state space concepts, such as the transition of system, from the given initial state to the final state. It is shown that sustainable development represents a specific control problem. The peculiarity of the sustainable development is that the target is to keep the system in the prescribed feasible region of the state space. The analysis of planning and control problems of sustainable development has also shown that methods developed in the operations research area, such as multicriteria optimization, dynamic processes simulation, non-conventional treatment of uncertainty etc. are adequate, exact base, suitable for resolution of these problems.
Hoffmann, Birgitte; Nielsen, Susanne Balslev; Elle, Morten
The authors present a planning tool for comparing and assessing the sustainability of different wastewater systems. The core of the planning tool is an assessment method based on both technical and social elements. The point of departure is that no technique is inherently sustainable or ecological...
/traditional, on the one hand, and the scientific/modern, on the other) affect the ways in which farming systems (classified correspondingly in a binary fashion into traditional and modern) adapt to or cope with climate change. The reflections in ...
S. K. Yadav; Subhash Babu; M. K. Yadav; Kalyan Singh; G. S. Yadav; Suresh Pal
In the post independence period, the most important challenge in India has been to produce enough food for the growing population. Hence, high-yielding varieties are being used with infusion of irrigation water, fertilizers, or pesticides. This combination of high-yielding production technology has helped the country develop a food surplus as well as contributing to concerns of soil health, environmental pollution, pesticide toxicity, and sustainability of agricultural production. Scientists ...
Sietz, D.; Ordoñez, J. C.; Kok, M. T. J.; Janssen, P.; Hilderink, H. B. M.; Tittonell, P.; Van Dijk, H.
Food production is key to achieving food security in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa. Since agricultural productivity is limited, however, due to inherent agro-ecological constraints and land degradation, sustainable agricultural intensification has been widely discussed as an opportunity for improving food security and reducing vulnerability. Yet vulnerability determinants are distributed heterogeneously in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa and sustainable intensification cannot be achieved everywhere in cost-effective and efficient ways. To better understand the heterogeneity of farming systems’ vulnerability in order to support decision making at regional scales, we present archetypes, i.e. socio-ecological patterns, of farming systems’ vulnerability in the drylands of sub-Saharan Africa and reveal their nestedness. We quantitatively indicated the most relevant farming systems’ properties at a sub-national resolution. These factors included water availability, agro-ecological potential, erosion sensitivity, population pressure, urbanisation, remoteness, governance, income and undernourishment. Cluster analysis revealed eight broad archetypes of vulnerability across all drylands of sub-Saharan Africa. The broad archetype representing better governance and highest remoteness in extremely dry and resource-constrained regions encompassed the largest area share (19%), mainly indicated in western Africa. Moreover, six nested archetypes were identified within those regions with better agropotential and prevalent agricultural livelihoods. Among these patterns, the nested archetype depicting regions with highest erosion sensitivity, severe undernourishment and lower agropotential represented the largest population (30%) and area (28%) share, mainly found in the Sahel region. The nested archetype indicating medium undernourishment, better governance and lowest erosion sensitivity showed particular potential for sustainable agricultural intensification, mainly in
This paper traces the origins of the concept of permaculture and discusses the sustainability of permaculture itself as a form of alternative agriculture. The principles of permaculture are shown to have many views and perspectives in common with Taoism and with Buddhist ecology and economics. The amalgamation of these Oriental traditions can be translated into the Kaya equation and beyond. It is argued that future permaculture movements should focus on revitalising the communitarian spirit o...
... May 19, 2011 Part III Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Part 789 Agriculture..., 2011 / Proposed Rules#0;#0; ] DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency 7 CFR Part 789 RIN 0560-AH68 Agriculture Priorities and Allocations System AGENCY: Farm Service Agency, USDA. ACTION: Proposed...
Springer, Nathaniel P; Garbach, Kelly; Guillozet, Kathleen; Haden, Van R; Hedao, Prashant; Hollander, Allan D; Huber, Patrick R; Ingersoll, Christina; Langner, Megan; Lipari, Genevieve; Mohammadi, Yaser; Musker, Ruthie; Piatto, Marina; Riggle, Courtney; Schweisguth, Melissa; Sin, Emily; Snider, Sara; Vidic, Nataša; White, Aubrey; Brodt, Sonja; Quinn, James F; Tomich, Thomas P
Understanding how to source agricultural raw materials sustainably is challenging in today's globalized food system given the variety of issues to be considered and the multitude of suggested indicators for representing these issues. Furthermore, stakeholders in the global food system both impact these issues and are themselves vulnerable to these issues, an important duality that is often implied but not explicitly described. The attention given to these issues and conceptual frameworks varies greatly--depending largely on the stakeholder perspective--as does the set of indicators developed to measure them. To better structure these complex relationships and assess any gaps, we collate a comprehensive list of sustainability issues and a database of sustainability indicators to represent them. To assure a breadth of inclusion, the issues are pulled from the following three perspectives: major global sustainability assessments, sustainability communications from global food companies, and conceptual frameworks of sustainable livelihoods from academic publications. These terms are integrated across perspectives using a common vocabulary, classified by their relevance to impacts and vulnerabilities, and categorized into groups by economic, environmental, physical, human, social, and political characteristics. These issues are then associated with over 2,000 sustainability indicators gathered from existing sources. A gap analysis is then performed to determine if particular issues and issue groups are over or underrepresented. This process results in 44 "integrated" issues--24 impact issues and 36 vulnerability issues--that are composed of 318 "component" issues. The gap analysis shows that although every integrated issue is mentioned at least 40% of the time across perspectives, no issue is mentioned more than 70% of the time. A few issues infrequently mentioned across perspectives also have relatively few indicators available to fully represent them. Issues in the
Nathaniel P Springer
Full Text Available Understanding how to source agricultural raw materials sustainably is challenging in today's globalized food system given the variety of issues to be considered and the multitude of suggested indicators for representing these issues. Furthermore, stakeholders in the global food system both impact these issues and are themselves vulnerable to these issues, an important duality that is often implied but not explicitly described. The attention given to these issues and conceptual frameworks varies greatly--depending largely on the stakeholder perspective--as does the set of indicators developed to measure them. To better structure these complex relationships and assess any gaps, we collate a comprehensive list of sustainability issues and a database of sustainability indicators to represent them. To assure a breadth of inclusion, the issues are pulled from the following three perspectives: major global sustainability assessments, sustainability communications from global food companies, and conceptual frameworks of sustainable livelihoods from academic publications. These terms are integrated across perspectives using a common vocabulary, classified by their relevance to impacts and vulnerabilities, and categorized into groups by economic, environmental, physical, human, social, and political characteristics. These issues are then associated with over 2,000 sustainability indicators gathered from existing sources. A gap analysis is then performed to determine if particular issues and issue groups are over or underrepresented. This process results in 44 "integrated" issues--24 impact issues and 36 vulnerability issues--that are composed of 318 "component" issues. The gap analysis shows that although every integrated issue is mentioned at least 40% of the time across perspectives, no issue is mentioned more than 70% of the time. A few issues infrequently mentioned across perspectives also have relatively few indicators available to fully represent
Full Text Available This research concerns the design of an agricultural building with a high degree of sustainability, located in a farm in the south of the Tuscany region, Italy. The building, intended mainly as a wine cellar, offers innovative construction solutions of high deconstructability and has features of low environmental impact, economic competitiveness and constructive simplicity. In particular, the design of the basement cellar involves the use of gabions and stones for the realization of the foundations, the ground retaining walls and all other bearing walls. A different solution is adopted for the external wall which remains entirely above ground. It is also made by gabions, but it is externally covered with a coat of straw bales and is plastered with clay or lime. The roof-bearing structure is made of steel beams and galvanized steel sheets. A layer of fertile soil is arranged on the roof to form a green roof system. This research aims to spread the design criteria of deconstructable buildings, based on the use of natural materials with low environmental and economic impact. Where it is not possible to employ natural materials, reusable or recyclable materials are used.
Global agriculture faces some unique challenges and opportunities for the rest of this century. The need for food, feed and fiber will continues to grow as the world population continue to increase in the future. Agricultural ecosystems are also expected to be the source of a significant portion of renewable energy and fuels around the world, without further compromising the integrity of the natural resources base. How can agriculture continue to provide these services to meet the growing needs of world population while sustaining the integrity of agricultural ecosystems and natural resources, the very foundation it depends on? In the last century, scientific discoveries and technological innovations in agriculture resulted in significant increase in food, feed and fiber production globally, while the total amount of water, energy, fertilizers and other input used to achieve this growth remained the same or even decreased significantly in some parts of the world. Scientific and technical advances in understanding global and regional water and energy cycles, water resources management, soil and water conservation practices, weather prediction, plant breeding and biotechnology, and information and communication technologies contributed to this tremendous achievement. The projected increase in global population, urbanization, and changing lifestyles will continue the pressure on both agriculture and other managed and natural ecosystems to provide necessary goods and services for the rest of this century. To meet these challenges, we must obtain the requisite scientific and technical advances in the functioning of Earth's water, energy, carbon and biogeochemical cycles. We also need to apply the knowledge we gain and technologies we develop in assessing Earth's ecosystems' conditions, and their management and stewardship. In agricultural ecosystems, management of soil and water quality and quantity together with development of new varieties of plants based on advances
Sarkar, Atanu; Patil, Shantagouda; Hugar, Lingappa B; vanLoon, Gary
In order to support agribusiness and to attain food security for ever-increasing populations, most countries in the world have embraced modern agricultural technologies. Ecological consequences of the technocentric approaches, and their sustainability and impacts on human health have, however, not received adequate attention particularly in developing countries. India is one country that has undergone a rapid transformation in the field of agriculture by adopting strategies of the Green Revolution. This article provides a comparative analysis of the effects of older and newer paradigms of agricultural practices on ecosystem and human health within the larger context of sustainability. The study was conducted in three closely situated areas where different agricultural practices were followed: (a) the head-end of a modern canal-irrigated area, (b) an adjacent dryland, and (c) an area (the ancient area) that has been provided with irrigation for some 800 years. Data were collected by in-depth interviews of individual farmers, focus-group discussions, participatory observations, and from secondary sources. The dryland, receiving limited rainfall, continues to practice diverse cropping centered to a large extent on traditional coarse cereals and uses only small amounts of chemical inputs. On the other hand, modern agriculture in the head-end emphasizes continuous cropping of rice supported by extensive and indiscriminate use of agrochemicals. Market forces have, to a significant degree, influenced the ancient area to abandon much of its early practices of organic farming and to take up aspects of modern agricultural practice. Rice cultivation in the irrigated parts has changed the local landscape and vegetation and has augmented the mosquito population, which is a potential vector for malaria, Japanese encephalitis and other diseases. Nevertheless, despite these problems, perceptions of adverse environmental effects are lowest in the heavily irrigated area.
Frits K. van Evert
Full Text Available For farmers, the application of Precision Agriculture (PA technology is expected to lead to an increase in profitability. For society, PA is expected to lead to increased sustainability. The objective of this paper is to determine for a number of common PA practices how much they increase profitability and sustainability. For potato production in The Netherlands, we considered variable rate application (VRA of soil herbicide, fungicide for late blight control, sidedress N, and haulm killing herbicide. For olive production in Greece, we considered spatially variable application of P and K fertilizer and lime. For each of the above scenarios, we quantified the value of outputs, the cost of inputs, and the environmental costs. This allowed us to calculate profit as well as social profit, where the latter is defined as revenues minus conventional costs minus the external costs of production. Social profit can be considered an overall measure of sustainability. Our calculations show that PA in potatoes increases profit by 21% (420 € ha−1 and social profit by 26%. In olives, VRA application of P, K, and lime leads to a strong reduction in nutrient use and although this leads to an increase in sustainability, it has only a small effect on profit and on social profit. In conclusion, PA increases sustainability in olives and both profitability and sustainability in potatoes.
Full Text Available This paper focuses on the links between agricultural modernization and sustainable development, looking in particular at the impact of the structural changes over the rural livelihoods. In order to achieve this, there were used the following research methods such as: analysis of the economic indicators, methods of comparative analysis, assessment of the public policies’ impact on the rural development. The agricultural sector in the Republic of Moldova is based on extensive farming and is insufficiently adapted to market economy conditions. There is a growing understanding in the country that the rural economy is not confined to the agricultural sector, but embraces the broad spectrum of needs of all rural people including living standards, economic activities and natural resources. The situation is associated with the major risks related to the structural changes that may affect the countryside and the economy as a whole such as: a migration and uncontrolled urbanization, b lack of professional qualifications and adaptability of the population in the rural areas, c inadequate use of the natural resources. Rural economy, employment issues, natural resource management and also goals and circumstances of the agricultural production have changed considerably. At the same time, academia and civil society are aware that the new paradigm of modernization must begin both with the agricultural technologies and the people. Its novelty is that in the combination of financial, economic and technological policies for agriculture, new components to be introduced, like policies aimed at improving human capital in agriculture and environmental protection. The paper contains conclusions and proposals on modernization of agriculture and diversification of non farm activities in rural areas.
Full Text Available Sustainable intensification (SI is a concept for increasing agricultural production under sustainable conditions to meet the needs of the growing population of the world. To achieve this goal, the intrinsic potential of soils for SI has to be considered. This report aims at identifying indicators for arable soils in Germany, which have the best natural resilience and performance and therefore can be used for SI. Six intrinsic land and soil characteristics (organic C content, clay+silt, pH, CEC, soil depth and slope were selected as indictors for defining the resilience and performance of land. New data from arable sites from LUCAS topsoil survey 2009 were used and attributed to arable land, applying the Arc Geographical Information System (ArcGIS. The results of this investigation reveal that 39% of the actual analyzed arable land can be recommended for SI in Germany. A comparison with the Muencheberg Soil Quality Rating shows that most of this land reflects the highest potential for agricultural yields. Approximately 61% of the analyzed agricultural land is not suitable for intensification, about 1.5% should be reduced in intensity with a possible conversion to avoid environmental harm. The most frequent limitation factor for SI is a too low cation exchange capacity in German soils.
O'Neil, Graham; Orr, James K.; Watson, Steve
A mission-systems architecture, based on a highly modular infrastructure utilizing: open-standards hardware and software interfaces as the enabling technology is essential for affordable and sustainable space exploration programs. This mission-systems architecture requires (a) robust communication between heterogeneous system, (b) high reliability, (c) minimal mission-to-mission reconfiguration, (d) affordable development, system integration, and verification of systems, and (e) minimal sustaining engineering. This paper proposes such an architecture. Lessons learned from the Space Shuttle program and Earthbound complex engineered system are applied to define the model. Technology projections reaching out 5 years are mde to refine model details.
Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to give an overview and analyze the contemporary land tenure relations in Russia in view of their influences on economic viability of agricultural production. The paper investigates progress made toward the development of agricultural land market in economies in transition. The research is made with emphasis on Stavropol Krai, agricultural region in the southern part of Russia. The authors retrospectively address land tenure relations in the region, analyze contemporary tendencies, and discover linkages between land tenure relations and sustainable agricultural development. The later concept is understood here as economic viability of agricultural production. The paper focuses on the potential approaches for resolving specific problem issues in the sphere of sustainable agricultural development through effective land tenure relations. The paper is concluded with the substantiation of methodology of land rent payment, the size of which is made conditional on land productivity and effectiveness of agricultural production.
Hu, Yukun; Moiwo, Juana Paul; Yang, Yonghui; Han, Shumin; Yang, Yanmin
SummaryNorth China Plain (NCP) is one of the most important agricultural production regions in China. A severe water shortage, due to intensive irrigation, exists in the plain. In NCP, crop water-use accounts for 70% of total groundwater use in the floodplains and over 87% in the piedmont regions. Surface water in the plain is limited and restricted for urban water supply. Agricultural production therefore heavily relies on groundwater irrigation; the main driver of groundwater depletion in the region. To address the water shortage issue, a flexible and sustainable water management method is proposed. The method integrates crop-growth and groundwater model, and ensures groundwater recovery via agricultural water-saving. The method is successfully tested for the 4763 km 2 Shijiazhuang Irrigation District in the piedmont region of Mount Taihang. The model results show that 29.2% or 135.7 mm reduction in irrigation could stop groundwater drawdown in the plain. An additional 10% reduction in irrigation pumping (i.e., a total of 39.2% or 182.1 mm) would induce groundwater recovery and restoration to the pre-development hydrologic conditions of 1956 in about 74 years. The farmers' current irrigation practices are inefficient and wasteful of the limited water resources. Under appropriate irrigation schemes therefore, grain yield loss as a result of the 39.2% agricultural water-saving is less than 10%. This minimal agronomic loss is economically acceptable, giving the ecological and environmental benefits of groundwater recovery in the study area. However, successful agricultural water-saving requires not only practical feasibility of models, but also sufficient political commitment, promotion of water-saving incentives and efficient water-saving technologies, and enforcement of sustainable water management policies.
Carmen Beatrice PĂUNA
Full Text Available Knowledge based economy, found in more than one fields, started – considering agriculture – from a transition premise towards sustainable agro-food systems. The conceptual boundaries between the two major paradigms on sustainable development of agriculture, namely the agro-industrial paradigm and the integrated territorial paradigm, is used nowadays for teaching and research purpose, as a comparison basis with an ideal case, mostly because we only have hybrid models which tend to coexist, always improving the food and goods production, also promoting innovative agro-food systems. This paper highlights the idea that the establishment of an institutional and legal framework, will have a catalytic role acting as an engine of economic growth and boosting the development of agricultural systems by mobilizing entrepreneurs in agriculture and related areas. In this regard, we present best practices of economic actors engaged in meta network of agriculture clusters.
Key words: interactive conversion design / vegetable production / small farms / sustainable farming / Colombia / learning processes / facilitation / agricultural research methods
Gómez-Limón, José A; Riesgo, Laura
This paper describes a comparative analysis of alternative methods of constructing composite indicators to measure the sustainability of the agricultural sector. The three methods employed were Principal Component Analysis, the Analytic Hierarchy Process and a Multi-Criteria technique. The comparison focused on the irrigated agriculture of the Duero basin in Spain as a case study, using a dataset of indicators previously calculated for various farm types and policy scenarios. The results enabled us to establish a hierarchy of preferred policy scenarios on the basis of the level of sustainability achieved, and show that the most recent CAP reform is the most sustainable agricultural policy scenario. By analyzing the heterogeneity of different farms types in each scenario, we can also determine the main features of the most sustainable farms in each case. The analysis demonstrates that full-time farmers with small to medium-sized farms and sowing profitable crops are the most sustainable farm types in all the policy scenarios. All of this information is useful for the support of agricultural policy design and its implementation, as we attempt to improve the sustainability of this sector.
This study describes the evolving context and organisational linkages in the agricultural innovation system of Azerbaijan and suggests ways to promote effective organisational ties for the development, distribution and use of new or improved information and knowledge related to agriculture.
Full Text Available Adequate validation of regional areas is imperative for Croatian economy. The aim of this paper is to show that there is a strong interdependence and the potential for achieving synergistic effect between tourism and the agriculture and food industry. It is possible, through systematic marketing research and investment in operationalization of this synergy, along with an adequate evaluation of specificity and characteristics of individual regions, to exploit their strengths and even their flaws as a competitive advantage and achieve qualitatively and quantitatively stronger development of all regions in Croatia. Authors discuss tourism and the agriculture and food industry in light of symbiotic and synergistic factors in global conditions of growing environmental awareness and the prevailing concept of sustainable development as well as the role (green marketing can and should play in the function of regional development and increasing competitiveness of regions. The conclusions are based on the analysis of the key indicators from secondary research, insights from scientific literature and available strategic documents which were confronted with the relevant trends in the global market. The paper shows that the focus on tourism and the agriculture and food industry as the fundamental pillars of development and commitment to sustainable development based on the preservation of the environment, rich natural diversity and heritage has a stronghold in objective resources and opportunities arising from internal strengths and weaknesses, as well as relevant trends in the global market.
Full Text Available Emerging sustainability challenges, such as food security, livelihood development and climate change, require innovative and experimental ways of linking science, policy and practice at all scales. This requires the development of processes that integrate diverse knowledge to generate adaptive development strategies into the future. Social learning is emerging as a promising way to make these linkages. If and how social learning approaches are being applied in practice among smallholder farming families—the bulk of the world’s food producers, requires specific attention. In this paper we use a case study approach to explore social learning among the agricultural poor. Five key evaluative factors: context assessment, inclusive design and management, facilitating learning, mobilizing knowledge and assessing outcomes, are used to analyze nine projects and programs in (or affiliated with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR. We explore three main questions: (1 in what contexts and in what ways are socially differentiated and marginalized groups enrolled in the learning process? (2 what, if any, are the additional benefits to social learning when explicitly using strategies to include socially differentiated groups? and (3 what are the benefits and trade-offs of applying these approaches for development outcomes? The findings suggest that, in the agricultural development context, social learning projects that include socially differentiated groups and create conditions for substantive two-way learning enhance the relevance and legitimacy of knowledge and governance outcomes, increasing the potential for accelerating sustainable development outcomes.
S. K. Yadav
Full Text Available In the post independence period, the most important challenge in India has been to produce enough food for the growing population. Hence, high-yielding varieties are being used with infusion of irrigation water, fertilizers, or pesticides. This combination of high-yielding production technology has helped the country develop a food surplus as well as contributing to concerns of soil health, environmental pollution, pesticide toxicity, and sustainability of agricultural production. Scientists and policy planners are, therefore, reassessing agricultural practices which relied more on biological inputs rather than heavy usage of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Organic farming can provide quality food without adversely affecting the soil’s health and the environment; however, a concern is whether large-scale organic farming will produce enough food for India’s large population. Certified organic products including all varieties of food products including basmati rice, pulses, honey, tea, spices, coffee, oilseeds, fruits, cereals, herbal medicines, and their value-added products are produced in India. Non edible organic products include cotton, garments, cosmetics, functional food products, body care products, and similar products. The production of these organic crops and products is reviewed with regard to sustainable agriculture in northern India.
PSSD - Planning System for Sustainable Development - is a part of the Baltic Sea Region's INTERREG II C program. The current report describes some theories, methods and tools developed under the PSSD project. First, the theoretical foundation of the project is described. Secondly, the role...... of indicators in sustainable development is discussed and a Web-based indicator generator is described. Thirdly, we describe a number of methods and tools, which support planning for sustainable development. Finally, some technical interface tools - especially a Web-based interface to the methods and tools...
The silvopastoral, agricultural system of the montado in Southern Portugal is an example of the self-organization of an agroecological system adapted to the climate and soil conditions of the Mediterranean basin. This system with its consistent production of food, fiber, and ecos...
This study draws upon the definition of water sustainability from the National Water Research Institute as the continual supply of clean water for human uses and for other living beings without compromising the water welfare of future generations. Currently, the greatest consumer of water resources worldwide is irrigation. The move from small-scale, family farms towards corporately owned and market driven, mass scale operations have drastically increased corn production and large-scale factory hog farming in the American Midwest—and the water quality related costs associated with this shift are well-documented. In the heart of the corn belt, the state of Iowa has dealt with issues over the past two decades ranging from flooding of historic proportions, to yield destroying droughts. Most recently, the state's water quality is intensely scrutinized due to nutrient levels higher than almost anywhere else in the world. While the changed agricultural landscape is ultimately responsible for these environmental costs, they can be mitigated if the farmers adopt practices that support water sustainability. However, many Iowa farmers have yet to embrace these necessary practices because of a lack of proper education in this context. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to explore how water sustainability is being conceptualized within the agricultural realm, and ultimately, how the issues are being communicated and understood within various subgroups in Iowa, such as the farmers, the college students, and the general public.
Blanchard, Julia L; Watson, Reg A; Fulton, Elizabeth A; Cottrell, Richard S; Nash, Kirsty L; Bryndum-Buchholz, Andrea; Büchner, Matthias; Carozza, David A; Cheung, William W L; Elliott, Joshua; Davidson, Lindsay N K; Dulvy, Nicholas K; Dunne, John P; Eddy, Tyler D; Galbraith, Eric; Lotze, Heike K; Maury, Olivier; Müller, Christoph; Tittensor, Derek P; Jennings, Simon
Fisheries and aquaculture make a crucial contribution to global food security, nutrition and livelihoods. However, the UN Sustainable Development Goals separate marine and terrestrial food production sectors and ecosystems. To sustainably meet increasing global demands for fish, the interlinkages among goals within and across fisheries, aquaculture and agriculture sectors must be recognized and addressed along with their changing nature. Here, we assess and highlight development challenges for fisheries-dependent countries based on analyses of interactions and trade-offs between goals focusing on food, biodiversity and climate change. We demonstrate that some countries are likely to face double jeopardies in both fisheries and agriculture sectors under climate change. The strategies to mitigate these risks will be context-dependent, and will need to directly address the trade-offs among Sustainable Development Goals, such as halting biodiversity loss and reducing poverty. Countries with low adaptive capacity but increasing demand for food require greater support and capacity building to transition towards reconciling trade-offs. Necessary actions are context-dependent and include effective governance, improved management and conservation, maximizing societal and environmental benefits from trade, increased equitability of distribution and innovation in food production, including continued development of low input and low impact aquaculture.
Full Text Available Starting in 2011 Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA through the Program of Third Country Experts (TCE invited Indonesian scientists to be involved in the development endeavors for African Countries, including Madagascar especially in attempt to increase productivity of rice as main staple food of Malagasy. Initiation of bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Madagascar had been stimulated from JICA-TCE, furthermore for developing Indonesian soybean to Madagascar from 2013 to 2015. Madagascar and many African Countries are grouped into the countries requesting global aid for taming hunger as declared under Millennium Development Goals (MDGs ended 2015 that continued into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2030. Fortunately, there is a similarity of languages in Indonesia and Madagascar East and West Africa as heritage from the ancient voyage before western occupation or even Before Christ (BC era as reflected in the relief at wall of Borobudur a Buddhist temple in Magelang Central Java Indonesia. Based on historical background, there is an opportunity to propose Indonesia- Madagascar Partnership in Agricultural Linkages (IMPARTIAL as a new alliance for attaining sustainable development in developing countries at the southern hemisphere. Implementing agricultural innovation to provide adequate food and renewable energy for daily modern livelihood is a key to attain sustainability.
H. Emami Heidari
Full Text Available Management of agricultural practices plays a vital role in reducing the use of limited water resources in arid and semi-arid regions which could result in their sustainability. In this research, the role of managing agriculture in sustaining flow of Zayandeh-rud was studied by calculation of rice water requirement (actual evapotranspiration in paddy fields of Zarrin-shahr by using method of FAO-56 and comparing the results assuming a shift in cropping pattern from rice to other crops. Rice water requirement was estimated at 1485 mm and the volume of water required for irrigation of paddy fields with area of about 6630 Hectare was estimated at 77 MCM. Volume of irrigated waterwas also evaluated by water balance method, confirmed the reliability of FAO-56 method. The results show that, replacing rice or wheat-rice cropping pattern with some possible crops such as bean, maize, walnut, apple and grape decreases irrigation requirements about 27, 15, 24, 29 and 40 MCM, respectively. Generalizing results for the total paddy fields in Isfahan Province with estimated area of about 20000 Hectare will result in an increase of about 3.4 to 9.1 m3/s in Zayandeh-rud discharge during critical months of June to October, when the river flow highly decreases, causing sustainable flow of the river through the year.
Full Text Available This Special Issue on Diversified Farming Systems is motivated by a desire to understand how agriculture designed according to whole systems, agroecological principles can contribute to creating a more sustainable, socially just, and secure global food system. We first define Diversified Farming Systems (DFS as farming practices and landscapes that intentionally include functional biodiversity at multiple spatial and/or temporal scales in order to maintain ecosystem services that provide critical inputs to agriculture, such as soil fertility, pest and disease control, water use efficiency, and pollination. We explore to what extent DFS overlap or are differentiated from existing concepts such as sustainable, multifunctional, organic or ecoagriculture. DFS are components of social-ecological systems that depend on certain combinations of traditional and contemporary knowledge, cultures, practices, and governance structures. Further, as ecosystem services are generated and regenerated within a DFS, the resulting social benefits in turn support the maintenance of the DFS, enhancing its ability to provision these services sustainably. We explore how social institutions, particularly alternative agri-food networks and agrarian movements, may serve to promote DFS approaches, but note that such networks and movements have other primary goals and are not always explicitly connected to the environmental and agroecological concerns embodied within the DFS concept. We examine global trends in agriculture to investigate to what extent industrialized forms of agriculture are replacing former DFS, assess the current and potential contributions of DFS to food security, food sovereignty and the global food supply, and determine where and under what circumstances DFS are expanding rather than contracting.
Zhang, Xin; Bol, Roland; Rahn, Clive; Xiao, Guangmin; Meng, Fanqiao; Wu, Wenliang
Global population increase will require rapid increase of food production from existing agricultural land by 2050, which will inevitably mean the increase of agricultural productivity. Due to agricultural sustainable intensification since the 1990s, crop production in Huantai County of northern China has risen to 15tha-1yr-1 for the annual wheat-maize rotation system. We examined the temporal dynamics of nitrogen (N) budget, N losses, and N use efficiency (NUE) during the 35years (1980-2014) in Huantai. The results revealed that atmospheric N deposition increased 220% while reactive N losses decreased by 21.5% from 1980s to 2010s. During 1980-2002, annual N partial factor productivity (PFPN), apparent NUE and N recovery efficiency (REN) increased from 20.3 to 40.7kggrainkg-1Nfert, from 36.5% to 71.0%, and from 32.4% to 57.7%, respectively; meanwhile, reactive N losses intensity, land use intensity and N use intensity decreased by 69.8%, 53.4%, 50.0%, respectively, but without further significant changes after 2002. Overall increases in NUE and decreases in N losses were largely due to the introduction of optimized fertilization practice, mechanization and increased incorporation of crop straw in Huantai. Straw incorporation was also significant in soil N stock accrual and fertility improvement. By 2030, northern China may reach the lowest end of PFPN values in developed countries (>45kggrainkg-1Nfert). These agricultural sustainable intensification practices will be critical in maintaining high grain yields and associated decreases in environmental pollution, although water use efficiency in the region still needs to be improved. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Gouda, Sushanto; Kerry, Rout George; Das, Gitishree; Paramithiotis, Spiros; Shin, Han-Seung; Patra, Jayanta Kumar
The progression of life in all forms is not only dependent on agricultural and food security but also on the soil characteristics. The dynamic nature of soil is a direct manifestation of soil microbes, bio-mineralization, and synergistic co-evolution with plants. With the increase in world's population the demand for agriculture yield has increased tremendously and thereby leading to large scale production of chemical fertilizers. Since the use of fertilizers and pesticides in the agricultural fields have caused degradation of soil quality and fertility, thus the expansion of agricultural land with fertile soil is near impossible, hence researchers and scientists have sifted their attention for a safer and productive means of agricultural practices. Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) has been functioning as a co-evolution between plants and microbes showing antagonistic and synergistic interactions with microorganisms and the soil. Microbial revitalization using plant growth promoters had been achieved through direct and indirect approaches like bio-fertilization, invigorating root growth, rhizoremediation, disease resistance etc. Although, there are a wide variety of PGPR and its allies, their role and usages for sustainable agriculture remains controversial and restricted. There is also variability in the performance of PGPR that may be due to various environmental factors that might affect their growth and proliferation in the plants. These gaps and limitations can be addressed through use of modern approaches and techniques such as nano-encapsulation and micro-encapsulation along with exploring multidisciplinary research that combines applications in biotechnology, nanotechnology, agro biotechnology, chemical engineering and material science and bringing together different ecological and functional biological approaches to provide new formulations and opportunities with immense potential. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.
Ingram, Julie; Maye, Damian; Kirwan, James; Curry, Nigel; Kubinakova, Katarina
Purpose: This paper aims to reveal, and contribute to an understanding of, the processes that connect learning and innovation networks in sustainable agriculture to elements of the mainstream agricultural regime. Drawing on the innovations and transition literature, the paper frames the analysis around niche-regime interaction using the notion of…
Evans, Steve; Gregory, Mike; Ryan, Chris
Our industrial system has been responsible for raising the quality of life of peoples around the world. It is becoming increasingly clear however, that the current system is creating unintended and serious consequences for the environment at a global level. Change on a significant scale is required...... urgently. Some businesses are already engaged in reducing their impact through the introduction of new products, processes and business models. Academics concerned with the industrial system have a responsibility to study these emerging models, to interact with them and to synthesise and spread...... the knowledge. Whilst it is important to address the impact of each product of the industrial system and to pursue aggressive reduction of the effects of specific activities, we must also examine the operation of the whole system. Only in this way can we hope to bring the benefits of industrialisation to those...
Full Text Available Agriculture is a minor contributor to local economies in European mountain and fjord areas where tourism is predominant; however, it is essential to maintain the agricultural landscape and other important nonmarket functions of mountain agroecosystems. Policy-makers have aimed to support agriculture in these areas, but farmers' perspectives are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to analyze (1 the main characteristics of livestock farming systems and the recent changes they have undergone, (2 farmers' perceptions of different functions of agriculture, (3 farmers' goals, and (4 the relationships among these elements in order to support more targeted policy-making in fjord and mountain areas in Scandinavian countries. We collected data from 27 farms and conducted univariate and multivariate (principal components and cluster analyses. Most recent changes in farming have been related to improving working conditions and increasing tourist activity. According to the farmers, the main nonmarket functions of agriculture were (1 maintaining cultural heritage and rural development, (2 delivering environmental services, and (3 promoting traditional agriculture. The farmers' primary goals were (1 innovating for better farming, (2 improving the family's quality of life, and (3 achieving economic objectives. We identified 2 clusters of farmers based on divergent perceptions of rural development and the goal of improving the family's quality of life. These results point to the importance of integrated policies that address agricultural, environmental, and rural development together and take into account farmers' diverse perceptions and goals.
Rasmussen, Lotte Holmberg
but a negative trade-balance. With this in mind, it is important that Latvia is able to meet the challenge and use the economic development to develop a sustainable energy-system and a sounder trade-balance. A combination of energy planning, national economy and innovation processes in boiler companies will form......The paper presents some of the problems in the Latvian energy-system, the Latvian economy and how a sustainable restructuring of the energy system with renewable energy, co-generation and the production of energy technology can help solve some of the problems. Latvia has economic growth...
Sabiha, Noor-E; Salim, Ruhul; Rahman, Sanzidur; Rola-Rubzen, Maria Fay
The present study develops a composite environmental impact index (CEII) to evaluate the extent of environmental degradation in agriculture after successfully validating its flexibility, applicability and relevance as a tool. The CEII tool is then applied to empirically measure the extent of environmental impacts of High Yield Variety (HYV) rice cultivation in three districts of north-western Bangladesh for a single crop year (October, 2012-September, 2013). Results reveal that 27 to 69 per cent of the theoretical maximum level of environmental damage is created due to HYV rice cultivation with significant regional variations in the CEII scores, implying that policy interventions are required in environmentally critical areas in order to sustain agriculture in Bangladesh. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Raliya, Ramesh; Saharan, Vinod; Dimkpa, Christian; Biswas, Pratim
The increasing food demand as a result of the rising global population has prompted the large-scale use of fertilizers. As a result of resource constraints and low use efficiency of fertilizers, the cost to the farmer is increasing dramatically. Nanotechnology offers great potential to tailor fertilizer production with the desired chemical composition, improve the nutrient use efficiency that may reduce environmental impact, and boost the plant productivity. Furthermore, controlled release and targeted delivery of nanoscale active ingredients can realize the potential of sustainable and precision agriculture. A review of nanotechnology-based smart and precision agriculture is discussed in this paper. Scientific gaps to be overcome and fundamental questions to be answered for safe and effective development and deployment of nanotechnology are addressed.
Full Text Available Plants have recently been recognized as meta-organisms due to a close symbiotic relationship with their microbiome. Comparable to humans and other eukaryotic hosts, plants also harbor a “second genome” that fulfills important host functions. These advances were driven by both “omics”-technologies guided by next-generation sequencing and microscopic insights. Additionally, these new results influence applied fields such as biocontrol and stress protection in agriculture, and new tools may impact (i the detection of new bio-resources for biocontrol and plant growth promotion, (ii the optimization of fermentation and formulation processes for biologicals, (iii stabilization of the biocontrol effect under field conditions, and (iv risk assessment studies for biotechnological applications. Examples are presented and discussed for the fields mentioned above, and next-generation bio-products were found as a sustainable alternative for agriculture.
Ferrelli, Rita Maria; De Santis, Marta; Egle Gentile, Amalia; Taruscio, Domenica
The paper is addressing aspects of health system sustainability for rare diseases in relation to the current economic crisis and equity concerns. It takes into account the results of the narrative review carried out in the framework of the Joint Action for Rare Diseases (Joint RD-Action) "Promoting Implementation of Recommendations on Policy, Information and Data for Rare Diseases", that identified networks as key factors for health systems sustainability for rare diseases. The legal framework of European Reference Networks and their added value is also presented. Networks play a relevant role for health systems sustainability, since they are based upon, pay special attention to and can intervene on health systems knowledge development, partnership, organizational structure, resources, leadership and governance. Moreover, sustainability of health systems can not be separated from the analysis of the context and the action on it, including fiscal equity. As a result of the financial crisis of 2008, cuts of public health-care budgets jeopardized health equity, since the least wealthy suffered from the greatest health effects. Moreover, austerity policies affected economic growth much more adversely than previously believed. Therefore, reducing public health expenditure not only is going to jeopardise citizens' health, but also to hamper fair and sustainable development.
In agricultural systems, soil health (also referred as soil quality) is critical for sustainable production and ecosystem services. Soil health analyses dependent upon singular parameters fail to account for the host of interactions occurring within the soil ecosystem. Soil health is in flux with m...
de Oliveira, Jhones Luiz; Campos, Estefânia Vangelie Ramos; Bakshi, Mansi; Abhilash, P C; Fraceto, Leonardo Fernandes
This review article discusses the use of nanotechnology in combination with botanical insecticides in order to develop systems for pest control in agriculture. The main types of botanical insecticides are described, together with different carrier systems and their potential uses. The botanical insecticides include those based on active principles isolated from plant extracts, as well as essential oils derived from certain plants. The advantages offered by the systems are highlighted, together with the main technological challenges that must be resolved prior to future implementation of the systems for agricultural pest control. The use of botanical insecticides associated with nanotechnology offers considerable potential for increasing agricultural productivity, while at the same time reducing impacts on the environment and human health.
Foster, Stephen; Garduño, Héctor
Globally, irrigated agriculture is the largest abstractor, and predominant consumer, of groundwater resources, with large groundwater-dependent agro-economies now having widely evolved especially in Asia. Such use is also causing resource depletion and degradation in more arid and drought-prone regions. In addition crop cultivation practices on irrigated land exert a major influence on groundwater recharge. The interrelationship is such that cross-sector action is required to agree more sustainable land and water management policies, and this paper presents an integrated vision of the challenges in this regard. It is recognised that 'institutional arrangements' are critical to the local implementation of management policies, although the focus here is limited to the conceptual understanding needed for formulation of an integrated policy and some practical interventions required to promote more sustainable groundwater irrigation.
Clark, Michael; Tilman, David
Global agricultural feeds over 7 billion people, but is also a leading cause of environmental degradation. Understanding how alternative agricultural production systems, agricultural input efficiency, and food choice drive environmental degradation is necessary for reducing agriculture’s environmental impacts. A meta-analysis of life cycle assessments that includes 742 agricultural systems and over 90 unique foods produced primarily in high-input systems shows that, per unit of food, organic systems require more land, cause more eutrophication, use less energy, but emit similar greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) as conventional systems; that grass-fed beef requires more land and emits similar GHG emissions as grain-feed beef; and that low-input aquaculture and non-trawling fisheries have much lower GHG emissions than trawling fisheries. In addition, our analyses show that increasing agricultural input efficiency (the amount of food produced per input of fertilizer or feed) would have environmental benefits for both crop and livestock systems. Further, for all environmental indicators and nutritional units examined, plant-based foods have the lowest environmental impacts; eggs, dairy, pork, poultry, non-trawling fisheries, and non-recirculating aquaculture have intermediate impacts; and ruminant meat has impacts ∼100 times those of plant-based foods. Our analyses show that dietary shifts towards low-impact foods and increases in agricultural input use efficiency would offer larger environmental benefits than would switches from conventional agricultural systems to alternatives such as organic agriculture or grass-fed beef.
Brammer, Hugh; Ravenscroft, Peter
The problem of arsenic pollution of groundwater used for domestic water supplies is now well recognised in Bangladesh, India and some other countries of South and South-east Asia. However, it has recently become apparent that arsenic-polluted water used for irrigation is adding sufficient arsenic to soils and rice to pose serious threats to sustainable agricultural production in those countries and to the health and livelihoods of affected people. This paper reviews the nature of those threats, taking into account the natural sources of arsenic pollution, areas affected, factors influencing arsenic uptake by soils and plants, toxicity levels and the dietary risk to people consuming arsenic-contaminated rice.
Dani Eduardo Vargas Huanca
Full Text Available Based on the success of some Andean products such as quinoa, potatoes or maca in international food trade and the growing environmental degradation facing developing countries, resulting from intensive exploitation activities; Our research seeks to show the trend that is assumed from the academic / scientific community and public officials in the food sector in Peru, against the need to maintain sustainable various ancestral modes of agricultural production (case quinoa, for it analyze quantitative and qualitative obtained from public institutions and Peruvian universities.
Endo, Ryosuke; Kitaya, Yoshiaki
Sustainable and recycling-based systems are required in space agriculture which takes place in an enclosed environment. Methane fermentation is one of the most major biomass conversion technologies, because (1) it provides a renewable energy source as biogas including methane, suitable for energy production, (2) the nutrient-rich solids left after digestion can be used as compost for agriculture. In this study, the effect of the application of methane fermentation technology into space agriculture on the material and energy cycle was investigated.
Garcia-Barriocanal, Elena; Sicilia, Miguel-Angel; Sanchez-Alonso, Salvador
Sustainable or organic agriculture aims at harmonizing the efficient production of food with the preservation of the environmental conditions for continuing production in a sustained way. As such, it embodies a set of environmental values that are currently taught and learnt worldwide in specific courses or as part of broader programs or…
This ethnography documents how the message of sustainability was interpreted and communicated through a sustainable agricultural (SAG) program at an American higher education institution. The ethnography documents the evolution of the program as the program tackled obstacles and accomplished its goals during the initial phases of the program's…
Ingenbleek, P.T.M.; Meulenberg, M.T.G.
Code-of-conduct organizations (CCOs) for sustainable agriculture, such as Fair Trade and Eurep-Gap, are rapidly changing the face of agribusiness. Yet, there is little understanding of how these organizations contribute to sustainability. This study therefore presents a case study of the strategies
Full Text Available A circular thermodynamics of organisms and sustainable systems is presented based on dynamic closures in nested space-time domains that enable the system to approach the ideal of zero entropy production simultaneously at equilibrium and far from equilibrium conditions.
Lopes, Mateus Schreiner Garcez
The nature of our major global risks calls for sustainable innovations to decouple economic growth from greenhouse gases emission. The development of sustainable technologies has been negatively impacted by several factors including sugar production costs, production scale, economic crises, hydraulic fracking development and the market inability to capture externality costs. However, advances in engineering of biological systems allow bridging the gap between exponential growth of knowledge about biology and the creation of sustainable value chains for a broad range of economic sectors. Additionally, industrial symbiosis of different biobased technologies can increase competitiveness and sustainability, leading to the development of eco-industrial parks. Reliable policies for carbon pricing and revenue reinvestments in disruptive technologies and in the deployment of eco-industrial parks could boost the welfare while addressing our major global risks toward the transition from a fossil to a biobased economy.
Sarah Taylor Lovell
Full Text Available Urban agriculture offers an alternative land use for integrating multiple functions in densely populated areas. While urban agriculture has historically been an important element of cities in many developing countries, recent concerns about economic and food security have resulted in a growing movement to produce food in cities of developed countries including the United States. In these regions, urban agriculture offers a new frontier for land use planners and landscape designers to become involved in the development and transformation of cities to support community farms, allotment gardens, rooftop gardening, edible landscaping, urban forests, and other productive features of the urban environment. Despite the growing interest in urban agriculture, urban planners and landscape designers are often ill-equipped to integrate food-systems thinking into future plans for cities. The challenge (and opportunity is to design urban agriculture spaces to be multifunctional, matching the specific needs and preferences of local residents, while also protecting the environment. This paper provides a review of the literature on urban agriculture as it applies to land use planning in the United States. The background includes a brief historical perspective of urban agriculture around the world, as well as more recent examples in the United States. Land use applications are considered for multiple scales, from efforts that consider an entire city, to those that impact a single building or garden. Barriers and constraints to urban agriculture are discussed, followed by research opportunities and methodological approaches that might be used to address them. This work has implications for urban planners, landscape designers, and extension agents, as opportunities to integrate urban agriculture into the fabric of our cities expand.
There is no question that human must produce additional 70% food to feed the new 2.2 billion of people on the planet by 2050, but the question is where to grow the additional food. The demand for the additional food lies not only in producing the basic resources needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle, but also from a changing diet, especially in rapidly developing countries in the dryland regions around the world. It is forecast that this demand for meat will require an additional 0.2 billion tons per year by 2050, which is almost a doubling of present meat consumption. These new demands create mounting pressures on agriculture and pastoral ecosystems and the reported trajectory of warmer and drier climate in the future increases uncertainties in food security, adding further stresses to the already stressed nations in the Asian dryland belt. Different approaches are being either proposed or practiced in the region but the question is whether or not the current practices are sustainable or optimal in addressing the emerging issues. Given the complexity and interplay among the food, water and energy, what are alternatives to ensure a sustainable trajectory of regional development to meet the new food demand? This presentation reviews existing practices and proposes alternative solutions, by specifically examining the trade-offs between different ecosystem services that drylands in Asian may provide. Preliminary analysis suggested that the current trajectory of meat and milk production is likely not on a sustainable pathway.
The essay presents an overview of the prevailing theoretical literature on innovation and agriculture. It also examines the adequacy of existing innovation to guide policy regarding agricultural productivity. In addition, the essay sketches some directions for fruitful linkage in innovation systems and agricultural productivity.
Wigboldus, Seerp; Klerkx, Laurens; Leeuwis, Cees; Schut, Marc; Muilerman, Sander; Jochemsen, Henk
Agricultural production involves the scaling of agricultural innovations such as disease-resistant and drought-tolerant maize varieties, zero-tillage techniques, permaculture cultivation practices based on perennial crops and automated milking systems. Scaling agricultural innovations should take
International Journal of Tropical Agriculture and Food Systems (IJOTAFS) publishes high-quality peer reviewed articles, in English, in all areas of agriculture and food production and processing including tree production, pesticide science, post harvest biology and technology, seed science, irrigation, agricultural ...
An integrated, semi-automated system is presented for the rapid and efficient testing and production of research-scale quantities of biochar. This biochar, produced from agricultural waste materials, can easily be incorporated in future sustainable livestock farming systems. These farming systems wi...
Levine, Richard S; Hughes, Michael T; Ryan Mather, Casey; Yanarella, Ernest J
The great majority of China's developing towns will be extensions of already existing villages. With the prospect of hundreds of millions of Chinese farmers projected to leave their villages to become industrial workers in new and expanded towns within the next few years, new challenges will be faced. As expansion and modernization progress, this development moves from the traditional village model that operates not far from resource sustainability to increasingly unsustainable patterns of commerce, urban development, and modern life. With such an unprecedented mass migration and transformation, how can Chinese culture survive? What is to become of the existing million plus agricultural villages? How can these massively unsustainable new industrial towns survive? In the European Commission sponsored research program SUCCESS, researchers worked from the scale of the Chinese village to find viable answers to these questions. To address these issues, the Center for Sustainable Cities, one of the SUCCESS teams, studied the metabolism of several small villages. In these studies, system dynamics models of a village's metabolism were created and then modified so that inherently unsustainable means were eliminated from the model (fossil fuels, harmful agricultural chemicals, etc.) and replaced by sustainability-oriented means. Small Chinese farming villages are unlikely to survive in anything like their present form or scale, not least because they are too small to provide the range of life opportunities to which the young generation of educated Chinese aspires. As a response to this realization as well as to the many other threats to the Chinese village and its rural way of life, it was proposed that one viable path into the future would be to enlarge the villages to become full service towns with sufficient diversity of opportunity to be able to attract and keep many of the best and brightest young people who are now migrating to the larger cities. Starting with the
Full Text Available Awareness of wheat farmers’ personal preferences towards environmental issues and weed types is important in pricing bioherbicides for sustainable weed management and could consequently be a fundamental guide to agricultural authorities and policy-makers. In the present study, a survey was carried out by using data collected from 180 wheat farmers of Korasan Razavi province during 2008, together with hedonic pricing method. The role of environmental qualitative factors and weed type on pricing environmental-friendly herbicides on the basis of “willingness to pay” was studied. Results from the estimation of hedonic pricing method indicated that reduction of water pollution, human health risk, farmers information about negative effects of chemical herbicides and the virtual variable of weed type had significant effects on pricing environmental friendly herbicides. Variables of soil pollution and weed perenniality had no significant effects on pricing herbicide applicable to sustainable agricultural systems. Based on the results of this study, possibilities of using bioherbicide or less pollutant herbicides and also the rate of farmers willingness to pay for alternatives in the region are important factors recommended for additional studies
Full Text Available From 1992, after the UN “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, sustainable development has become a priority of many countries and international organizations, including the European Union. After the crisis of 2008+ and the strong criticism of traditional economics, it also became a fundamental element of economic development in the XXI century. This new model is based on a solid and integrated economic, socio-cultural and ecological order. Such a development should be supported by suitable budgetary systems at each level of public government. The paper presents a conception of the sustainable EU own resources system and proposes the methodology of its evaluation.
Christopher M. Bacon
Full Text Available Agricultural systems are embedded in wider social-ecological processes that must be considered in any complete discussion of sustainable agriculture. Just as climatic profiles will influence the future viability of crops, institutions, i.e., governance agreements, rural household and community norms, local associations, markets, and agricultural ministries, to name but a few, create the conditions that foster sustainable food systems. Because discussions of agricultural sustainability often overlook the full range of social dimensions, we propose a dual focus on a broad set of criteria, i.e., human health, labor, democratic participation, resiliency, biological and cultural diversity, equity, and ethics, to assess social outcomes, and on institutions that could support diversified farming systems (DFS. A comparative analysis of case studies from California's Central Valley, Mesoamerican coffee agroforestry systems, and European Union agricultural parks finds that DFS practices are unevenly adopted within and among these systems and interdependent with institutional environments that specifically promote diversified farming practices. Influential institutions in these cases include state policies, farmers' cooperatives/associations, and organized civic efforts to influence agroenvironmental policy, share knowledge, and shape markets for more 'sustainable' products. The Californian and Mesoamerican cases considers organic and fair trade certifications, finding that although they promote several DFS practices and generate social benefits, they are inadequate as a single strategy to promote agricultural sustainability. The complex governance and multifunctional management of Europe's peri-urban agricultural parks show unexpected potential for promoting DFS. Unless DFS are anchored in supportive institutions and evaluated against an inclusive set of social and environmental criteria, short-term investments to advance diversified agriculture could
Wright, Iain A; Tarawali, Shirley; Blümmel, Michael; Gerard, Bruno; Teufel, Nils; Herrero, Mario
As the demand for livestock products increases, and is expected to continue to increase over the next few decades, especially in developing countries, smallholder mixed systems are becoming more intensive. However, with limited land and water resources and concern about the environmental impact of agricultural practices and climate change, the challenge is to find ways of increasing productivity that do not compromise household food security, but rather increase incomes equitably and sustain or enhance the natural resource base. In developed countries there has been increased specialisation of crop and livestock production. In contrast, the majority of livestock in developing countries is kept in mixed crop/livestock systems. Crops (cereal grains and pulses) and crop residues provide the basis of the diet for animals, e.g. cereal straw fed to dairy cattle or sweet potato vines fed to pigs. Animal manure can provide significant nutrient inputs to crops. Water productivity is higher in mixed crop/livestock systems compared with growing crops alone. Mixed systems allow for a more flexible and profitable use of family labour where employment opportunities are limited. They also spread risks across several enterprises, a consideration in smallholder systems that may become even more important under certain climate change scenarios. Integrated crop/livestock systems can play a significant role in improving global food security but will require appropriate technological developments, institutional arrangements and supportive policy environments if they are to fulfil that potential in the coming decades. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.
Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to describe the Activity- Based Costing (ABC and Activity-Based Management (ABM system and techniques to sustain them as a permanent and repeatable production reporting system, not just for one-off analysis. A comparison is made between ABC/ABM modeling software that extracts source data and business systems that include ABC/ABM modeling features. There are presented the stages of updating, running and rerunning the ABC/ABM system. The resulting information calculated and provided by the ABC/ABM system are analyzed and interpreted in terms of a multidimensional data analysis. The article ends with the authors' conclusions about the benefits of continued operation of sustaining the ABC/ABM system.
C. Reed Funk
Full Text Available J. Russell Smith (1874–1966, a professor of geography at Columbia University, witnessed the devastation of soil erosion during his extensive travels. He first published his landmark text, Tree Crops, A Permanent Agriculture in 1929, in which he described the value of tree crops for producing food and animal feed on sloping, marginal, and rocky soils as a sustainable alternative to annual crop agriculture less suited to these lands. A cornerstone of his thesis was using wide germplasm collection and plant breeding to improve this largely underutilized and genetically unexploited group of plants to develop locally adapted, high-yielding cultivars for the many climatic zones of North America. Smith proposed an establishment of “Institutes of Mountain Agriculture” to undertake this work. For a variety of reasons, though, his ideas were not implemented to any great degree. However, our growing population’s increasing demands on natural resources and the associated environmental degradation necessitate that Smith’s ideas be revisited. In this review, his concepts, supported by modern scientific understanding and advances, are discussed and expanded upon to emphasize their largely overlooked potential to enhance world food and energy security and environmental sustainability. The discussion leads us to propose that his “institutes” be established worldwide and with an expanded scope of work.
Full Text Available Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km2 in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation. We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes.
Vejan, Pravin; Abdullah, Rosazlin; Khadiran, Tumirah; Ismail, Salmah; Nasrulhaq Boyce, Amru
Plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) shows an important role in the sustainable agriculture industry. The increasing demand for crop production with a significant reduction of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides use is a big challenge nowadays. The use of PGPR has been proven to be an environmentally sound way of increasing crop yields by facilitating plant growth through either a direct or indirect mechanism. The mechanisms of PGPR include regulating hormonal and nutritional balance, inducing resistance against plant pathogens, and solubilizing nutrients for easy uptake by plants. In addition, PGPR show synergistic and antagonistic interactions with microorganisms within the rhizosphere and beyond in bulk soil, which indirectly boosts plant growth rate. There are many bacteria species that act as PGPR, described in the literature as successful for improving plant growth. However, there is a gap between the mode of action (mechanism) of the PGPR for plant growth and the role of the PGPR as biofertilizer-thus the importance of nano-encapsulation technology in improving the efficacy of PGPR. Hence, this review bridges the gap mentioned and summarizes the mechanism of PGPR as a biofertilizer for agricultural sustainability.
Crossman, Neville D.; MacEwan, Richard J.; Wallace, D. Dugal; Bennett, Lauren T.
Soil degradation has been associated with a lack of adequate consideration of soil ecosystem services. We demonstrate a broadly applicable method for mapping changes in the supply of two priority soil ecosystem services to support decisions about sustainable land-use configurations. We used a landscape-scale study area of 302 km2 in northern Victoria, south-eastern Australia, which has been cleared for intensive agriculture. Indicators representing priority soil services (soil carbon sequestration and soil water storage) were quantified and mapped under both a current and a future 25-year land-use scenario (the latter including a greater diversity of land uses and increased perennial crops and irrigation). We combined diverse methods, including soil analysis using mid-infrared spectroscopy, soil biophysical modelling, and geostatistical interpolation. Our analysis suggests that the future land-use scenario would increase the landscape-level supply of both services over 25 years. Soil organic carbon content and water storage to 30 cm depth were predicted to increase by about 11% and 22%, respectively. Our service maps revealed the locations of hotspots, as well as potential trade-offs in service supply under new land-use configurations. The study highlights the need to consider diverse land uses in sustainable management of soil services in changing agricultural landscapes. PMID:24616632
Findiastuti, W.; Singgih, M. L.; Anityasari, M.
Sustainable food security measures how a region provides food for its people without endangered the environment. In Indonesia, it was legally measured in Food Security and Vulnerability (FSVA). However, regard to sustainable food security policy, the measurement has not encompassed the environmental aspect. This will lead to lack of environmental aspect information for adjusting the next strategy. This study aimed to assess Sustainable Food security by encompassing both food security and environment aspect using systemic eco-efficiency. Given existing indicator of cereal production level, total emission as environment indicator was generated by constructing Causal Loop Diagram (CLD). Then, a stock-flow diagram was used to develop systemic simulation model. This model was demonstrated for Indonesian five provinces. The result showed there was difference between food security order with and without environmental aspect assessment.
Thatcher, Andrew; Yeow, Paul H P
Sustainability issues such as natural resource depletion, pollution and poor working conditions have no geographical boundaries in our interconnected world. To address these issues requires a paradigm shift within human factors and ergonomics (HFE), to think beyond a bounded, linear model understanding towards a broader systems framework. For this reason, we introduce a sustainable system of systems model that integrates the current hierarchical conceptualisation of possible interventions (i.e., micro-, meso- and macro-ergonomics) with important concepts from the sustainability literature, including the triple bottom line approach and the notion of time frames. Two practical examples from the HFE literature are presented to illustrate the model. The implications of this paradigm shift for HFE researchers and practitioners are discussed and include the long-term sustainability of the HFE community and comprehensive solutions to problems that consider the emergent issues that arise from this interconnected world. A sustainable world requires a broader systems thinking than that which currently exists in ergonomics. This study proposes a sustainable system of systems model that incorporates ideas from the ecological sciences, notably a nested hierarchy of systems and a hierarchical time dimension. The implications for sustainable design and the sustainability of the HFE community are considered.
Oliveira, Rui S; Rocha, Inês; Ma, Ying; Vosátka, Miroslav; Freitas, Helena
The exploitation of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi has become of great interest in agriculture due to their potential roles in reducing the need for agrochemicals, while improving plant growth and nutrition. Nevertheless, the application of AM fungi by dispersing inocula in granular form to open agricultural fields is not feasible because nontargeted spreading of inocula over large surface areas results in high cost per plant. Seed coating has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of inoculum needed, resulting in cost reduction and increased efficiency. The aim of this study was to assess whether seed coating with AM fungal inoculum is a feasible delivery system for production of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Wheat seeds were coated with inoculum of Rhizophagus irregularis BEG140 and grown under different fertilization conditions: (1) none, (2) partial, or (3) complete. Data indicated that mycorrhizal inoculation via seed coating significantly increased the dry weight of shoot and seed spikes of wheat associated with reduced fertilization. Assessment of nutritional status of wheat showed that plants inoculated with R. irregularis via seed coating displayed enhanced stem concentrations of potassium (K), sulfur (S), and zinc (Zn). There were no significant differences in root colonization between plants conventionally inoculated with R. irregularis in soil and those inoculated via seed coating. Seed coating with AM fungi may be as effective as conventional soil inoculation and may contribute to reduce the utilization of chemical fertilizers. The application of AM via seed coating is proposed as an ecotechnological approach for sustainable agricultural wheat production.
Full Text Available Agriculture is the basis for food production on a global scale. Sustainable agriculture tries to improve or maintain the quality of food without compromising the environment. As sessile organisms, plants cannot avoid adverse environmental conditions and contact with other living organisms. The damage caused to plants by other living organisms such as parasites and pathogens (virus, bacteria, fungi, nematodes or insects brings about what is known as biotic stress. Plants are constantly exposed to biotic stress, which causes changes in plant metabolism involving physiological damages that lead to a reduction of their productivity. To fight biotic stress, plants have developed sophisticated defense mechanisms. Thus, understanding plant defense mechanisms might prevent important crop and economic losses. In this article, a bibliometric analysis of biotic stress is carried out. Different aspects of the publications are analyzed, such as publication type, research field, journal type, countries and their institutions, as well as the keyword occurrence frequency, and finally special attention is paid to the plant studied by the leading countries and institutions. As expected, journals selected by authors to publish their relevant findings are plant-specific journals. However, it should be noted that the fourth position, in terms of the number of publications per journal, is occupied by BMC Genomics journal. Such a journal considers mainly articles on genomics, which indicates the involvement of genetic factors in the control of biotic stress. Analysis of the keywords used in publications about biotic stress shows the great interest in the biotic–abiotic stress interaction, in the gene expression regulation in plants as well as phytohormones in the current research. In short, the great effort made by the scientific community in the biotic and abiotic stresses field with the aim to understand, regulate and control plant damages caused by biotic stress
Water scarcity and population increase have been a major limiting factor in oasis development along the Tarim River in Xinjiang, Northwest China which has very continental and dry climate, and all the agriculture and livelihoods depend on glacier melt water from Tarim River. Due to vast land reclamation along the Tarim River to grow cotton, native plant species are facing a severe competition for water, which is essential for their survival. Decreasing river runoff and inefficient water use practices by agriculture and industry has exacerbated already serious situation even worse. In addition, a large influx of migrant famers from Eastern China is being settled in this region to cultivate new agricultural lands that consumed even more water. Under those conditions, the natural riparian vegetation and the irrigation agriculture, especially along the lower reaches, suffers water shortage leading the degradation and economic losses, respectively. Along with the enlargement of irrigation area and periods of water shortage, soil salinization has become a major concern for farmers in the area. Alternative cash crops are much needed to reduce water use, so both native vegetation and human demand for water would be fulfilled. We hypothesized Apocynum Pictum, perennial herb species with multiple uses as potential substitute. Multidisciplinary approach is being used in this study to investigate three related issues to offer a basis for Apocynum's role in sustainable agriculture, such as Biomass production of Apocynum; Water budget of Apocynum; and Economic utilization of Apocynum. A.Pictum is perennial plant distributed in Central Asia and China, which its roots are perennial, while the stems die every year. Thus, A.pictum grow under the arid climate of Central Asia and provide utilization options without irrigation. We initially estimate water requirement for this plant is much less than cotton. In order to validate our hypothesis, we have measured water consumption of the
Leite, A. E.; De Castro, R.; Jabbour, C. J. C.
The objective of this study is to identify the adoption level of practices associated with more sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly practices. Additionally, the motivations for and barriers to the adoption of these practices by farmers are investigated. Data were collected through...... closed questionnaires taken by a random sample of farmers in the Southwest, Sao Paulo, Brazil, during the second half of 2013. Overall, sustainable agricultural practices recommended in the literature and analysed in this study are being not fully adopted by farmers of the studied area. The results...
Klerkx, L.W.A.; Gildemacher, P.R.
Managing the ability of agriculture to meet rising global demand and to respond to the changes and opportunities will require good policy, sustained investments, and innovation - not business as usual. Investments in public Research and Development, extension, education, and their links with one
Maruster, L.; Faber, N.R.; Peters, K.
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a re-orientation of the way the concept of sustainability is dealt with in relation to information systems, positioning human behaviour and the processing of knowledge at the centre of the concept. Design/methodology/approach – The concept of