Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford
In this chapter we discuss grassland sustainability in the Southwest, grassland management for sustainability, national and local criteria and indicators of sustainable grassland ecosystems, and monitoring for sustainability at various scales. Ecological sustainability is defined as: [T]he maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of...
Henderson, Kirsten A.; Bauch, Chris T.; Anand, Madhur
Endangered forest–grassland mosaics interspersed with expanding agriculture and silviculture occur across many parts of the world, including the southern Brazilian highlands. This natural mosaic ecosystem is thought to reflect alternative stable states driven by threshold responses of recruitment to fire and moisture regimes. The role of adaptive human behavior in such systems remains understudied, despite its pervasiveness and the fact that such ecosystems can exhibit complex dynamics. We develop a nonlinear mathematical model of coupled human–environment dynamics in mosaic systems and social processes regarding conservation and economic land valuation. Our objective is to better understand how the coupled dynamics respond to changes in ecological and social conditions. The model is parameterized with southern Brazilian data on mosaic ecology, land-use profits, and questionnaire results concerning landowner preferences and conservation values. We find that the mosaic presently resides at a crucial juncture where relatively small changes in social conditions can generate a wide variety of possible outcomes, including complete loss of mosaics; large-amplitude, long-term oscillations between land states that preclude ecosystem stability; and conservation of the mosaic even to the exclusion of agriculture/silviculture. In general, increasing the time horizon used for conservation decision making is more likely to maintain mosaic stability. In contrast, increasing the inherent conservation value of either forests or grasslands is more likely to induce large oscillations—especially for forests—due to feedback from rarity-based conservation decisions. Given the potential for complex dynamics, empirically grounded nonlinear dynamical models should play a larger role in policy formulation for human–environment mosaic ecosystems. PMID:27956605
Henderson, Kirsten A; Bauch, Chris T; Anand, Madhur
Endangered forest-grassland mosaics interspersed with expanding agriculture and silviculture occur across many parts of the world, including the southern Brazilian highlands. This natural mosaic ecosystem is thought to reflect alternative stable states driven by threshold responses of recruitment to fire and moisture regimes. The role of adaptive human behavior in such systems remains understudied, despite its pervasiveness and the fact that such ecosystems can exhibit complex dynamics. We develop a nonlinear mathematical model of coupled human-environment dynamics in mosaic systems and social processes regarding conservation and economic land valuation. Our objective is to better understand how the coupled dynamics respond to changes in ecological and social conditions. The model is parameterized with southern Brazilian data on mosaic ecology, land-use profits, and questionnaire results concerning landowner preferences and conservation values. We find that the mosaic presently resides at a crucial juncture where relatively small changes in social conditions can generate a wide variety of possible outcomes, including complete loss of mosaics; large-amplitude, long-term oscillations between land states that preclude ecosystem stability; and conservation of the mosaic even to the exclusion of agriculture/silviculture. In general, increasing the time horizon used for conservation decision making is more likely to maintain mosaic stability. In contrast, increasing the inherent conservation value of either forests or grasslands is more likely to induce large oscillations-especially for forests-due to feedback from rarity-based conservation decisions. Given the potential for complex dynamics, empirically grounded nonlinear dynamical models should play a larger role in policy formulation for human-environment mosaic ecosystems.
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.
Lucas, Andrew; Bull, James C; de Vere, Natasha; Neyland, Penelope J; Forman, Dan W
Pollination is a key ecosystem service, and appropriate management, particularly in agricultural systems, is essential to maintain a diversity of pollinator guilds. However, management recommendations frequently focus on maintaining plant communities, with the assumption that associated invertebrate populations will be sustained. We tested whether plant community, flower resources, and soil moisture would influence hoverfly (Syrphidae) abundance and species richness in floristically-rich seminatural and floristically impoverished agricultural grassland communities in Wales (U.K.) and compared these to two Hymenoptera genera, Bombus, and Lasioglossum . Interactions between environmental variables were tested using generalized linear modeling, and hoverfly community composition examined using canonical correspondence analysis. There was no difference in hoverfly abundance, species richness, or bee abundance, between grassland types. There was a positive association between hoverfly abundance, species richness, and flower abundance in unimproved grasslands. However, this was not evident in agriculturally improved grassland, possibly reflecting intrinsically low flower resource in these habitats, or the presence of plant species with low or relatively inaccessible nectar resources. There was no association between soil moisture content and hoverfly abundance or species richness. Hoverfly community composition was influenced by agricultural improvement and the amount of flower resource. Hoverfly species with semiaquatic larvae were associated with both seminatural and agricultural wet grasslands, possibly because of localized larval habitat. Despite the absence of differences in hoverfly abundance and species richness, distinct hoverfly communities are associated with marshy grasslands, agriculturally improved marshy grasslands, and unimproved dry grasslands, but not with improved dry grasslands. Grassland plant community cannot be used as a proxy for pollinator
Sustainable agriculture practices are increasingly being used by farmers to maintain soil quality, increase biodiversity, and promote production of food that is environmentally safe. There are several types of sustainable agriculture practices such as organic farming, crop rotation, and aquaculture. This lesson plan focuses on the sustainable…
Full Text Available Sustainable marketing is a holistic approach that puts equal emphasis on environmental, social equity, and economic concerns in the development of marketing strategies. The purpose of the study is to examine and discuss the sustainable agricultural marketing initiatives practiced throughout the World and Turkey, and to put forth suggestions to further improve the performance of agricultural marketing initiatives in Turkey. Some of the sustainable agricultural marketing initiatives practiced around the world are carried out through civil organizations. Furthermore; some of these initiatives have also launched by farmers, consumers, food processors and retailers. The long-term strategies to increase these initiatives should be determined due to the fact that examples of successful sustainable agricultural marketing initiatives are inadequate and cannot be spread in Turkey. In this context, first of all, the supports provided by the government to improve agricultural marketing systems, such as EU funds for rural development should be compatible with the goals of sustainable marketing. For this purpose, it should be examined whether all proposed projects related to agricultural marketing meet the social, economic, and environmental principles of sustainable marketing. It is important that supporting organizations, especially civil society organisations, should take an active role for faster dissemination and adoption of sustainable agricultural marketing practices in Turkey. These organizations may provide technical assistance in preparing successful project proposals and training to farm groups. In addition, the other organizations, such as local administrations, producers' associations, cooperatives, can contribute to the success of sustainable agricultural marketing initiatives. The use of direct marketing strategies and vertical integration attempts in sustainable agricultural marketing initiatives that will likely be implemented in Turkey is
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.
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...
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.
Roesch, Christine; Skarka, J.; Raab, K.; Stelzer, V.
In many regions of Europe, grassland shapes the landscape and fulfils important functions in protecting nature, soil, and water. However, the traditional uses of grassland for forage production are vanishing with progress in breeding and structural adaptations in agriculture. On the other hand, the demand for biomass energy is rising due to political sustainability goals and financial measures to support renewable energy. Against this background, the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis investigated the applicability, economic efficiency, and sustainability of different techniques for energy production from grassland as well as from grassland converted into maize fields or short-rotation poplars under German conditions. The results show that despite relatively high energy prices and the financial support for bioenergy, the effects of energy production from grassland on employment in agriculture and farmers' income are modest. What is beneficial are savings in non-renewable energy, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and local provision of energy carriers. If grassland biomass (grass silage or hay) is used for energy purposes, this brings the further advantages of preserving biodiversity and the cultural landscape and protecting of soil and groundwater. Negative impacts on sustainable development result from an increase in emissions, which leads to acidification, eutrophication, and risks to human health. The overall evaluation indicates that short-rotation poplars are comparatively advantageous from the economic and ecological point of view. Therefore, a development plan for grassland is required to identify areas where grassland could be used as an energy resource or where it would be favourable to install energy plantations with fast-growing perennial plants
Brouwer, F.M.; De Bont, C.J.A.M.; Leneman, H.; Van der Meulen, H.A.B.
Sustainable agriculture in the picture provides a systematic overview of the available data that are relevant for debate on transitions towards sustainable agriculture. Review for the agrocomplex, greenhouse horticulture, dairy farming and pig farming. Indicators on economy, environment, nature, animal welfare, human and animal health. Results achieved in practice for the three dimensions of sustainable agriculture, namely economics ('profit'), ecology ('planet') and socio-cultural ('people') [nl
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.
Sutherlin, C. E.; Brunsell, N. A.; De Oliveira, G.; Crews, T.; Vico, G.
The changing climate leads to uncertainties concerning the sustainability of certain agricultural resources, and with the additional stresses of an increasing global population, uncertainty in food security will greatly increase. To adhere to future food demands in the face of this changing climate, perennial agriculture has been a proposed solution. However, it is equally important to assure that perennial agriculture is not negatively affecting the climate in exchange for this proposed more robust food source. We chose to examine the interactions between perennial and annual agricultural crops by focusing on the efficiency of exchanges with the atmosphere. This is done using the omega decoupling factor for 4 different sites as a way of quantifying the contributions of radiation and stomatal conductance over the resulting water and carbon cycles. This gives us an indication of how the plant canopy is interacting with, and influencing the local microclimate. Ultimately, this should give us an indication of the ability of perennial crops to aid in the climate mitigation process. We hypothesized that the perennial site chosen would have omega values more similar to the omega values of a natural grassland rather than an annual crop site. Using AmeriFlux towers to determine the canopy values needed to calculate the omega decoupling factor, we focused on the Kernza perennial crops being grown at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas (KLS), in comparison to a natural grassland in Manhattan, Kansas (KON), a typical land cover model in Lawrence, Kansas (KFS), and an annual crop site in Lamont, Oklahoma (ARM). These results will allow us to move forward in the investigation of perennial crops as a sustainable food source.
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
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
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
The threats posed by climate change have significant impacts on Mongolia’s grassland ecosystems and herders’ livelihoods. This publication discusses the auses of climate change and its impacts on livelihoods and ecosystems for herders and the general public. It explains how good pasture management and livestock roductivity are important for increasing incomes and provides information on adaptation practices. It also identifies sustainable management practices that can increase communities’ re...
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.
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.
Participatory Research and Development for Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management - A Sourcebook Volume 3 : Doing Participatory Research and Development. Couverture du livre Participatory Research and Development for Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management : A.
Pretty, Jules; Bharucha, Zareen Pervez
Background 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. Scope and Conclusions 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
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
Montgomery, D. R.
Data drawn from a global compilation of studies support the long articulated contention that erosion rates from conventionally plowed agricultural fields greatly exceed rates of soil production, erosion under native vegetation, and long-term geological erosion. Whereas data compiled from around the world show that soil erosion under conventional agriculture exceeds both rates of soil production and geological erosion rates by up to several orders of magnitude, similar global distributions of soil production and geological erosion rates suggest an approximate balance. Net soil erosion rates in conventionally plowed fields on the order of 1 mm/yr can erode typical hillslope soil profiles over centuries to millennia, time-scales comparable to the longevity of major civilizations. Well-documented episodes of soil loss associated with agricultural activities date back to the introduction of erosive agricultural methods in regions around the world, and stratigraphic records of accelerated anthropogenic soil erosion have been recovered from lake, fluvial, and colluvial stratigraphy, as well as truncation of soil stratigraphy (such as truncated A horizons). A broad convergence in the results from studies based on various approaches employed to study ancient soil loss and rates of downstream sedimentation implies that widespread soil loss has accompanied human agricultural intensification in examples drawn from around the world. While a broad range of factors, including climate variability and society-specific social and economic contexts — such as wars or colonial relationships — all naturally influence the longevity of human societies, the ongoing loss of topsoil inferred from studies of soil erosion rates in conventional agricultural systems has obvious long-term implications for agricultural sustainability. Consequently, modern agriculture — and therefore global society — faces a fundamental question over the upcoming centuries. Can an agricultural system
Nanotechnology in sustainable agriculture: Present concerns and future aspects. ... of those living in developing countries face daily food shortages as a result of ... applications in agricultural, food, and water safety that could have significant ...
sustainable development in the context of Rwanda as the level of socio- political and ... envisaged by the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) includes the .... sustainable agriculture and agri-business development in Rwanda is.
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
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.
Rockstrom, J.; Williams, J.; Daily, G.; Noble, A.; Matthews, N.; Gordon, L.; Wetterstrand, H.; DeClerck, F.; Fraiture, de C.M.S.
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
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.
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.
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
van Gorp, B.; van der Goot, M.J.
Despite its importance, the notion of sustainability is open for discursive struggle. This article's primary objective is to acquire insight into the manner in which the principal stakeholders strategically use frames in their public communication about sustainable food and agriculture. A framing
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 ...
Soliman, S.M.; Galal, Y.G.M.
Sustainable agricultural systems employ natural processes to achieve acceptable levels of productivity and food quality while minimizing adverse environmental impacts. Sustainable agriculture must, by definition, be ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially responsible. Sustainable agriculture must nurture healthy co systems and support the sustainable management of land, water and natural resources, while ensuring world food security. To be sustainable, agriculture must meet the needs of present and future generations for its products and services, while ensuring profitability, environmental health and social and economic equity. The global transition to sustainable food and agriculture will require major improvements in the efficiency of resource use, in environmental protection and in systems resilience. In Mediterrane an environments, crops are grown mainly in the semiarid and sub-humid are as. In arid and semiarid are as dry land farming, techniques are of renewed interest in the view of sustain ability. They are aimed to increase water accumulation in the soil, reduce runoff and soil evaporation losses, choose species and varieties able to make better use of rainwater, and rationalize fertilization plans, sowing dates, and weed and pest control. Fertilization plans should be based on well-defined principles of plant nutrition, soil chemistry, and chemistry of the fertilizer elements. Starting from the calculation of nutrient crop uptake (based on the actually obtainable yield), dose calculation must be corrected by considering the relation ship between the availability of the trace elements in soil and the main physical and chemical parameters of the soil (ph, organic matter content, mineralization rate, C/N, ratio of solubilization of phosphorus, active lime content, presence of antagonist ions, etc.). In the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority, Soil and Water Research Department, nuclear techniques including radio and stable isotopes in addition to
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
Biofuels are socially and politically accepted as a form of sustainable energy in numerous countries. However, cases of environmental degradation and land grabs have highlighted the negative effects to their adoption. Smallholder farmers are vital in the development of a biofuel industry. The study sort to assess the implications in the adoption of biofuel crops by smallholder farmers. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 129 smallholder farmers who were sampled from the Easter...
V M Rao
This paper presents a systemic framework to look at the prospects for sustainability of Indian agriculture. The framework is based on trends, indicators and assessment by experts spanning three domains which are the principal influences shaping the growth, efficiency and stability of agriculture. The domains are: natural resources covering land, water, climate and environment; human development comprising the characteristics of farmers as producers and entrepreneurs; and, technology and insti...
Full Text Available The inappropriate use of agrochemicals and technologies in farming systems can cause an accelerated deterioration of agricultural and soil pollution. Thus, agriculture and livestock are becoming an environmental problem in the world, which implies the need to assess the efficiency of agricultural production systems related to sustainability. The traditional peasant system is apparently unsustainable, while farm with an integral production approach have better opportunities for development over time as they tend to sustainability. This type of farms incorporate productive alternatives that improve as a whole, the system and the livelihood of the peasants. The trends towards sustainability of farms are mainly due to a better land use. As well as, implementing systems adapted to each soil and production type to ensure profitability and persistence, achieving the highest possible agricultural productivity. The urgency to produce food for a growing population is almost a paradigm that reinforces the imperative for maximum yield per unit area, and creates a vision of the rural world aimed at increasing profit at the expense of the attributes and core values of livelihood in rural areas. It can be concluded that the integrated farming articulate various subsystems, which working together could allow higher sustainability of agricultural production practices, environmentally friendly, safeguarding the food sovereignty of the population and improving the quality of life of farmers
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...
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.
It is crucial, for example, that local stakeholders provide input to the process. Participatory research and ... Participatory Research and Development for Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management - A Sourcebook Volume 2: Enabling Participatory Research and Development. Book cover Participatory ...
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...
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...
Singh, S.R.K.; Srinivas, K.; Kumar, L.R.; Gupta, H.S.
Indian agriculture has achieved remarkable success in the food grain production due to inception of 'rainbow revolution', which made the country self-sufficient in food production. Sustainable agriculture (SA) is an ongoing process, in which people take actions leading to development of agriculture that meets their current needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It advocates avoiding all those actions, which reduce the ability of future generations to meet out the present generations. It is based on the optimal interaction between clean environment, healthy economy, and vital society by avoiding trade-off of problems to other regions on to the future. Moreover, sustainable agriculture is the function of people's progress and nature's capacity. In fact, SA commits us to considering the long-term effect and to recognize our place within the ecosystem. It encourages a continuous reflection on the implications of human activity on the ecosystem. Empirical evidences shows that in the race of self-sufficiency in food grain production, we compromised a lot on social and environmental fronts. The aftermath of green revolution is not so sustainable as it showed reverse side too, in the form of environmental degradation and ecological imbalances. Such threats have led to the need for promoting sustainable development in agriculture. Due to several unsustainable activities which resulted in resource degradation in the form of top soil loss, ground water depletion and forest degradation. The average soil loss is estimated to be over 16 tonnes/ha/year. The ground water depletion resulted in several blocks as 'grey blocks' and 'dark blocks'. This happened mainly due to increase in number of tube-wells and free supply of electricity making the cost of pumping water very low. Rate of human induced land degradation is very high. Out of total geographical area of 329.0 million ha, 187 million ha (57.0 %) are reported to have degraded, of
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...
Mezhunts, Bagrat; Navasardyan, Marine
Armenia is a small mountainous country (29,743 km2) located in the South Caucasus. It lies in the sub-tropical zone and has a continental climate with hot summers (av. +250C) and cold winters (av. -60C). The average precipitation is 550 mm; in the dry-steppe zone it amounts to only 250 mm and with a rainy season in spring-early summer. Altitudinal variation (390-4,095 m) gives rise to a range of climatic zones (from semi-desert to alpine), soil types and plant communities. Besides, Armenia is situated on the crossroads of Caucasian - mesophyllous (humid) and Armeno-Iranian - xerophyllous (arid) floristic provinces, which has made it to a "biodiversity hotspot". Agriculture is important as a source of employment and for domestic food supply. The rural population (ca. 1.2 million) is largely dependent on livestock for their livelihood. The principal feed resource is extensive grasslands (60% of total agricultural lands), but past practices of uncontrolled grazing management has led to low grassland productivity and low proportion of valuable legume forages. Improvement of natural grasslands, enhancement of feed quality, prevention of soil erosion and re-establishment of vegetation cover are key socio-economic challenges and are needed to raise the livelihood of rural population in Armenia. This presentation focuses on present status and trends of dry pastureland degradation, exposed to intensive grazing, and on results from case studies to increase productivity and restore valuable forage species for sustainable use in agriculture. Three different conventional approaches have been applied in these studies including: fertilization with moderate doses of ammonium and potassium nitrate and superphosphate, over-sowing by local legume seeds and implementation of a 2-year rest period in overgrazed areas. From 1986 to 2007, the total yield (TY) in studied dry-steppe pastures decreased by 40%, while at the same time, the proportion of grasses in total yield decreased by 50
Nubia Moreno Sarmiento
Full Text Available Soils: a solid foundation for life, was the theme of the celebration of 2015, the General Assembly of the UN, decides to declare as the International Year of Soils, considering that these are the foundation of agricultural development, the essential functions of ecosystems and food security. It is therefore a key to sustaining life on Earth element. During that year several actions that contributed to the awareness of their problems and protection of soil resources were made. One was that FAO, reviewed and published in June 2015, the World Soil Charter (originally developed in 1982. The World Soil Charter of Revised, as a preamble quote: 1. Soils are essential for life on Earth, but pressures on soil resources are reaching critical limits. Careful soil management is an essential factor of sustainable agriculture and also provides a valuable tool to regulate climate and a way to safeguard ecosystem services and biodiversity spring. 2. In the final document of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil in June 2012, "The future we want" economic and social importance of good management is recognized land, including land, particularly its contribution to economic growth, biodiversity, sustainable agriculture, food security, poverty eradication, empowerment of women, measures to address climate change and increase water availability.
Gitanjali S. Bodner; Peter Warren; David Gori; Karla Sartor; Steven Bassett
Grasslands of the Sky Islands region once covered over 13 million acres in southeastern Arizona and adjacent portions of New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Attempts to evaluate current ecological conditions suggest that approximately two thirds of these remain as intact or restorable grassland habitat. These grasslands provide watershed services such as flood control...
Morefield, Philip E.; LeDuc, Stephen D.; Clark, Christopher M.; Iovanna, Richard
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest agricultural land-retirement program in the United States, providing many environmental benefits, including wildlife habitat and improved air, water, and soil quality. Since 2007, however, CRP area has declined by over 25% nationally with much of this land returning to agriculture. Despite this trend, it is unclear what types of CRP land are being converted, to what crops, and where. All of these specific factors greatly affect environmental impacts. To answer these questions, we quantified shifts in expiring CRP parcels to five major crop-types (corn, soy, winter and spring wheat, and sorghum) in a 12-state, Midwestern region of the United States using a US Department of Agriculture (USDA), field-level CRP database and USDA’s Cropland Data Layer. For the years 2010 through 2013, we estimate almost 30%, or more than 530 000 ha, of expiring CRP land returned to the production of these five crops in our study area, with soy and corn accounting for the vast majority of these shifts. Grasslands were the largest type of CRP land converted (360 000 ha), followed by specifically designated wildlife habitat (76 000 ha), and wetland areas (53 000 ha). These wetland areas were not just wetlands themselves, but also a mix of land covers enhancing or protecting wetland ecosystem services (e.g., wetland buffers). Areas in the Dakotas, Nebraska, and southern Iowa were hotspots of change, with the highest areas of CRP land moving back to agriculture. By contrast, we estimate only a small amount (˜3%) of the expiring land shifted into similar, non-CRP land-retirement or easement programs. Reconciling needs for food, feed, fuel, and healthy ecosystems is an immense challenge for farmers, conservationists, and state and federal agencies. Reduced enrollment and the turnover of CRP land from conservation to agriculture raises questions about sustaining ecosystem services in this region.
Li, Dejun; Watson, Catherine J; Yan, Ming Jia; Lalor, Stan; Rafique, Rashid; Hyde, Bernard; Lanigan, Gary; Richards, Karl G; Holden, Nicholas M; Humphreys, James
Nitrous oxide (N2O) emission from grassland-based agriculture is an important source of atmospheric N2O. It is hence crucial to explore various solutions including farm nitrogen (N) management to mitigate N2O emissions without sacrificing farm profitability and food supply. This paper reviews major N management practices to lower N2O emission from grassland-based agriculture. Restricted grazing by reducing grazing time is an effective way to decrease N2O emissions from excreta patches. Balancing the protein-to-energy ratios in the diets of ruminants can also decrease N2O emissions from excreta patches. Among the managements of synthetic fertilizer N application, only adjusting fertilizer N rate and slow-released fertilizers are proven to be effective in lowering N2O emissions. Use of bedding materials may increase N2O emissions from animal houses. Manure storage as slurry, manipulating slurry pH to values lower than 6 and storage as solid manure under anaerobic conditions help to reduce N2O emissions during manure storage stage. For manure land application, N2O emissions can be mitigated by reducing manure N inputs to levels that satisfy grass needs. Use of nitrification inhibitors can substantially lower N2O emissions associated with applications of fertilizers and manures and from urine patches. N2O emissions from legume based grasslands are generally lower than fertilizer-based systems. In conclusion, effective measures should be taken at each step during N flow or combined options should be used in order to mitigate N2O emission at the farm level. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A
Globally, agriculture is the greatest source of threat to biodiversity, through both ongoing conversion of natural habitat and intensification of existing farmland. Land sparing and land sharing have been suggested as alternative approaches to reconcile this threat with the need for land to produce food. To examine which approach holds most promise for grassland species, we examined how bird population densities changed with farm yield (production per unit area) in the Campos of Brazil and Uruguay. We obtained information on biodiversity and crop yields from 24 sites that differed in agricultural yield. Density-yield functions were fitted for 121 bird species to describe the response of population densities to increasing farm yield, measured in terms of both food energy and profit. We categorized individual species according to how their population changed across the yield gradient as being positively or negatively affected by farming and according to whether the species' total population size was greater under land-sparing, land-sharing, or an intermediate strategy. Irrespective of the yield, most species were negatively affected by farming. Increasing yields reduced densities of approximately 80% of bird species. We estimated land sparing would result in larger populations than other sorts of strategies for 67% to 70% of negatively affected species, given current production levels, including three threatened species. This suggests that increasing yields in some areas while reducing grazing to low levels elsewhere may be the best option for bird conservation in these grasslands. Implementing such an approach would require conservation and production policies to be explicitly linked to support yield increases in farmed areas and concurrently guarantee that larger areas of lightly grazed natural grasslands are set aside for conservation. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.
Tuninetti, M.; Tamea, S.; Dalin, C.
Water is a renewable but limited resource. Most human use of freshwater resources is for agriculture, and global water demand for agriculture is increasing because of the growth in food demand, driven by increasing population and changing diets. Hence, measuring the pressure exerted by agriculture on freshwater sources is a key issue. The sustainability of water use depends on the water source renewability rate: the water use is not sustainable (depleting the water storage) where/when it exceeds the renewable freshwater availability. In this study, we explore the sustainability of rain and irrigation water use for the production of nine major crops, globally at a 5'x5' spatial resolution. We split the crop water use into soil moisture (from rainfall) and irrigation, with, for the first time, separating ground- and surface-water sources, which is a key distinction because the renewability of these two water sources can be very different. In order to physically quantify the extent to which crop water use is sustainable, we measure the severity of the source depletion as the number of years required for the hydrological cycle to replenish the water resource used by the annual crop production, namely the Water Debt. This newly developed indicator allows one to compare the depletion level of the three water sources at a certain location for a specific crop. Hence, we mapped, for each crop, the number of years required to replenish the water withdrawn from soil-, surface- and ground-water resources. Each map identifies the hotspots for each water source, highlighting regions and crops that threaten most the water resource. We found that the water debt with soil moisture is heterogeneous in space but always lower than one year indicating a non-surprising sustainability of rain-fed agriculture. Rice and sugarcane make the largest contribution to global soil moisture depletion. Water debt in surface water is particularly high in areas of intense wheat and cotton production
Liu, Hong-lai; Zhang, Wei-hua; Wang, Kun; Zhao, Na
In the agriculture-pasturage ecotone of Northern China, a typical zone with linear boundary of cropland and grassland was chosen to investigate its soil moisture regime, and the moving split-window technique was adopted to study the edge influence of soil moisture at the boundary. The results showed that the edge influence was 10 m, from 6 m within grassland and 4 m within cropland, and was categorized as the acute change type boundary. Accordingly, the farmland-grassland landscape boundary could be divided into three functional zones, i.e., grassland zone, farmland zone, and compositional ecotone zone. Soil moisture content varied abruptly in the ecotone zone, but presented linear distribution in both grassland zone and farmland zone. The average soil moisture content in grassland was about 1 g x g(-1) higher than that in farmland, which was mainly caused by the decreased capillary moisture capacity of farmland. Owing to the different vegetation cover, farmland and grassland had different transpiration and evaporation, which led to the diverse soil moisture regime, making soil water potential changed and water movement from one ecosystem to another possible.
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.
Pregenzer, A.L.; Parmenter, R.; Passell, H.D.; Budge, T.; Vande Caste, J.
The study of ecology is taking on increasing global importance as the value of well-functioning ecosystems to human well-being becomes better understood. However, the use of technological systems for the study of ecology lags behind the use of technologies in the study of other disciplines important to human well-being, such as medicine, chemistry and physics. The authors outline four different kinds of large-scale data needs required by land managers for the development of sustainable land use strategies, and which can be obtained with current or future technological systems. They then outline a hypothetical resource management scenario in which data on all those needs are collected using remote and in situ technologies, transmitted to a central location, analyzed, and then disseminated for regional use in maintaining sustainable grazing systems. They conclude by highlighting various data-collection systems and data-sharing networks already in operation.
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.
Suhaimi Masduki; Aini Zakaria
Photosynthetically derived biomass and residues, including waste products from food processing industries are renewable. They accumulate every year in large quantities, causing deterioration to the environment and loss of potentially valuable resources. The conserved energy is potentially convertible; thermodynamically the energy can be tapped into forms which are more amenable for value added agricultural applications or for other higher value products such as chemicals or their feedstocks. The forms and types in which this biomass has to be modified for the intended use depend on the costs or the respective alternatives. Under current situations, where chemical feedstocks are available in abundance at very competitive prices, biomass is obviously more suitably placed in the agro-industrial sector. Recycling of the biomass or residues into the soil as biofertilizers or for some other uses for agricultural applications requires less intense energy inputs for their improvements. Highly efficient biological processes with microorganisms as the primary movers in the production of the desired end products indeed require less capital costs than in most other industrial entities. In this paper, the various processes, which are potentially valuable and economically feasible in the conversion of biomass and residues for several products important in the agricultural sector, are described. Emphasis is given to the approach and the possible permutations of these processes to arrive at the desired good quality products for sustainable agricultural development. (Author)
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.
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.
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.
Schillhorn van Veen, T W
Future agricultural and rural development is, to a large extent, influenced by the projected food needs of 2.5 billion people expected to swell the world population by 2020. This increase will require more food in general and, in view of recent experience in East Asia, more animal products. To achieve this increase will require judicious use of resources, and trade, especially in those countries where natural resources are insufficient to support food production. Achieving food sufficiency in a sustainable manner is a major challenge for farmers, agro-industries, researchers and governments. The latter play an important role as many of the farmers' choices are, to a large extent, directed by government or supra-government, often through macro- and micro-economic policy. In many countries the economic, environmental, trade and agricultural policies have not been conducive to an agricultural development that is risk-free with respect to the environment, animal welfare or public health. The recent decline of government support in agriculture forced farmers in Western countries to think about more risk adverse agricultural practices and more efficient production systems. On the other hand, many countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, as well as other developing countries, are still going through a painful process of adjustment to new market conditions. International banks and development agencies have a mandate to help developing countries, but are somewhat restricted both by needing to work directly with governments and by their perceived dogmatic approach to development. Changing policies do, now and in the future, also affect the development of animal disease control programmes, including the control of parasitic diseases. On the one hand there is an increasing interest in risk-free control practices, and on the other hand a demand for greater regulatory control over the production process. As parasitic diseases of animals are closely linked to the
Zhang, X.; Davidson, E. A.
To meet the growing global demand for food and bioenergy, agricultural production must nearly double by 2050, placing additional pressures on the environment and the society. Thus, how to efficiently use limited land, water, and nutrient resources to produce more food with low pollution (MoFoLoPo) is clearly one of the major challenges of this century. The increasingly interconnected global market provides a great opportunity for reallocating crop production to the countries and regions that use natural resources more efficiently. For example, it is estimated that optimizing the allocation of crop production around the world can mitigate 41% of nitrogen lost to the environment. However, higher efficiency in nutrients use does not necessarily lead to higher efficiency in land use or water use. In addition, the increasing share of international trade in food supply may introduce additional systemic risk and affect the resilience of global food system. Using the data/indicator from a Sustainable Agriculture Matrix and an international trade matrix, we developed a simple model to assess the trade-offs of international trade considering resource use efficiencies (including water, land, nitrogen, and phosphorus), economic costs and benefits, and the resilience of food system.
Annibale, D' Alessandra; Sechi, Valentina; Larsen, Thomas; Christensen, Søren; Krogh, Paul Henning; Eriksen, Jørgen
Introduction of legumes (i.e. white clover) in agricultural grasslands is a common practice to improve yields, but how this affects soil fauna populations, particularly mesofauna, is still poorly understood. We investigated taxonomical and functional differences of Collembola communities between
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.
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
Lemaire, Gilles; Gastal, François; Franzluebbers, Alan; Chabbi, Abad
A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity at all levels of organization, i.e., field, farm, landscape, and region. Therefore, we postulate that negative environmental impacts of modern agriculture are due more to production simplification than to inherent characteristics of agricultural productivity. Thus by enhancing diversity within agricultural systems, it should be possible to reconcile high quantity and quality of food production with environmental quality. Intensification of livestock and cropping systems separately within different specialized regions inevitably leads to unacceptable environmental impacts because of the overly uniform land use system in intensive cereal areas and excessive N-P loads in intensive animal areas. The capacity of grassland ecosystems to couple C and N cycles through microbial-soil-plant interactions as a way for mitigating the environmental impacts of intensive arable cropping system was analyzed in different management options: grazing, cutting, and ley duration, in order to minimize trade-offs between production and the environment. We suggest that integrated crop-livestock systems are an appropriate strategy to enhance diversity. Sod-based rotations can temporally and spatially capture the benefits of leys for minimizing environmental impacts, while still maintaining periods and areas of intensive cropping. Long-term experimental results illustrate the potential of such systems to sequester C in soil and to reduce and control N emissions to the atmosphere and hydrosphere.
The report presents the current status of some selected CGPRT Crops (secondary crops) and examines their potentials in enhancing the sustainable development of diverse agriculture in Bangladesh. Agriculture in Bangladesh is composed of crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry subsectors. This study deals primarily with crop agriculture and the scope of diversification is limited to crop rather than agricultural diversification.
Jul 21, 2011 ... Keywords: Prerequisite, agricultural development, sustainable .... into many areas of policy and public provision, reducing subsidies and bringing ... indirectly influence agricultural prices is often far greater than the effects of.
Pearson Product Moment Correlation (PPMC) was used to test the existence of relationships between the ... Key words Sustainable practices, industrial agriculture, agricultural technology, rural economy. Introduction .... consumers. 4.19. 1.11.
Ugbomeh, George M. M.
Discusses the concepts of agricultural education, women empowerment, and sustainable rural development. Suggests that, because women make up more than half of Nigeria's population, their empowerment would assist the efforts for sustainable rural development. (Contains 48 references.) (JOW)
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.
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
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
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.
Schekkerman, Hans; Teunissen, Wolf; Oosterveld, Ernst
Grassland-breeding shorebirds show widespread declines due to a reduction in breeding productivity following agricultural intensification. However, there is also concern that increasing predation causes further declines or precludes population recovery. Predation may itself be enhanced by
Full Text Available Noise has become a serious environmental problem and there are demands for alternative sustainable materials which capable to reduce the noise level at various frequency ranges. Therefore, the aim of this research is to study the potential of turning the agricultural waste and waste paper into a sound absorption panel. For the purpose of this study, combination of two materials was under studied; coconut coir fibre from agriculture waste and shredded waste paper from the office. There were two main objective of the research; first is to develop absorption panels from coconut coir powder that available locally with a combination of shredded paper at different percentage of mixture. Second objective is to identify the absorption rate of the panels. The study encompasses the fabrication of the particle board using the coconut husk powder mix with shredded waste paper and using the gypsum powder as the binder for the two materials. Four acoustic panels of size 0.5m x 0.5m and 0.012 m thick were fabricated with different mix ratio; 25% of coconut coir powder mixed with 75% of shredded waste papers for sample 1, 50% both of the material for sample 2, 75% of coconut coir powder mixed with 25% of shredded waste paper for sample 3, and lastly 100% of coconut coir powder for sample 4. The absorption coefficient of the panels was tested in a reverberation chamber and in accordance with ISO 354:1985 standards. Based on the results, sample 1 gave the highest absorption coefficient compared to sample 2, 3 and 4. It can be concluded that the acoustic panel made from a mixture of 25% coconut coir powder with 75% shredded waste paper provided higher absorption coefficient compared to the performance of the other samples. This might be caused by the size of the coir powder which is very small, creating less void space in between the panel and thus causing it to absorb less sound. Since sound absorption is very much affected by the availability of void space of
Edward Kassem; Oldřich Trenz; Jiří Hřebíček; Oldřich Faldík
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’ r...
Full Text Available The paper is focused on the evaluation of economic, social and environmental challenges of sustainable agriculture. The selected indicators of the economic challenges of sustainable agriculture imply that agriculture in Slovakia is not in long term be able to ensure competitiveness in the European market, gross agricultural output is characterized by a faster decline in animal production than in crop production and the value of import of agri-food commodities is higher than the value of export. According to selected indicators of social challenges of sustainable agriculture the number of persons working in agriculture has decreasing tendency in last years. The evaluation of selected indicators of environmental challenges of sustainable agriculture implies that area of organic agriculture is the most widely applied sub-measure within the measure agri-environmental payments. For ensuring the balance of the three mentioned dimensions of sustainable agriculture is necessary to increase of local production and consumption of local products, to ensure the protection of nature and landscape, to ensure rural development and to increase the employment opportunities in countryside.
Gerald J. Gottfried
Grassland ecosystem management is dynamic and has adapted to the development of new tools and ideas. Our ancestors were indirectly managing grasslands when they learned to move livestock to take advantage of better water and greener forage. One could argue that even their hunting of grassland wildlife, especially the use of fire to drive animals to waiting hunters, had...
The inland valley in Africa are common landscapes that have favorable conditions for agricultural production. Compared to the surrounding uplands they are characterized by a relatively high and secure water availability and high soil fertility levels. Inland valleys thus have a high agricultural
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
Expanding Agricultural and Rural Extension Roles for Sustainable Extension ... privatization of the public sector of national economies of developing nations has ... include marketing extension, non-farm rural micro enterprise development, ...
This study on impact assessment of Promoting Sustainable Agriculture Project ... the Fisher Index, Focused Group Discussion and descriptive statistical analysis. ... The qualitative analysis showed that 30%, 45% and 10% of men, women and ...
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.
Baquero Haeberlin, I.B.
It is defined the sustainability concept, their origin and the operation form to the interior of CORPOICA. It discusses the concept of sustained development and the characteristics that it should have the agricultural technology to involve the concept in the agricultural development, under the perspective of satisfying the necessities of people presently, maintaining options for the future generations. The sustainable agricultural development is analyzed in connection with the ecological, economic and social sustainability and the situation of the agricultural producer in the application of the concept. It thinks about the agriculture ecology like strategy guided to achieve a sustainable agriculture by means of the knowledge of the relationships that they are given among the production systems and the processes that govern the behavior and offer of the intervened ecosystems. Complementarity the technology use of under environmental impact and the development of productive systems adapted to the environment, taking advantage of the biodiversity. It concludes that the sustainability should be above all an ethical concept that makes part of the investigator's formation inside a holistic and interdisciplinary context
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.
Muniz Ugarte, O.
The papers mentions the main nuclear techniques applied in order to achieve a sustainable agriculture, the technical support given to Cuba by the IAEA mainly in training and in the creation of a infrastructure (Laboratories) to enable the application of nuclear techniques to agricultural research related to soil fertility, plant nutrition and water usage
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
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
Pakistan’s agriculture is almost wholly dependent on irrigation and irrigated land supplies more than 90 percent of agricultural production. Irrigation is central to Pakistan’s economy. Massive investments in irrigation contributed to the development of one of the largest Indus Basin Irrigation System. Despite heavy budgetary inputs in irrigation system, it is facing shortage of resources and suffering from operational problems. The sustainability of irrigated agriculture is threatened due to...
Brouwer, F.M.; Leneman, H.; Groeneveld, R.A.
The report offers an overview of experiences in France and the United Kingdom as regards efforts to promote sustainability in agriculture. It also identifies international policy constraints on national efforts to promote sustainability. In addition, it explores opportunities for and threats to the
The 'neem cake' is the scrap processing of the industrial chain producing neem oil and azadirachtin. The ENEA Technical Unit Environment and Sustainable Development Innovation the Agro-Industrial System, developed a promising experiment to promote the use of 'neem cake' as an insecticide, and fertilizer of low cost in sustainable agriculture. [it
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.
Jennie Cederholm Björklund
Full Text Available Sweden’s agriculture industry has faced many challenges in recent years. Among the most severe challenges are the decrease in the number of small and medium-sized farms, the decrease in the number of people employed in agricultural actvites, and the increase in governmental regulatons and legislaton governing such actvites. At the same tme, the demand that agriculture contributes to sustainable social and ecological development has increased. Although research shows that sustainable business model innovaton (SBMI contributes to the creaton of sustainable businesses and to the development of a sustainable society, Swedish agriculture has not been at the forefront in the use of SBMI. The purpose of this paper is to examine the barriers to SBMI in Swedish agriculture in order to understand why farmers seldom engage in SBMI. This qualitatve study follows the Gioia methodology and data for the analysis were acquired in semi-structured interviews with entrepreneurs at six family farms in Sweden. The paper makes a theoretcal contributon to the research on SBMI with its focus on sustainable entrepreneurship in the Swedish agricultural industry. The paper concludes that the barriers to SBMI are external, internal, and contextual.
Vaz, E; de Noronha, M.T.; Nijkamp, P.
Socioeconomic growth and urban change have been an increasing concern for decision makers in recent decades. The monitoring, mapping, and analysis of agricultural land use change, especially in areas where urban change has been high, is crucial. The collision between traditional economic activities
This article evaluates dry spell occurrence in the Mabogini Village—located within a semi- ... both the prevalence of agricultural dry spells as well as estimate the water deficits throughout the .... ΔSroot (mm day-1) is the water available in the.
Full Text Available Common agricultural birds are in decline, both in Europe and in North America. Evidence from Europe suggests that agricultural intensification and, for some species, the indirect effects of pesticides mediated through a loss of insect food resource is in part responsible. On a state-by-state basis for the conterminous Unites States (U.S., we looked at several agronomic variables to predict the number of grassland species increasing or declining according to breeding bird surveys conducted between 1980 and 2003. Best predictors of species declines were the lethal risk from insecticide use modeled from pesticide impact studies, followed by the loss of cropped pasture. Loss of permanent pasture or simple measures of agricultural intensification such as the proportion of land under crop or the proportion of farmland treated with herbicides did not explain bird declines as well. Because the proportion of farmland treated with insecticides, and more particularly the lethal risk to birds from the use of current insecticides feature so prominently in the best models, this suggests that, in the U.S. at least, pesticide toxicity to birds should be considered as an important factor in grassland bird declines.
Nielsen, Helle Ørsted; Pedersen, Anders Branth; Christensen, Tove
Recent reforms of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have set in motion a process of increased market orientation in the agricultural sector, a process that will be intensified by trade liberalization if an agreement is reached under the World Trade Organization (WTO). It is wi......Recent reforms of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have set in motion a process of increased market orientation in the agricultural sector, a process that will be intensified by trade liberalization if an agreement is reached under the World Trade Organization (WTO...... 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...
Sustainable synthetic processes developed during the past two decades involving the use of alternate energy inputs and greener reaction media are summarized. Learning from nature, one can produce a wide variety of nanoparticles using completely safe and benign materials such as ...
Charao Marques, F.; Kessler Dal Soglio, F.; Ploeg, van der J.D.
This paper provides an analysis of knowledge generation and ‘novelty production’ into new social arrangements within a sociotechnical transition scenario. The purpose is to contribute to the debate about convergences between creativity, learning and collective action for enhancing the sustainability
era is to establish how genes and proteins function to bring about changes in phenotype. Some of ... within the context of sustainable development of African economies. The greatest .... these strategies, the genomes of many organisms have now been ... gene structure and order, e.g. between rice, wheat, corn, millets and ...
Thomas O. Crist
Full Text Available The conservation of biodiversity in intensively managed agricultural landscapes depends on the amount and spatial arrangement of cultivated and natural lands. Conservation incentives that create semi-natural grasslands may increase the biodiversity of beneficial insects and their associated ecosystem services, such as pollination and the regulation of insect pests, but the effectiveness of these incentives for insect conservation are poorly known, especially in North America. We studied the variation in species richness, composition, and functional-group abundances of bees and predatory beetles in conservation grasslands surrounded by intensively managed agriculture in Southwest Ohio, USA. Characteristics of grassland patches and surrounding land-cover types were used to predict insect species richness, composition, and functional-group abundance using linear models and multivariate ordinations. Bee species richness was positively influenced by forb cover and beetle richness was positively related to grass cover; both taxa had greater richness in grasslands surrounded by larger amounts of semi-natural land cover. Functional groups of bees and predatory beetles defined by body size and sociality varied in their abundance according to differences in plant composition of grassland patches, as well as the surrounding land-cover diversity. Intensive agriculture in the surrounding landscape acted as a filter to both bee and beetle species composition in conservation grasslands. Our results support the need for management incentives to consider landscape-level processes in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.
Le Cocq, Kate; Gurr, Sarah J.; Hirsch, Penny R.; Mauchline, Tim H.
Summary 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 endoph...
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. PMID:28676790
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.
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.
Ashraf, M.; Fayyaz-ul-Hussan; Khan, M.A.
Ever increasing demands of food are met through increased production by vertical or horizontal expansion. Vertical expansion needs increased inputs (fertilizer, chemicals, etc.) supply, leaving many negative effects on environment. Horizontal expansion limits the choice for future generations. Apart from agricultural activities, agro-based industries produce large amounts of waste material. Farm waste, along with industrial waste, used as fertilizer after necessary preparation would reduce the cost of production, increase production and clean the environment. Safe and proper disposal of saline water could reduce the risk of further salinization. Alternative methods of irrigation would solve the problem of waster logging. (author)
Roč. 20, č. 1 (2012), s. 16-27 ISSN 1210-8812 Institutional support: RVO:68145535 Keywords : acidophilous grasslands * hemeroby * patch isolation * patch area * regression trees Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography http://www.geonika.cz/EN/research/ENMgr/MGR_2012_01.pdf
Full Text Available The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP is a voluntary set-aside program in the United States designed to amelioratesoil erosion, control crop overproduction, enhance water quality, and provide wildlife habitat by replacing crops with other forms of land cover. Because CRP includes primarily grass habitats, it has great potential to benefitdeclining North American grassland bird populations. We looked at the change in national and state population trends of grassland birds and related changes to cover-specific CRP variables (previous research grouped all CRP practices. Changes in national trends after the initiation of the CRP were inconclusive, but we observed signficant bird-CRP relations at the state level. Most bird-CRP relations were positive, except for some species associated with habitats that CRP replaced. Practice- and configuration-specific CRP variables were related to grassland bird trends, rather than a generic measure of all CRP types combined. Considering all CRP land as a single, distinct habitat type may obscure actual relations between birds and set-aside characteristics. Understanding and predictingthe effects of set-aside programs (like CRP or agri-environment schemes on grassland birds is complex and difficult. Because available broad-scale datasets are less than adequate, studies should be conducted at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.
Roč. 20, č. 1 (2012), s. 16-27 ISSN 1210-8812 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30860518 Keywords : acidophilous grasslands * hemeroby * patch isolation * regression trees * Bohemian-Moravian Highland Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography http://www.geonika.cz/CZ/CZresearch/CZMgrArchive.html
Zapata, F.; Roy, R.N.
This publication deals with the direct application of phosphate rock (PR) sources to agriculture. Phosphorus (P) is an essential plant nutrient and its deficiency restricts crop yields severely. Tropical and subtropical soils are predominantly acidic, and often extremely P deficient with high P-sorption (fixation) capacities. Therefore, substantial P inputs are required for optimum plant growth and adequate food and fibre production. Manufactured water-soluble P fertilizers such as superphosphates are commonly recommended to correct P deficiencies, but most developing countries import these fertilizers, which are often in limited supply and represent a major outlay for resource-poor farmers. In addition, intensification of agricultural production in these countries necessitates the addition of P not only to increase crop production but also to improve soil P status in order to avoid further soil degradation. Hence, it is imperative to explore alternative P sources. Under certain soil and climate conditions, the direct application of PR, especially where available locally, has proved to be an agronomically and economically sound alternative to the more expensive superphosphates. PR deposits occur worldwide, but few are mined (for use mainly as raw materials to manufacture water-soluble P fertilizers). The Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture initiated a Coordinated Research Project called 'The use of nuclear and related techniques for evaluating the agronomic effectiveness of phosphatic fertilizers, in particular rock phosphates'. This was implemented by institutes of developing and industrialized countries from 1993 to 1998. The results obtained yielded new information on: chemistry of soil P; tests for available soil P; phosphate nutrition of crops; agronomic effectiveness of PR products; and P fertilizer recommendations with particular emphasis on PR use. Within the framework of the integrated plant nutrition systems promoted by
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.
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.
Keersmaecker, De Wanda; Rooijen, van Nils; Lhermitte, Stef; Tits, Laurent; Schaminée, Joop; Coppin, Pol; Honnay, Olivier; Somers, Ben
The stable delivery of ecosystem services provided by grasslands is strongly dependent on the stability of grassland ecosystem functions such as biomass production. Biomass production is in turn strongly affected by the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. The aim of this study is to
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.
Asian Development Bank (ADB)
Climate change is a threat to Mongolia’s economic growth, sustainable development, and fragile environment. Well-designed actions to mitigate climate change can provide multiple benefits, including socioeconomic development and resilience to climate variability and change. Nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) can provide a framework for the identification and implementation of mitigation actions. This publication identifies and assesses technical, institutional, and policy elemen...
China has to raise agricultural productivity in its limited and shrinking farmland to guarantee food security for its huge and ever-growing population. Sustainable soil nutrient management is of paramount importance to the world's most populous country. Critical challenges the country is facing in sustaining soil fertility and in alleviating the hazardous impact of intensive fertilizer use are discussed in this paper. It is emphatically pointed out that national strategies as well as area-specific action plans with respect to scientific nutrient management are urgently needed to balance productivity and sustainability in the future. Relevant proposals for addressing those challenges are also presented.
Fornara, Dario A.; Wasson, Elizabeth-Anne; Christie, Peter; Watson, Catherine J.
Sustainable grassland intensification aims to increase plant yields while maintaining the ability of soil to act as a sink rather than sources of atmospheric CO2. High biomass yields from managed grasslands, however, can be only maintained through long-term nutrient fertilization, which can significantly affect soil carbon (C) storage and cycling. Key questions remain about (1) how long-term inorganic vs. organic fertilization influences soil C stocks, and (2) how soil C gains (or losses) contribute to the long-term C balance of managed grasslands. Using 43 years of data from a permanent grassland experiment, we show that soils not only act as significant C sinks but have not yet reached C saturation. Even unfertilized control soils showed C sequestration rates of 0.35 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (i.e. 35 g C m-2 yr-1; 0-15 cm depth) between 1970 and 2013. High application rates of liquid manure (i.e. cattle slurry) further increased soil C sequestration to 0.86 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (i.e. 86 g C m-2 yr-1) and a key cause of this C accrual was greater C inputs from cattle slurry. However, average coefficients of slurry-C retention in soils suggest that 85 % of C added yearly through liquid manure is lost possibly via CO2 fluxes and organic C leaching. Inorganically fertilized soils (i.e. NPK) had the lowest C-gain efficiency (i.e. unit of C gained per unit of N added) and lowest C sequestration (similar to control soils). Soils receiving cattle slurry showed higher C-gain and N-retention efficiencies compared to soils receiving NPK or pig slurry. We estimate that net rates of CO2-sequestration in the top 15 cm of the soil can offset 9-25 % of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from intensive management. However, because of multiple GHG sources associated with livestock farming, the net C balance of these grasslands remains positive (9-12 Mg CO2-equivalent ha-1 yr-1), thus contributing to climate change. Further C-gain efficiencies (e.g. reduced enteric fermentation and use of feed
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
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
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…
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
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.
D'Annibale, Alessandra; Sechi, Valentina; Larsen, Thomas
plots with either perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), whiteclover (Trifolium repens L.) or a mixture of both in a Danish agricultural grassland 6 and 14 months after establishing the leys (September and May, respectively). Diet preferences were investigated via stable isotope analyses (SIA...... in the white clover than ryegrass plots. Changes in taxa speciﬁc density and traits distribution as a response to the C:N ratio of plant material, suggest that plant material quality was the main factor affecting the collembolan community,especially when comparing the two sampling occasions. Functional...... richness decreased under conditions of low quality material. In contrast to our hypothesis, population densities did not increase under mixture treatment and functional richness decreased. Our results suggest that habitat changes, via different plant composition, can affect some functional groups, having...
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
Feed 9.6 billion people, according to UN projections, will populate the planet in 2050. This is the challenge that agriculture is called to deal and that will be one of the topics carriers EXPO 2015. The answer to food needs of a population growing, in particular in the Countries in the developing world, will certainly not unique, but the road seems marked: it is that of an i ntensification sustainable a griculture, supported by innovation and research, able to enhance agricultural yields without adding to the budget input necessary for the production (energy, earth, water). [it
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.
A need to increase agricultural production across the world to ensure continued food security appears to be at odds with the urgency to reduce the negative environmental impacts of intensive agriculture. Around the world, intensification has been associated with massive simplification and uniformity...
Speiser , Bernhard; Stolze , Matthias; Oehen , Bernadette; Gessler , Cesare; Weibel , Franco; Bravin , Esther; Kilchenmann , Adeline; Widmer , Albert; Charles , Raffael; Lang , Andreas; Stamm , Christian; Triloff , Peter; Tamm , Lucius
International audience; The aim of this study was to provide an ex ante assessment of the sustainability of genetically modified (GM) crops under the agricultural conditions prevailing in Switzerland. The study addressed the gaps in our knowledge relating to (1) the agronomic risks/benefits in production systems under Swiss conditions (at field and rotation/orchard level), (2) the economic and socio-economic impacts associated with altered farming systems, and (3) the agro-ecological risks/be...
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..
Full Text Available To improve decision-making, sustainability-based approaches to assessment of options and undertakings demand that we move beyond narrowly defined considerations to address the full suite of requirements for progress towards sustainability. This paper reports on a sustainability assessment exercise that originally focused on burning agricultural residues, primarily peanut shells, for cooking applications in Senegal. The scope of assessment had to be expanded to address the agricultural and energy systems of Senegal, when closer examination revealed a complex set of energy and agricultural system interactions that could undermine the anticipated positive effects of initiatives centred primarily on peanut residue cookstoves. The case highlights the need to be open to expanding the scope of assessment to address underlying and/or unexpected issues that cannot be addressed appropriately at the project scale. In particular, the case illustrates how the assessment of an energy system may serve as an entry point into a deeper exploration of the context in which the energy system is embedded. The analysis also illustrates a situation in which different paths that may be followed, each with its own degree of uncertainty, path dependence, feasibility, fairness, cultural sensitivity, trade-off acceptability and possibilities for public judgement of overall desirability.
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.
Pigford, Ashlee Ann E.; Hickey, Gordon M.; Klerkx, Laurens
Well-designed and supported innovation niches may facilitate transitions towards sustainable agricultural futures, which may follow different approaches and paradigms such as agroecology, local place-based food systems, vertical farming, bioeconomy, urban agriculture, and smart farming or digital
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.
Watts, Dexter B; Dick, Warren A
Interest in using gypsum as a management tool to improve crop yields and soil and water quality has recently increased. Abundant supply and availability of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) gypsum, a by-product of scrubbing sulfur from combustion gases at coal-fired power plants, in major agricultural producing regions within the last two decades has attributed to this interest. Currently, published data on the long-term sustainability of FGD gypsum use in agricultural systems is limited. This has led to organization of the American Society of Agronomy's Community "By-product Gypsum Uses in Agriculture" and a special collection of nine technical research articles on various issues related to FGD gypsum uses in agricultural systems. A brief review of FGD gypsum, rationale for the special collection, overviews of articles, knowledge gaps, and future research directions are presented in this introductory paper. The nine articles are focused in three general areas: (i) mercury and other trace element impacts, (ii) water quality impacts, and (iii) agronomic responses and soil physical changes. While this is not an exhaustive review of the topic, results indicate that FGD gypsum use in sustainable agricultural production systems is promising. The environmental impacts of FGD gypsum are mostly positive, with only a few negative results observed, even when applied at rates representing cumulative 80-year applications. Thus, FGD gypsum, if properly managed, seems to represent an important potential input into agricultural systems. Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.
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.
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.
Dalezios, N. R.; Blanta, A.; Spyropoulos, N. V.; Tarquis, A. M.
Drought is considered as one of the major natural hazards with a significant impact on agriculture, environment, society and economy. Droughts affect sustainability of agriculture and may result in environmental degradation of a region, which is one of the factors contributing to the vulnerability of agriculture. This paper addresses agrometeorological or agricultural drought within the risk management framework. Risk management consists of risk assessment, as well as a feedback on the adopted risk reduction measures. And risk assessment comprises three distinct steps, namely risk identification, risk estimation and risk evaluation. This paper deals with risk identification of agricultural drought, which involves drought quantification and monitoring, as well as statistical inference. For the quantitative assessment of agricultural drought, as well as the computation of spatiotemporal features, one of the most reliable and widely used indices is applied, namely the vegetation health index (VHI). The computation of VHI is based on satellite data of temperature and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The spatiotemporal features of drought, which are extracted from VHI, are areal extent, onset and end time, duration and severity. In this paper, a 20-year (1981-2001) time series of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/advanced very high resolution radiometer (NOAA/AVHRR) satellite data is used, where monthly images of VHI are extracted. Application is implemented in Thessaly, which is the major agricultural drought-prone region of Greece, characterized by vulnerable agriculture. The results show that agricultural drought appears every year during the warm season in the region. The severity of drought is increasing from mild to extreme throughout the warm season, with peaks appearing in the summer. Similarly, the areal extent of drought is also increasing during the warm season, whereas the number of extreme drought pixels is much less than
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.
Green, Christopher T.; Bekins, Barbara A.
Increased concentrations of nitrate in groundwater in agricultural areas, coinciding with increased use of chemical and organic fertilizers, have raised concern because of risks to environmental and human health. At some sites, these problems are mitigated by natural attenuation of nitrate as a result of microbially mediated reactions. Results from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research under the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) program show that reactions of dissolved nitrate with solid aquifer minerals and organic carbon help lower nitrate concentrations in groundwater beneath agricultural fields. However, increased fluxes of nitrate cause ongoing depletion of the finite pool of solid reactants. Consumption of the solid reactants diminishes the capacity of the aquifer to remove nitrate, calling into question the long-term sustainability of these natural attenuation processes.
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 The old rural civilization which assured a long and miraculous surviving of the Romanian people, it is at present in a critical breaking up moment. Production and rural living standard have become lacked of competitiveness, traditions and customs are left and people move to cities. Production looks to be unefficient and not sustainable from an ethnical and social point of view. Under the pressure of this situation, and also of the international concerns (ONU 1972, FAOSARD, UE and European concerns (LEADER 199, EU RDP 2007-2013, sustainable development has become the core of the activity of Romanian scientists and authorities (SNDD 2013-2020-2030, PNDR 2007-2013 . Taking into consideration the previous research results and programmes, the present study approaches the need to pass to real actions based on the analysis of the thresholds of the affected space, some aspects of the agricultural and rural sustainable development, regarding: farm modernization as an economical and social imperative and mention some aspects of the rural sustainable development including also the preservation of cultural, natural and rural heritage.
Luis A. Milesi Delaye
Full Text Available Long-term soil organic carbon (SOC and soil organic nitrogen (SON following cultivation of grassland soils (100/120-year tillage (T + 20/30-year no tillage (NT of the Rolling Pampa were studied calibrating the simple AMG model coupled with the natural 13C abundance measurements issued from long-term experiments and validating it on a data set obtained by a farmer survey and by long-term NT experiments. The multisite survey and NT trials permitted coverage of the history of the 140 years with agriculture. The decrease in SOC and SON storage that occurred during the first twenty years by a loss through biological activity was 27% for SOC and 32% for SON. The calibrated model described the SOC storage evolution very well and permitted an accurate simultaneous estimation of their three parameters. The validated model simulated well SOC and SON evolution. Overall, the results analyzed separately for the T and NT period indicated that the active pool has a rapid turnover (MRT ~9 and 13 years, resp. which represents 50% of SOC in the native prairie soil and 20% of SOC at equilibrium after NT period. NT implementation on soils with the highest soil organic matter reserves will continue to decrease (17% for three decades later under current annual addition.
Keller, E. D.; Baisden, W. T.; Timar, L.; Mullan, B.; Clark, A.
We adapt and integrate the Biome-BGC and Land Use in Rural New Zealand models to simulate pastoral agriculture and to make land-use change, intensification of agricultural activity and climate change scenario projections of New Zealand's pasture production at time slices centred on 2020, 2050 and 2100, with comparison to a present-day baseline. Biome-BGC model parameters are optimised for pasture production in both dairy and sheep/beef farm systems, representing a new application of the Biome-BGC model. Results show up to a 10% increase in New Zealand's national pasture production in 2020 under intensification and a 1-2% increase by 2050 from economic factors driving land-use change. Climate change scenarios using statistically downscaled global climate models (GCMs) from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report also show national increases of 1-2% in 2050, with significant regional variations. Projected out to 2100, however, these scenarios are more sensitive to the type of pasture system and the severity of warming: dairy systems show an increase in production of 4% under mild change but a decline of 1% under a more extreme case, whereas sheep/beef production declines in both cases by 3 and 13%, respectively. Our results suggest that high-fertility systems such as dairying could be more resilient under future change, with dairy production increasing or only slightly declining in all of our scenarios. These are the first national-scale estimates using a model to evaluate the joint effects of climate change, CO2 fertilisation and N-cycle feedbacks on New Zealand's unique pastoral production systems that dominate the nation's agriculture and economy. Model results emphasise that CO2 fertilisation and N-cycle feedback effects are responsible for meaningful differences in agricultural systems. More broadly, we demonstrate that our model output enables analysis of decoupled land-use change scenarios: the Biome-BGC data products at a national or regional level can be re
Thomson, Linda J; Hoffmann, Ary A
Effective pest control remains an essential part of food production, and it is provided both by chemicals and by natural enemies within agricultural ecosystems. These methods of control are often in conflict because of the negative impact of chemicals on natural enemies. There are already well-established approaches such as those provided by the International Organization for Biological and Integrated Control-Pesticides and Beneficial Organisms for testing, collecting, and publishing information on responses of natural enemies to chemicals based on laboratory responses of specific organisms; however, these tests do not assess the cumulative impact of chemical inputs across an entire season or consider impacts on the complex communities of natural enemies that can provide effective pest control on a farm. Here, we explore the potential of different approaches for assessing the impact of chemicals on agricultural ecosystems and we propose a simple metric for sustainable chemical use on farms that minimizes overall impact on beneficial groups. We suggest ways in which the effectiveness of metrics can be extended to include persistence and habitat features. Such metrics can assist farmers in developing targets for sustainable chemical use as demonstrated in the viticultural industry.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Full Text Available Agriculture in China started about 8000 BCE with cultivation of millet and rice. Thus, China's modern agriculture is rooted in a long evolutionary history of agricultural practices. China's population of 211 million in 1700 increased to 295 million in 1800, 400 million in 1900, 1266 million in 2000, and is 1409 million in 2017. Thus, China has to feed 18.5% of the world population on merely 7% of the world's arable land and with even scarcer water resources. Yet, between 1950 and 2017, the grain production in China increased at a faster rate than that of the population. Total grain production (million ton or Tg was 113 in 1949, 305 in 1970, 462 in 2000, and 603 in 2015. The high agricultural productivity is attributed to high consumption of fertilizers (58.8 Tg in 2015, pesticides (1.81 Tg in 2014, and irrigation (65.7 Mha in 2014. However, the high production is also associated with the severe problems of soil degradation (erosion, water contamination and air pollution. It is estimated that ~40% of China's arable land is degraded to some degree. Thus, there is a strong need for a paradigm shift of sustaining high productivity while restoring quality of natural resources of soil, water and air. In this context, conversion to a system-based conservation agriculture (CA may be an important strategy of sustainable intensification of agro-ecosystems for advancing and sustaining high production while restoring soil health, purifying water and air and improving the environment. The CA has been practiced in China since 1990s and was adopted on ~8.0 Mha in 2015. The available literature shows that conversion to CA increases soil organic C (SOC concentration and stocks mostly in the surface layer while also producing an equivalent agronomic yield. Therefore, a widespread adoption of CA in China would necessitate a deeper understanding of its ecological underpinnings. To be effective, site-specific CA practices must reduce risks of soil erosion under
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…
Loucougaray, Grégory; Dobremez, Laurent; Gos, Pierre; Pauthenet, Yves; Nettier, Baptiste; Lavorel, Sandra
Ecological intensification in grasslands can be regarded as a process for increasing forage production while maintaining high levels of ecosystem functions and biodiversity. In the mountain Vercors massif, where dairy cattle farming is the main component of agriculture, how to achieve forage autonomy at farm level while sustaining environmental quality for tourism and local dairy products has recently stimulated local debate. As specific management is one of the main drivers of ecosystem functioning, we assessed the response of forage production and environmental quality at grassland scale across a wide range of management practices. We aimed to determine which components of management can be harnessed to better match forage production and environmental quality. We sampled the vegetation of 51 grasslands stratified across 13 grassland types. We assessed each grassland for agronomic and environmental properties, measuring forage production, forage quality, and indices based on the abundance of particular plant species such as timing flexibility, apiarian potential, and aromatic plants. Our results revealed an expected trade-off between forage production and environmental quality, notably by stressing the contrasts between sown and permanent grasslands. However, strong within-type variability in both production and environmental quality as well as in flexibility of timing of use suggests possible ways to improve this trade-off at grassland and farm scales. As achieving forage autonomy relies on increasing both forage production and grassland resilience, our results highlight the critical role of the ratio between sown and permanent grasslands as a major path for ecological intensification in mountain grasslands.
Arasumani, M; Khan, Danish; Das, Arundhati; Lockwood, Ian; Stewart, Robert; Kiran, Ravi A; Muthukumar, M; Bunyan, Milind; Robin, V V
Tropical montane habitats, grasslands, in particular, merit urgent conservation attention owing to the disproportionate levels of endemic biodiversity they harbour, the ecosystem services they provide, and the fact that they are among the most threatened habitats globally. The Shola Sky Islands in the Western Ghats host a matrix of native forest-grassland matrix that has been planted over the last century, with exotic timber plantations. The popular discourse on the landscape change is that mainly forests have been lost to the timber plantations and recent court directives are to restore Shola forest trees. In this study, we examine spatiotemporal patterns of landscape change over the last 40 years in the Palani Hills, a significant part of the montane habitat in the Western Ghats. Using satellite imagery and field surveys, we find that 66% of native grasslands and 31% of native forests have been lost over the last 40 years. Grasslands have gone from being the dominant, most contiguous land cover to one of the rarest and most fragmented. They have been replaced by timber plantations and, to a lesser extent, expanding agriculture. We find that the spatial pattern of grassland loss to plantations differs from the loss to agriculture, likely driven by the invasion of plantation species into grasslands. We identify remnant grasslands that should be prioritised for conservation and make specific recommendations for conservation and restoration of grasslands in light of current management policy in the Palani Hills, which favours large-scale removal of plantations and emphasises the restoration of native forests.
Full Text Available Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998 a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of grasslands. To ease the impact on the residents’ livelihoods, the national and regional governments have offered a series of top-down arrangements to stimulate sustainable use of the grasslands. Simultaneously, local households spontaneously developed bottom-up countermeasures. To determine the effects of these processes, we interviewed members of 135 households using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. We analyzed the effects on household dependence on local grasslands and on perceptions of the future of grassland use. Our findings show that the implementation of the grassland conservation policies significantly affected household livelihoods, which in turn affected household use of natural assets (primarily the land, their agricultural assets (farming and grazing activities and their financial assets (income and consumption, resulting in fundamental transformation of their lifestyles. The households developed adaptation measures to account for the dependence of their livelihood on local ecosystems by initializing strategies, such as seeking off-farm work, leasing pasture land, increasing purchases of fodder for stall-fed animals and altering their diet and fuel consumption to compensate for their changing livelihoods.
Assouline, Shmuel; Russo, David; Silber, Avner; Or, Dani
The challenge of meeting the projected doubling of global demand for food by 2050 is monumental. It is further exacerbated by the limited prospects for land expansion and rapidly dwindling water resources. A promising strategy for increasing crop yields per unit land requires the expansion of irrigated agriculture and the harnessing of water sources previously considered "marginal" (saline, treated effluent, and desalinated water). Such an expansion, however, must carefully consider potential long-term risks on soil hydroecological functioning. The study provides critical analyses of use of marginal water and management approaches to map out potential risks. Long-term application of treated effluent (TE) for irrigation has shown adverse impacts on soil transport properties, and introduces certain health risks due to the persistent exposure of soil biota to anthropogenic compounds (e.g., promoting antibiotic resistance). The availability of desalinated water (DS) for irrigation expands management options and improves yields while reducing irrigation amounts and salt loading into the soil. Quantitative models are used to delineate trends associated with long-term use of TE and DS considering agricultural, hydrological, and environmental aspects. The primary challenges to the sustainability of agroecosystems lies with the hazards of saline and sodic conditions, and the unintended consequences on soil hydroecological functioning. Multidisciplinary approaches that combine new scientific knowhow with legislative, economic, and societal tools are required to ensure safe and sustainable use of water resources of different qualities. The new scientific knowhow should provide quantitative models for integrating key biophysical processes with ecological interactions at appropriate spatial and temporal scales.
Sustainable intensification is an emerging model for agriculture designed to reconcile accelerating global demand for agricultural products with long-term environmental stewardship. Defined here as increasing agricultural production while maintaining or improving environmental quality, sustainable i...
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
Yunbi Xu; Jiayang Li; Jianmin Wan
The International Crop Science Congress (ICSC) is a regularly held event allowing crop scientists to integrate current knowledge into a global context and international applications. The 7th ICSC was held on August 14–19, 2016 in Beijing, China, with the theme "Crop Science: Innovation and Sustainability". As a companion production for this great congress, the nine papers collected in this special issue feature important fields of crop science in China. This editorial first briefly introduces the 7th ICSC, followed by a brief discussion of the current status of, constraints to, and innovations in Chinese agriculture and crop science. Finally, the main scientific points of the papers published in this special issue are surveyed, covering important advances in hybrid rice breeding, minor cereals, food legumes, rapeseed, crop systems, crop management, cotton, genomics-based germplasm research, and QTL mapping. In a section describing future prospects, it is indicated that China faces a full transition from traditional to modern agriculture and crop science.
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.
Full Text Available Sustainability and agricultural finance are two important issues attracting attention from industry and academia. This research adopts an in-depth case study methodology to investigate the agricultural finance initiatives of Alibaba Group, and explores how the agricultural finance practices of an e-commerce platform facilitate its sustainability goal. A reference framework is proposed to prove the adoption of agricultural finance. The influence of three moderating variables, namely, IT support, financial attractiveness, and cooperation with other entities, is analyzed. We find that advanced IT support and financial attractiveness are two indispensable enablers for agricultural finance initiatives, and collaboration with other entities is necessary in adopting agricultural supply chain finance.
Magda, Danièle; de Sainte Marie, Christine; Plantureux, Sylvain; Agreil, Cyril; Amiaud, Bernard; Mestelan, Philippe; Mihout, Sarah
Current agri-environmental schemes for reconciling agricultural production with biodiversity conservation are proving ineffective Europe-wide, increasing interest in results-based schemes (RBSs). We describe here the French "Flowering Meadows" competition, rewarding the "best agroecological balance" in semi-natural grasslands managed by livestock farmers. This competition, which was entered by about a thousand farmers in 50 regional nature parks between 2007 and 2014, explicitly promotes a new style of agri-environmental scheme focusing on an ability to reach the desired outcome rather than adherence to prescriptive management rules. Building on our experience in the design and monitoring of the competition, we argue that the cornerstone of successful RBSs is a collective learning process in which the reconciliation of agriculture and environment is reconsidered in terms of synergistic relationships between agricultural and ecological functioning. We present the interactive, iterative process by which we defined an original method for assessing species-rich grasslands in agroecological terms. This approach was based on the integration of new criteria, such as flexibility, feeding value, and consistency of use, into the assessment of forage production performance and the consideration of biodiversity conservation through its functional role within the grassland ecosystem, rather than simply noting the presence or abundance of species. We describe the adaptation of this methodology on the basis of competition feedback, to bring about a significant shift in the conventional working methods of agronomists and conservationists (including researchers).The potential and efficacy of RBSs for promoting ecologically sound livestock systems are discussed in the concluding remarks, and they relate to the ecological intensification debate.
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
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
Ahmed, Syud Amer; Gautam, Madhur
This paper reviews Pakistan's agriculture performance and analyzes its agriculture and water policies. It discusses the nature of rural poverty and emphasizes the reasons why agricultural growth is a critical component to any pro-poor growth strategy for Pakistan. It supports these arguments by summarizing key results from recent empirical analysis where the relative benefits of agricultur...
Simon, Sonja; Wiegmann, Kirsten
This paper presents a model for analyzing the sustainable potential of agricultural biomass for energy production. Available land and residue potentials are assessed up to 2030 for Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Two scenarios are presented: a ''business as usual'' scenario is compared to a sustainability scenario. The latter implements a comprehensive sustainability strategy, taking also into account non-agricultural land use such as building activity and nature conservation. On the one hand our model quantifies the conflict of objectives between enhanced extensification in agriculture and increased area for nature conservation. On the other hand the synergies in restricting built up area and increased mobilisation of agricultural residues are assessed. Additionally the impact of reduced subsidized agricultural exports from the EU is calculated, also as an indicator for the influence of world food markets on bioenergy potentials. Our results show that the sustainable energy potential from agricultural biomass is strongly restricted for Germany and the Czech Republic compared to their energy demand. But in Poland and Hungary native agricultural biomass provides a much higher potential for energy supply, even if sustainability is comprehensively considered. However, this is strongly influenced by the amount of agricultural exports of each country. For bioenergy from agricultural cultivation to remain a sustainable option in the energy sector, its influence on the food markets must be respected more thoroughly and a comprehensive approach to sustainable development in land use is a prerequisite. (author)
Antle, J. (ed.); Lekakis, J. (ed.); Zanias, G. (ed.)
Metadata only record Revised papers selected from the international conference "European agriculture at the crossroads: Competition and sustainability" hosted by the Dept. of Economics of the University of Crete, in Rethimno, 1996. The conference examined the relationship between free trade and agricultural sustainability in the European Union.
Merfield, Charles; Moller, Henrik; Manhire, Jon; Rosin, Chris; Norton, Solis; Carey, Peter; Hunt, Lesley; Reid, John; Fairweather, John; Benge, Jayson; Le Quellec, Isabelle; Campbell, Hugh; Lucock, David; Saunders, Caroline; MacLeod, Catriona
Our review concludes that organic standards need to account for a broader set of criteria in order to retain claims to ‘sustainability’. Measurements of the ecological, economic and social outcomes from over 96 kiwifruit, sheep/beef and dairy farms in New Zealand between 2004 and 2012 by The Agricultural Research Group on Sustainability (ARGOS) project showed some enhanced ecosystem services from organic agriculture that will assist a “land-sharing” approach for sustainable land management. H...
Caballero, Rafael; Gil, Angel; Fernández-Santos, Xavier
European Large Scale Grazing Systems (LSGS) are at a crossroad with environmental, agronomic, and social factors interacting on their future viability. This research assesses the current environmental and socio-economic status of a wide range of European LSGS according to an agreed subset of sustainability criteria and indicators, which have been recognized by corresponding experts and privileged observers on their respective case-study system. A survey questionnaire was drafted containing five main criteria (pastoral use, environmental, economic, social, and market and development), with four conceptual-scored variables (indicators) within each criterion. Descriptive, analytical and clustering statistical techniques helped to draw a synthesis of the main result and to standardize sustainability variables across different biogeographical regions and management situations. The results show large multicollinearity among the 20 variables proposed. This dependence was revealed by the reduction to six main factor-components, which accounted for about 73% of the total variance in responses. Aggregation of point-score indicators across criteria to obtain a sustainability index can be of less policy relevance than responses to specific criteria or indicators. Affinity between case-study systems, as judged by collaborative-expert responses, was not related to biogeographical location, operating livestock sector, or population density in their areas. The results show larger weaknesses and constraints in the economic and social criteria than in the pastoral and environmental criteria, and the large heterogeneity of responses appears in the social criterion.
Full Text Available Sustainability of agricultural production in the world is in serious crisis. Interdependence of agricultural production and the environment is multiple and causality works both ways. On one hand, there are environmental changes which hamper food production, and on the other, the agricultural production, as it is, is severely damaging the environment. The very systems of agricultural production jeopardize future production. The goal of this paper is to explore causes of limitations of sustainable agricultural development in the world, where the authors emphasize the following: gas emissions with greenhouse effect, a disturbed cycle of nitrogen circulation and destruction of biodiversity.
Mulder, C.; Cohen, J.E.; Setälä, H.; Bloem, J.; Breure, A.M.
This paper compares responses to environmental stress of the ecophysiological traits of organisms in the detrital soil food webs of grasslands in the Netherlands, using the relationship between average body mass M and numerical abundance N. The microbial biomass and biodiversity of belowground fauna
However, recent trends of slowing agricultural productivity ... land and water constraints, under-developed agricultural sector and climate change. ... is needed to (i) improve small holder productivity and market access (ii) keep trade open (iii) ...
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
Meerman, F.; Ven, van de G.W.J.; Keulen, van H.; Breman, H.
In developing countries, agriculture is being intensified to produce more food and agricultural products. In most agricultural development strategies, the order of priorities is on: (i) increasing yields, (ii) crop protection, and (iii) human health, environmental and social aspects. This sequential
Davidson, E. A.; Zhang, X.
The ratification of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by all member countries of the United Nations demonstrates the determination of the international community in moving towards a sustainable future. To enable and encourage accountability, independent and transparent measurements of national sustainability efforts are essential. Among all sectors, agriculture is fundamental to all three pillars of sustainability, namely environment, society, and economy. However, the definition of a sustainable agriculture and the feasibility of measuring it remain elusive, in part because it encompasses both biophysical and socio-economic components that are still poorly integrated. Therefore, we have been developing a Sustainable Agriculture Matrix (SAM) on a national scale in order to measure country-level performance in agriculture. First proposed by Swaminathan for agricultural research and policy in 1990s, SAM is a collection of indicators measuring sustainable agriculture from environmental, social, and economic dimensions. The environmental dimension evaluates various impacts of agricultural production on the environment, such as water consumption and nutrient pollution. The economic dimension quantifies the costs and benefits for major stakeholders involved in agricultural production, including government, industry, farmers, and consumers. The social dimension considers three major aspects: 1) social welfare (e.g., hunger and poverty rate, nutritional quality, demography of rural community); 2) equity over sectors, space, and gender (e.g., access to resources/services and opportunities, distribution of income, land ownership and tenure rights); 3) systemic risk (e.g., fragility of the global agricultural production and trade system, resilience of a farm or a country to market and natural shocks). Translating the illustrative concepts into measureable indicators will not only provide an independent and transparent measurement of national performance in the
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.
Yang, Ran; Ma, Jun
In recent years, grassland environmental damage has become serious, and grassland resources protection task has become heavy, grassland ecological compensation has become an effective way to solve this problem; but the current grassland ecological compensation standards were low, the effect is poor. The fundamental reason is the model of administrative division destroys the integrity of grassland. Based on the analysis of the status quo of grassland compensation, this paper tries to protect the grassland integrity, breaks the administrative division restriction, implements the space regulation, constructs the framework of cross-regional grassland ecological compensation mechanism, describes its operation process. It provides new way to realize the sustainable development of the grassland environment.
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.
Ajoy K. Roy
Full Text Available In India, grazing-based livestock husbandry plays an important role in the rural economy as around 50% of animals depend on grazing. Pasturelands over an area of 12 Mha constitute the main grazing resources that are available. Temperate/alpine pastures are spread across elevations higher than 2000 m in the Eastern and Western Himalayas including the Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim states. Nearly 30 pastoral communities in hilly or arid/semi-arid regions in northern and western parts of India, as well as 20 in temperate/hilly regions, depend on grazing-based livestock production. Due to overgrazing coupled with poor management and care, these grazing lands have deteriorated to a large extent and need amelioration or rehabilitation. Appropriate technologies have been developed, refined and tested in various research and academic institutions. These technologies need to be implemented on a large scale in different parts of the country for augmenting forage resources, enhancing livestock production and sustaining livelihood options in an eco-friendly manner.
Keeley, J.E.; Schoenherr, Allan A.
found in both montane meadows and moister grasslands. Forbs when present, are typically perennials. East of the interior ranges, grasslands are uncommon although native perennial bunchgrasses in genera such as Stipa, Hilaria and Aristida are common in steppe and desert scrub. Today, Valley Grassland covers nearly 7 million ha or 17% or the state (Huenneke 1989), although other sources list less than half this amount (Jones and Stokes 1987). There is some evidence that extent of the grassland region has not changed since pre-European conditions, although the spatial distribution of grasslands has likely changed substantially (Huenneke 1989). That is, many current grasslands previously may have been dominated by other vegetation types and vice versa. Without question, many former grasslands have been converted to agricultural and urban use (Barry 1972). The Valley Grassland community occurs in regions characterized by a broad range of climatic conditions. Average January temperatures may range from 5°C to 15°C and July temperatures from 15°C to 30°C (NOAA 1988). Annual precipitation ranges from approximately 12 cm to over 200 cm, although all sites are characterized by a summer drought of 4-8 months (Heady 1977). Grasslands are well developed on deep, fine-textured soils although they are not restricted to such conditions (Wells 1962, Adams 1964, Heady 1977).
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
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...
Full Text Available Biosphere Reserves aim at being role models for biodiversity conservation. This study focuses on the unsuccessful conservation of waders (Charadrii on wet grasslands in the Kristianstad Vattenrike Biosphere Reserve (KVBR in southern Sweden. Predation on nests and young has been proposed as one reason contributing to the decline of waders. We explored this hypothesis by comparing two landscapes, one with declining (KVBR and one with stable (Östergötland wader populations on managed wet grasslands in southern Sweden. Specifically, we tested three predictions linked to predation on wader nests and young, namely that (1 the relative abundance of avian predators and waders; (2 the avian predator abundance; and (3 the predation rate on artificial wader nests, should all be higher in declining versus stable populations. All predictions were clearly supported. Nevertheless, predation may not be the ultimate factor causing wader population declines. We discuss the cumulative effects of landscape change linked to increased food resources for predators, reduced wet grassland patch size and quality. Holistic analyses of multiple wet grassland landscapes as social-ecological systems as case studies, including processes such as predation and other factors affecting waders, is a promising avenue towards collaborative learning for wet grasslands as a functional green infrastructure. However, if governance and management approaches can be improved is questionable without considerable investment in both ecological and social systems.
Saharan Africa in thelast decade or so, a substantial proportion of the people in Africa still live inacute poverty and suffer immensely from inadequate access to economic and social resources. As the agricultural sector dominates the economics of ...
Full Text Available The use of quantitative population epigenetics and the related importance of stress can lead to a paradigm shift, away from a high-input and high-output agriculture with a maximum utilization of the genetic potential to an ecological intensification, to a low-input and high-output agriculture which is optimization and harmonization of limiting stress factors to achieve maximum results with limited environmental or ecological resources.
Pol, van den A.; Golinski, P.; Hennessy, D.; Huyghe, C.; Parente, G.; Peyraud, J.L.
In order to promote sustainable and competitive ruminant production systems, the European Multisward project was aimed at improving farmer trust in grassland and grassland mixtures. A questionnaire on grassland functions was submitted in eight languages, in order to better understand the importance
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.
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.
Darzi-Naftchali, Abdullah; Ritzema, Henk
In Iran, as in the rest of the world, land and water for agricultural production is under pressure. Integrating irrigation and drainage management may help sustain intensified agriculture in irrigated paddy fields. This study was aimed to investigate the long-term effects of such management
Paassen, van A.; Ridder, de N.; Stroosnijder, L.
Agricultural development is complex, highly dynamic and differs among varying contexts. Decision-making for sustainable agricultural development cannot be based on generalized science-based knowledge, but should include context-specific knowledge and values of local stakeholders. Computer models
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
Partnering to support sustainable growth This project is a unique private-public partnership ... They will use a stall-based franchise model and local vendors. ... Call for new OWSD Fellowships for Early Career Women Scientists now open.
Dec 29, 2010 ... elicitors act in cellular defense mechanism of crops, to improve protection and management for sustainable ... mechanisms governing resistance to plant diseases and therefore could ..... Emerging MAP kinase pathways in ...
The Montpellier Panel
Sub-Saharan Africa faces a rapid population growth that drives food demand and scarcity together with scarcity in natural resources such as land, water, and soil fertility. This Montpellier Panel report identifies the paradigm of sustainable intensification as a framework to address both of these issues. It provides a comprehensive overview of the sustainable intensification paradigm, which seeks to utilize existing land to maximize yields, incomes, and nutrition while minimizing negative ext...
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…
Moore, Keith M.
This presentation describes the history and current program of the Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Collaborative Research Support Program (SANREM CRSP). SANREM Objectives include increasing stakeholder income generation capacity, empowering stakeholders, particularly women, enhancing decentralized resource management, strengthening local institutions, improving market access for smallholders and communities, and promoting sustainable and environmentally sound developme...
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...
Hack-ten Broeke, M.J.D.
Six supplementary irrigation management options for grazed grassland were defined and their effects on both agricultural production and nitrate leaching to the groundwater were studied. Data were available from the De Marke experimental farm for sustainable dairy farming. The calibrated and
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 Earthworms are a major component of soil fauna communities. They influence soil chemical, biological, and physical processes and vice versa, their abundance and diversity are influenced by natural characteristics or land management practices. There is need to establish their characteristics and relations. In this study earthworm density (ED, body biomass (EB, and diversity in relation to land use (arable land—AL, permanent grasslands—PG, management, and selected abiotic (soil chemical, physical, climate related and biotic (arthropod density and biomass, ground beetle density, carabid density indicators were analysed at seven different study sites in Slovakia. On average, the density of earthworms was nearly twice as high in PG compared to AL. Among five soil types used as arable land, Fluvisols created the most suitable conditions for earthworm abundance and biomass. We recorded a significant correlation between ED, EB and soil moisture in arable land. In permanent grasslands, the main climate related factor was soil temperature. Relationships between earthworms and some chemical properties (pH, available nutrients were observed only in arable land. Our findings indicate trophic interaction between earthworms and carabids in organically managed arable land. Comprehensive assessment of observed relationships can help in earthworm management to achieve sustainable agricultural systems.
Full Text Available Agriculture land use right transfer (ALURT is a new policy designed to meet the demand of the sustainable development of agriculture in China. In the Heihe river basin (HRB, ALURT has also recently been introduced to cope with the emerging challenges in agriculture. In this paper, we empirically study the long-term viability of this new policy in HRB using a sustainability assessment. We collect the documents of ALURT contracts, statistical data of ALURT performance, and conduct interviews with its users. The main finding is that the centralized institutional structure of ALURT in HRB compromises its long-term viability. In particular, the power imbalance under the regulation of the intermediate agency, which causes the dissatisfaction of the participants, is threatening the application of the ALURT policy in the long run. Therefore, we suggest that the role of the intermediate agency in ALURT needs to be redefined, to better serve the sustainable development of agriculture in HRB.
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.
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 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 ...
African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 7, No 2 (2007) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.
ZHAO Qi-Guo; XU Meng-Jie
Agricultural sustainability for economic development is important and a complex issue throughout the world; however,it is difficult to synthetically evaluate its use in the policy making process. The objective of this study was to evaluate sustainable agriculture in the red soil hill region of Southeast China through a newly proposed method combining four separate sub-systems: regional population (P), resource (R), environmental (E), and socio-economic (S). This new index system was proposed to appraise synthetically the agricultural sustainability of the red soil hill region from 1988 to 1996 with a two-step method assessing: a) the agricultural sustainability in each province independently and b) the relative sustainability of each province to the whole region. The first step only provided a development trend for each province based on its original situation, while the second step provided additional information on the comparative status of each province in agricultural development to the region as a whole. Higher index scores were found for the economy and resource categories denoting improvement. However, lower scores in the environment category indicated the improvement was achieved at the cost of deteriorating ecological surroundings due to an increasing population that demanded more from the agro-ecosystem and put heavier pressures on it. Results also showed that water and soil losses in this region were the major obstacles encountered in sustainable agriculture development. The assessment results were verified when compared with results from another method. This suggested that the new assessment system was reliable and credible in evaluating agricultural sustainability on a regional scale.
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".
Access to financial support was limited due to lack of collateral and high production risk where farmers' production is solely based on natural and unreliable rainfall patterns and therefore unsustainable. Strategies to improve food security should receive priority to support sustainable resource management, increase access ...
Pietro Rubino; Maurizia Catalano; Antonio Lonigro
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 coll...
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.
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
Yali, Y.; Yu, C.
The northern plain is the important food production region in China. However, due to the lack of surface water resources, it needs overmuch exploitation of groundwater to maintain water use in agriculture, which leads to serious environmental problems. Based on the assumption that the reserves of groundwater matches the statistics and keeps on stable, the author explores the reasonable agricultural water and its spatial distribution based on the principle of sustainable utilization of water resources. According to the priorities of water resources allocation (domestic water and ecological water＞industrial water＞agricultural water), it is proposed to reduce agricultural water use to balance the groundwater reserves on condition that the total water supply is constant. Method: Firstly, we calculate annual average of northern groundwater reserves changes from 2004 to 2010, which is regarded as the reduction of agricultural water; Then, we estimate the food production changes using variables of typical crop water requirements and unit yields assuming that the efficiency of water use keeps the same during the entire study period; Finally, we evaluate the usage of sustainable agricultural water. The results reveal that there is a significant reduction of groundwater reserves in Haihe river basin and Xinjiang oasis regions; And the annual loss of the corn and wheat production is about 1.86 billion kg and 700 million kg respectively due to the reduction of agricultural water; What's more, in order to ensure China's food security and sustainable agricultural water use, in addition to great efforts to develop water-saving agriculture, an important adjustment in the distribution of food production is in need. This study provided a basis to the availability of agricultural water and a new perspective was put forth for an estimation of agricultural water.
Amelynck, Crist; Heinesch, Bernard; Aubinet, Marc; Bachy, Aurélie; Delaplace, Pierre; Digrado, Anthony; du Jardin, Patrick; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure; Mozaffar, Ahsan; Schoon, Niels
Global changes in atmospheric composition and climate are expected to affect BVOC exchange between terrestrial vegetation and the atmosphere through changes in the drivers of constitutive BVOC emissions and by increases in frequency and intensity of biotic or abiotic stress episodes. Indeed, several studies indicate changes in the emission patterns of constitutive BVOCs and emission of stress-induced BVOCs following heat, drought and oxidative stress, amongst others. Relating changes in BVOC emissions to the occurrence of one or multiple stressors in natural environmental conditions is not straightforward and only few field studies have dealt with it, especially for agricultural crop and grassland ecosystems. The CROSTVOC project aims to contribute in filling this knowledge gap in three ways. Firstly, it aims at performing long-term BVOC emission field measurements from maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), two important crop species on the global scale, and from grassland. This should lead to a better characterization of (mainly oxygenated) BVOC emissions from these understudied ecosystems, allowing a better representation of those emissions in air quality and atmospheric chemistry and transport models. BVOC fluxes are obtained by the Disjunct Eddy Covariance by mass scanning (DEC-MS) technique, using a hs-PTR-MS instrument for BVOC analysis. Secondly, the eddy covariance BVOC flux measurements (especially at the grassland site) will be accompanied by ozone flux, chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthesis and soil moisture measurements, amongst others, to allow linking alterations in BVOC emissions to stress episodes. Simultaneously, automated dynamic enclosures will be deployed in order to detect specific abiotic and biotic stress markers by PTR-MS and identify them unambiguously by GC-MS. Thirdly, the field measurements will be accompanied by laboratory BVOC flux measurements in an environmental chamber in order to better disentangle the responses
The objective of Phase I Thailand country study are to review and analyses past trends in the production, marketing, consumption, processing and related policies of major CGPRT crops, of which maize, cassava and soybean are selected. In addition, analysis of trade liberalization, agro-industries using the three selected crops, production, marketing and processing potentials and threats are conducted in an attempt to seek policy recommendations for the development of sustainable, diversified a...
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.
Nõlvak, Hiie; Truu, Marika; Kanger, Kärt; Tampere, Mailiis; Espenberg, Mikk; Loit, Evelin; Raave, Henn; Truu, Jaak
Soil fertilization with animal manure or its digestate may facilitate an important antibiotic resistance dissemination route from anthropogenic sources to the environment. This study examines the effect of mineral fertilizer (NH4NO3), cattle slurry and cattle slurry digestate amendment on the abundance and proportion dynamics of five antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and two classes of integron-integrase genes (intI1 and intI2) in agricultural grassland soil. Fertilization was performed thrice throughout one vegetation period. The targeted ARGs (sul1, tetA, blaCTX-M, blaOXA2 and qnrS) encode resistance to several major antibiotic classes used in veterinary medicine such as sulfonamides, tetracycline, cephalosporins, penicillin and fluoroquinolones, respectively. The non-fertilized grassland soil contained a stable background of tetA, blaCTX-M and sul1 genes. The type of applied fertilizer significantly affected ARGs and integron-integrase genes abundances and proportions in the bacterial community (porganic fertilizer's application event, but this increase was followed by a stage of decrease, suggesting that microbes possessing these genes were predominantly entrained into soil via cattle slurry or its digestate application and had somewhat limited survival potential in a soil environment. However, the abundance of these three target genes did not decrease to a background level by the end of the study period. TetA was most abundant in mineral fertilizer treated soil and blaCTX-M in cattle slurry digestate amended soil. Despite significantly different abundances, the abundance dynamics of bacteria possessing these genes were similar (p<0.05 in all cases) in different treatments and resembled the dynamics of the whole bacterial community abundance in each soil treatment. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Agricultural utilization of organic wastes amendments has been shown to be a sound alternative for both waste recycling and soil fertility improvement. Also, attention had been paid to use the biological agents that most cheap and safe for agricultural application in poor sandy soils. In this respect, irradiated sewage sludge and individual and dual inoculants of Azospirillum, Rhizobium and Arbuscular mycorrhizae fungi were applied for reclamation and development of low fertile sandy soil. The fertilizer value of sewage sludge has been known for a long time, but the concomitant problems of heavy metals in soil, as a result of its continuous applications, have only been recognized recently. Most of the studies were devoted to follow up the effect of high concentrations of metals when sewage sludge was applied, but no attention has been accelerated about its effect on soil microorganisms. Adverse effects of sewage sludge on microbial activity and populations of cyanobacteria, Rhizobium, Mycorrhizae and total microbial biomass have been detected in some cases of Europe. For example, N 2 fixation by free-living heterotrophic bacteria was found to be inhibited at concentrations (mg kg -1 ) of 127 Zn, 37 Cu, 21 Ni, 3.4 Cd, 52 Cr, and 71 Pb. Impact of bio fertilizers combined with irradiated sewage sludge on micro nutrients, e.g. Fe, Zn, Mn, Pb availability to clover and wheat plants, and productivity of both crops was the main objective of this study. In this connection, nuclear technology may offer a safety method against pathogenic effects of sewage sludge applied into agricultural ecosystems. Therefore, irradiated sludge is considered as safely source of organic wastes as well as the benefits on enrichment the low fertile soil with available nutrients, which act as a limiting factor for crop production. The N, P and K nutrients uptake by either shoots or grains of tested crops were positively and significantly affected by application of sewage sludge as well as bio
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
Setiawan, M. A.; Sara, F. H.; Christanto, N.; Sartohadi, J.; Samodra, G.; Widicahyono, A.; Ardiana, N.; Widiyati, C. N.; Astuti, E. M.; Martha, G. K.; Malik, R. F.; Sambodo, A. P.; Rokhmaningtyas, R. P.; Swastanto, G. A.; Gomez, C.
Recent innovations in soil conservation methods do not present any breakthrough. Providing more attractive soil conservation methods from the farmer’s perspective is however still of critical importance. Contributing to this soil research gap we attempt to evaluate the sustainable use of three modified conservation methods, namely JALAPA (Jala Sabut Kelapa - geotextile made of coconut fibres), wood sediment trap, and polybag system compared to traditional tillage without conservation method. This research provides both qualitative and quantitative analysis on the performance of each conservation measures. Therefore, in addition to the total sediment yield value and investment cost – as quantitative analysis, we also evaluate qualitatively the indicator of soil loss, installation, maintenance, and the durability of conservation medium. Those criteria define the sustainability use of each conservation method. The results show that JALAPA is the most effective method for controlling soil loss, but it also requires the most expensive cost for installation. However, our finding confirms that geotextile is sensitive to sun heating by which the coconut fibre can become dry and shrink. Wood sediment trap is the cheapest and easiest to install; however it is easily damaged by termite. Polybag method results in the highest productivity, but requires more time during the first installation. In terms of the farmer’s perspective, soil conservation using polybag system was the most accepted technique due to its high benefits; even if it is less effective at reducing soil loss compared to JALAPA.
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.
Daniel El Chami
Full Text Available The frequency and intensity of drought, extreme events and high wind velocities in South Africa are expected to increase in the next century as a result of the changing climate. The National Water Resource Strategy 2 (NWRS2 has set out the general and strategic directions for water resources management in the country for the next 20 years. However, the strategy does not draw a framework tailored specifically for agricultural use, with specific measures and goals. Therefore, to reach sustainability of water in agriculture, four major strategic goals are suggested, on which research institutions can focus and promote through good governance. The strategy emphasises: (1 crop research to find new drought-and heat- tolerant and resistant breeds and varieties; (2 intensified research in agricultural practices; (3 increasing the efficiency of water use within agriculture; and (4 integrating all these strategic goals within a sustainable research framework. Finally, the research calls for rapid action and implementation.
Zahra Hooshmandan Moghaddam Fard
Full Text Available Due to the low compliance of greenhouse production with the principles of sustainable agriculture, a meaningful effort in this regard needs to be done. One of the important factors affecting the success of future planning is the positive attitude of greenhouse owners toward sustainable agriculture. The purpose of this descriptive- correlational study was to investigate factors affecting greenhouse owners’ attitude toward sustainable agriculture. The validity of the questionnaire was verified by a panel of experts in the related field and to obtain its reliability, calculated alpha Cronbach coefficient was higher than 0.75 for different parts. The statistical population consisted all greenhouse owners in Zanjan province (N=80 and based on Krejci and Morgan sampling Table and using randomized sampling method 66 greenhouse owners selected. Results showed that majority of greenhouse owner use moderately of information channels and mass media. The majority of greenhouse owners (59.6 percent had a medium level of knowledge regarding sustainable agriculture and Majority of them (73.7 percent had a positive attitude toward sustainable agriculture. Correlation coefficient showed that greenhouse owners’ attitude had a positive meaningful correlation with information using level, income from the greenhouse, number of educational classes and their job satisfaction but a negative meaningful correlation with the number of household members participating in the activity. Regression analysis revealed that five variable of information using level, the number of household members participating in activity, knowledge and daily time spending in the greenhouse were explained 55.4 percent of greenhouse owners’ attitude toward sustainable agriculture.
Binder, Claudia R.; Feola, Giuseppe; Steinberger, Julia K.
This paper develops a framework for evaluating sustainability assessment methods by separately analyzing their normative, systemic and procedural dimensions as suggested by Wiek and Binder [Wiek, A, Binder, C. Solution spaces for decision-making - a sustainability assessment tool for city-regions. Environ Impact Asses Rev 2005, 25: 589-608.]. The framework is then used to characterize indicator-based sustainability assessment methods in agriculture. For a long time, sustainability assessment in agriculture has focused mostly on environmental and technical issues, thus neglecting the economic and, above all, the social aspects of sustainability, the multi-functionality of agriculture and the applicability of the results. In response to these shortcomings, several integrative sustainability assessment methods have been developed for the agricultural sector. This paper reviews seven of these that represent the diversity of tools developed in this area. The reviewed assessment methods can be categorized into three types: (i) top-down farm assessment methods; (ii) top-down regional assessment methods with some stakeholder participation; (iii) bottom-up, integrated participatory or transdisciplinary methods with stakeholder participation throughout the process. The results readily show the trade-offs encountered when selecting an assessment method. A clear, standardized, top-down procedure allows for potentially benchmarking and comparing results across regions and sites. However, this comes at the cost of system specificity. As the top-down methods often have low stakeholder involvement, the application and implementation of the results might be difficult. Our analysis suggests that to include the aspects mentioned above in agricultural sustainability assessment, the bottom-up, integrated participatory or transdisciplinary methods are the most suitable ones.
Goletti, F.; Gruhn, P.; Yudelman, M.
Metadata only record The challenge for agriculture over the coming decades will be to meet the world's increasing demand for food in a sustainable way. Declining soil fertility and mismanagement of plant nutrients have made this task more difficult. In their 2020 Vision discussion paper, Peter Gruhn, Francesco Goletti, and Montague Yudelman point out that as long as agriculture remains a soil-based industry, major increases in productivity are unlikely to be attained without ensuring that ...
Turkey's demand for energy and electricity is increasing rapidly and heavily dependent on expensive imported energy resources that place a big burden on the economy and air pollution is becoming a great environmental concern in the country. As would be expected, the rapid expansion of energy production and consumption has brought with it a wide range of environmental issues at the local, regional and global levels. With respect to global environmental issues, Turkey's carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions have grown along with its energy-consumption. States have played a leading role in protecting the environment by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). In this regard, renewable energy resources appear to be the one of the most efficient and effective solutions for clean and sustainable energy development in Turkey. Turkey's geographical location has several advantages for extensive use of most of these renewable energy sources.
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
Loeber, A.; Vermeulen, T.; Barbier, M.; Elzen, B.
The management of projects for sustainable innovation is characterised by a variety of intricacies. Facilitators play a central role in dealing with these challenges. Adopting an empirical approach, this chapter discusses the practical approaches and attitudes that facilitators develop to deal with such challenges in the domain of agricultural innovation. To that end, the paper presents a list of four intricacies inherent in running projects that seek to enhance sustainable development, based...
Full Text Available The attitude of greenhouse owner as the basis of agricultural production towards sustainable agriculture could be grounds for increasing the sustainability of this type of cultivation system. Therefore, the main purpose of this study is to investigate the factors affecting the attitude of greenhouse owners towards sustainability in the Alborz province. The target population for this study consisted of all active greenhouse owners in the Alborz province (N=366. The sample size was determined by using Cochran’s formula (n=155 and using the proportional stratified random sampling method. The validity was confirmed by a panel of experts and its reliability was established by Cronbach's Alpha coefficient (0.85. The results showed that the attitude of 41 percent of the respondents towards sustainability was positive. Also, there were significant differences between the attitudes of the respondents in the group with related education and unrelated education group. Correlation analysis showed that the there is a positive relation between attitude towards searching behavior and the use of communication channels. In addition, the results of multiple regression analysis indicated that about 40 percent of the attitudes of greenhouse owner towards sustainable agriculture are explained by 4 variables. The result of this study indicate that by using different means of providing information and training, we can change the attitudes of greenhouse owners and lead them to produce more sustainable and healthy product.
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.
Full Text Available In Western economies, several agriculture models coexist. For instance, intensive agriculture organization, which has increased yields while causing major pollution and resource depletion, competes with alternative models, which tackle these sustainability issues and lead to lower yields. An agronomical typology of current agriculture models in Western societies is proposed that describes multiple sustainability issues through an agroecological perspective. However, in order to choose between these agroecological pathways, we must understand their social structure and the principles underlying them. Thus, our purpose is to characterize the institutional aspects of the alternative models using socioeconomic convention theory. We conducted a series of workshops with specialists in the natural sciences (agronomy, landscape ecology, and entomology and social sciences (economics and sociology to describe sustainable agriculture models. This characterization revealed the values underlying six different sustainable agriculture models, their forms of organization, and the institutions governing them. We discuss the implications of the coexistence of these six models in light of sustainable transition issues. From this coexistence perspective, transition (i refers to an intertwined process of legitimation and disqualification, and (ii means seeing pathways as the multiplicity and degree of interconnection between models. Therefore, we (i identified the elements in each model that legitimize its mode of organization, and (ii disqualified the elements that are incompatible with the principles underlying the model's practices. Moreover, we emphasize that multiple transition pathways are possible based on complex, complementary combinations of different models. This revealed the intricate processes of competition and complementarity involving these models. Finally, our study on the coexistence, interdependence, and coevolution of multiple agriculture models
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.
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.
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.
Rapid population growth and the challenge of food security combined with burgeoning urban development have put multiple pressures on land and water resources. Worldwide soil degradation is currently estimated at 1.9 billion hectares and is increasing at a rate of 5 to 7 million hectares each year. Once land resources are degraded, rehabilitation usually requires a long-term effort and is often expensive. To mitigate land and soil degradation, effective soil conservation and suitable rehabilitation practices are required and should be chosen according to the levels and causes of soil degradation. The basic principles of soil conservation and management for preventing land degradation are: (i) to control soil erosion by practices such as terracing, reduced tillage in combination with mulching, intercropping or grass strips, (ii) to improve soil fertility through organic and inorganic fertilizers, and (iii) to prevent accumulation of harmful substances. Natural rehabilitation of degraded land can be a practical and low-cost alternative. For example, soil stabilization through vegetative measures has been used to control wind and water erosion and simultaneously improve soil health by increasing soil organic matter and nutrient availability. Nevertheless, if land has been degraded by mining and/or contaminated by heavy metals or organic pollutants, the surrounding farmlands can also be affected through surface runoff from the contaminated site, thereby rendering them unfit for cultivation. In this case, phytoremediation technologies, defined as the use of plants and trees to remove, immobilize, transform or degrade contaminants in polluted soil or water, in combination with for instance constructed wetlands and/or microbial interactions can be used to remediate polluted land as well as to prevent contamination of farmlands. Therefore both on-farm management and off-site remediation are important to protect and improve agricultural land resources, hence improve crop
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
Full Text Available By transition process, which is presented in the Republic of Serbia for many years, rural areas are also covered in great extent. Changes in national agricultural policy, in terms of orientation towards rural development and multifunctional agriculture, have led to situation that process of development must involve all stakeholders, from governmental institutions, via local community, to population of rural areas. Such approach to rural development could initiate easier integration into international institutions and European Union, as well as to strengthening of cross-border cooperation within the mentioned area of economy. The most part of the Carpathians in the Republic of Serbia is taken by the national park „Đerdap“ and its protected zone. Within the mentioned protected area, sustainable use of agricultural land is based on traditional system of mountain agriculture that provides a high degree of ecological rationality and represents a very good foundation for development of integral and organic production.Opening toward the international community and peculiarly clear commitment of Serbia to European integrations,requires a new definition of role and importance of agricultural sector. Therefore, it is estimated that now is the perfect time for establishment of concrete conceptual framework and Strategy that will answer to key questions within the agro-food sector. In this context, authors’ intention (they are also the members of the research team of IAE Belgrade which is the holder of the project III 46006 - Sustainable agriculture and rural development in function of Republic of Serbia strategic goals achievement within the Danube region is to evaluate a social sustainability of agriculture in the area of the Carpathians in Serbia. Because of that, research is focused to administrative area of next municipalities: Golubac, Kučevo, Majdanpek, Kladovo and Negotin. Considering microeconomic character of research, it was used the
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.
Evert, van Frits K.; Gaitán-Cremaschi, Daniel; Fountas, Spyros; Kempenaar, Corné
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
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
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
The 'neem cake' scrap processing of the industrial chain producing neem oil and azadirachtin. The ENEA laboratories have developed a promising trial to promote the use of neem cake as a low-cost insecticide and fertilizer in sustainable agriculture. [it
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.
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
Emmanuel Adilson S. Serrao; Daniel Nepstad; Robert. Walker
This paper provides an overview of agricultural and forestry development in the Amazon basin, and presents and discusses the main land use systems in evidence today in that region. These are logging, shifting-cultivation and ranching. The issue of sustainability is addressed, and current Amazonian land use is interpreted in light of ecological impacts and long-run...
Full Text Available In the last 25 years Hungarian agriculture has lost its position. Rapid growth in the world’s population requires an increase in food production since one seventh of the population is still starving. The development of agricultural production and the food industry is the basis for the development of rural areas. Hungary produces two per cent of the EU agricultural output, which is far behind its potential. Agriculture, food industry and food trade can only develop together. We need to find the most favourable forms of coexistence with multinational chains sustainably. Food industry is a critical point in the product line, it lags behind the performance of European countries, and resources are insufficient. Long-term co-operation between farmers and processors is inadequate; the common organizations of the markets are minimal. Today, sustainability is increasingly emphasized, environmental and nature protection has been appreciated. The agriculture and forestry sectors are not only suitable for production of food and other raw materials, but they can also replenish resources and have a beneficial effect on biodiversity as well. Today’s problems can only be solved by taking sustainability into consideration. Agri-food industry that complies with the requirements can play a major role in rural employment and value creation.
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.
Sônia Maria Agra Zamith
Full Text Available The objective of the research is to indicate directions of alternatives to self-sustainable development outlined at the principle of a family socioeconomic context, and sustainability, environmental protection promoted by family agriculture. The inclusion of Family agriculture model in the discussion, of the preliminary verification of the agricultural production methods used by family units at the time ensuring the livelihood and allows the marketing of surplus production levels. The method employed was the hypothetical- deductive, with explanatory purpose, which means corresponded to the selection of authors who have the necessary support to the understanding of the precautionary principle in environmental law.
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.
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 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.
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
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
Spiegal, S.; Bestelmeyer, B. T.; Archer, D. W.; Augustine, D. J.; Boughton, E. H.; Boughton, R. K.; Cavigelli, M. A.; Clark, P. E.; Derner, J. D.; Duncan, E. W.; Hapeman, C. J.; Harmel, R. D.; Heilman, P.; Holly, M. A.; Huggins, D. R.; King, K.; Kleinman, P. J. A.; Liebig, M. A.; Locke, M. A.; McCarty, G. W.; Millar, N.; Mirsky, S. B.; Moorman, T. B.; Pierson, F. B.; Rigby, J. R.; Robertson, G. P.; Steiner, J. L.; Strickland, T. C.; Swain, H. M.; Wienhold, B. J.; Wulfhorst, J. D.; Yost, M. A.; Walthall, C. L.
Sustainable intensification is an emerging model for agriculture designed to reconcile accelerating global demand for agricultural products with long-term environmental stewardship. Defined here as increasing agricultural production while maintaining or improving environmental quality, sustainable intensification hinges upon decision-making by agricultural producers, consumers, and policy-makers. The Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network was established to inform these decisions. Here we introduce the LTAR Common Experiment, through which scientists and partnering producers in US croplands, rangelands, and pasturelands are conducting 21 independent but coordinated experiments. Each local effort compares the outcomes of a predominant, conventional production system in the region (‘business as usual’) with a system hypothesized to advance sustainable intensification (‘aspirational’). Following the logic of a conceptual model of interactions between agriculture, economics, society, and the environment, we identified commonalities among the 21 experiments in terms of (a) concerns about business-as-usual production, (b) ‘aspirational outcomes’ motivating research into alternatives, (c) strategies for achieving the outcomes, (d) practices that support the strategies, and (e) relationships between practice outreach and adoption. Network-wide, concerns about business as usual include the costs of inputs, opportunities lost to uniform management approaches, and vulnerability to accelerating environmental changes. Motivated by environmental, economic, and societal outcomes, scientists and partnering producers are investigating 15 practices in aspirational treatments to sustainably intensify agriculture, from crop diversification to ecological restoration. Collectively, the aspirational treatments reveal four general strategies for sustainable intensification: (1) reducing reliance on inputs through ecological intensification, (2) diversifying management
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...
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
Nadal, Ana; Pons, Oriol; Cuerva, Eva; Rieradevall, Joan; Josa, Alejandro
Today, urban agriculture is one of the most widely used sustainability strategies to improve the metabolism of a city. Schools can play an important role in the implementation of sustainability master plans, due their socio-educational activities and their cohesive links with families; all key elements in the development of urban agriculture. Thus, the main objective of this research is to develop a procedure, in compact cities, to assess the potential installation of rooftop greenhouses (RTGs) in schools. The generation of a dynamic assessment tool capable of identifying and prioritizing schools with a high potential for RTGs and their eventual implementation would also represent a significant factor in the environmental, social, and nutritional education of younger generations. The methodology has four-stages (Pre-selection criteria; Selection of necessities; Sustainability analysis; and Sensitivity analysis and selection of the best alternative) in which economic, environmental, social and governance aspects all are considered. It makes use of Multi-Attribute Utility Theory and Multi-Criteria Decision Making, through the Integrated Value Model for Sustainability Assessments and the participation of two panels of multidisciplinary specialists, for the preparation of a unified sustainability index that guarantees the objectivity of the selection process. This methodology has been applied and validated in a case study of 11 schools in Barcelona (Spain). The social perspective of the proposed methodology favored the school in the case-study with the most staff and the largest parent-teacher association (social and governance indicators) that obtained the highest sustainability index (S11); at a considerable distance (45%) from the worst case (S3) with fewer school staff and parental support. Finally, objective decisions may be taken with the assistance of this appropriate, adaptable, and reliable Multi-Criteria Decision-Making tool on the vertical integration and
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.
Lopulisa, C.; Rismaneswati; Ramlan, A.; Suryani, I.
Rice is the main staple food of most Asian countries including Indonesia. Most of the rice producers are constituted by small individual farmers characterized with mostly landless, have a less farming capitals and less access to pool resources and of course are confronted with various risk. Agriculture is faced with a lot of uncertainly most of which are not within the control of farmers. Global climatic change, climatic disasters, fluctuation of global economic and competitiveness of multinational company make difficulties of farmers to pursue his sustainable farming activity. The challenge and the role of government is to reduce uncertainly and to improve resiliency of the small farmer. Agriculture insurance shall focus on risk factors that are difficult to manage or cannot be managed by small farmers and it is should be viewed as just one aspect of the “holistic” risk management strategy. Technology, market, consumer, behaviour, development will always move forward, and no individual farmers can adapt this change alone, so small farmers need to corporate with each other that can optimized the resources they have. Cooperative could create possibilities, value added, shortening the supplied chain, made a product more effective and efficient, and finally can complete in domestic and global markets. Therefore, agriculture insurance as well a farmer cooperative may play an important role on sustainability of rice production in Indonesia. Nowadays and in the future agriculture sustainability is a not merely of technology problems but also a matter of economic-social-culture and politic issues within local, national, and international context.
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.
Cotes Torres, Alejandro; Cotes Torres, Jose Miguel
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 agricultural and ending by outlining some considerations that should be kept in mind for the development of scientific and technological advances concordant with the agricultural food chain needs of the XX century; which permit an orientation of not only work by profession is who lead the processes of animal and vegetable production, but also creates a sense of pertinence in all of the participants in the chain, highlighting the importance of studying by means of systemic thought, agronomy and animal science, as disciplines that approach to complexities of agriculture which is the angular stone of civilization, such as we know it at the moment
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.
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.
the work of NEPED — the Nagaland. Environmental Protection ... led processes that stress traditional knowl- edge, and the creation of ... Peru's national research institute (INIA) and the ... from the American University of Beirut. (AUB) set out in ...
Full Text Available Sustainable development has become the main focus of the global development agenda as presented in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs. However, for countries to assess progress, they need to have reliable baseline indicators. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to develop a composite baseline index of the agriculture-related SDGs in Southern Africa to guide progress reporting. The paper identified eight of the SDG indicators related to the agriculture sector. The paper relies on data for indicators from five SDGs (SDGs 1, 2, 6, 7 and 15. Applying the arithmetic mean method of aggregation, an agriculture-related SDG composite index for Southern Africa between zero (0 = poor performance and 100 (best possible performance was computed for thirteen countries that had data on all identified indicators. The results show that the best performing countries (Botswana, Angola, Namibia, Zambia and South Africa in the assessment recorded high scores in SDGs 1, 2 and 7. The three countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe and Madagascar that performed poorly on both SDG 1 and 2 also had the least scores on the overall agriculture-related SDG composite index. The water stress indicator for SDG 6 recorded the worst performance among most countries in the region. Possible approaches to improve the contribution of agriculture to SDGs may include investing more resources in priority areas for each agriculture-related SDG depending on baseline country conditions. The implementation, monitoring and evaluation of regional and continental commitments in the agriculture sector and the SDGs are critical for achievement of the targets at the national and local levels. While the methods employed are well-grounded in literature, data unavailability for some of the SDGs in some countries presented a limitation to the study, and future efforts should focus on collecting data for the other SDGs in order to permit a wider application.
Hek, Tan Kim; Fadzli Ramli, Mohammad; Iryanto; Rohana Goh, Siti; Zaki, Mohd Faiz M.
The water requirement greatly increased due to population growth, increased agricultural areas and industrial development, thus causing high water demand. The complex problems facing by country is water pricing is not designed optimally as a staple of human needs and on the other hand also cannot guarantee the maintenance and distribution of water effectively. The cheap water pricing caused increase of water use and unmanageable water resource. Therefore, the more optimal water pricing as an effective control of water policy is needed for the sake of ensuring water resources conservation and sustainability. This paper presents the review on problems, issues and mathematical modelling of water pricing based on agriculture and domestic groundwater for water sustainability and conservation.
Full Text Available The need to strengthen the connection between academia and society has received increased attention over the past years. The importance of bringing university students closer to stakeholders in society as part of their learning process is high regarding sustainable agriculture, because of its applied approach. University programs based on experiential and action-oriented learning have been developed over the past decades, but more knowledge is needed about the impact of these educational activities. In a short course in sustainable agriculture at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Bra, Italy, we examined the impacts of experiential and action-oriented learning on competency development as well as transformational impacts on the students. We found that students improve on several core competences as a result of their participation in the short course, and also signs of deep transformational processes among the students.
By focusing on process-oriented data rather than inventory-type data, this study provides a robust understanding of the effects of agricultural management on grassland bird reproductive output in the moist highland grasslands (MHGs) of South Africa. Four-hundred and four nests of 12 grassland-breeding bird species were ...
van Oel, P. R.; Alfredo, K. A.; Russo, T. A.
Sustainable water management typically emphasizes water resource quantity, with focus directed at availability and use practices. When attention is placed on sustainable water quality management, the holistic, cross-sector perspective inherent to sustainability is often lost. Proper water quality management is a critical component of sustainable development practices. However, sustainable development definitions and metrics related to water quality resilience and management are often not well defined; water quality is often buried in large indicator sets used for analysis, and the policy regulating management practices create sector specific burdens for ensuring adequate water quality. In this research, we investigated the methods by which water quality is evaluated through internationally applied indicators and incorporated into the larger idea of "sustainability." We also dissect policy's role in the distribution of responsibility with regard to water quality management in the United States through evaluation of three broad sectors: urban, agriculture, and environmental water quality. Our research concludes that despite a growing intention to use a single system approach for urban, agricultural, and environmental water quality management, one does not yet exist and is even hindered by our current policies and regulations. As policy continues to lead in determining water quality and defining contamination limits, new regulation must reconcile the disparity in requirements for the contaminators and those performing end-of-pipe treatment. Just as the sustainable development indicators we researched tried to integrate environmental, economic, and social aspects without skewing focus to one of these three categories, policy cannot continue to regulate a single sector of society without considering impacts to the entire watershed and/or region. Unequal distribution of the water pollution burden creates disjointed economic growth, infrastructure development, and policy
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
Agricultural expansion is mostly done at the expense of forests and woodlands in the tropics. In Sub-Saharan Africa, forests are also critical as providers of wood energy for domestic consumption with a clear majority of households depending on firewood and charcoal as primary source of energy. Using Zambia as a case study, we look at the link between agricultural expansion, wood energy and the sustainability of forest resources. Zambia has been identified as having one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, but there is large uncertainty in these estimates. The government of Zambia has identified charcoal production as one of the main of drivers of forest cover loss and is targeting this practice in their national strategy for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Other assessment however indicate that agricultural expansion is by far the main driver of deforestation and charcoal production is sustainable in Zambia. These competing evaluations call for a better understanding of the drivers of change. Using two national-scale vegetation surveys and remote sensing data, we compare and validate historical forest cover loss estimates to improve their accuracy. We attribute the change and their associated emissions to specific drivers of deforestation. The ecological properties of areas under change are compared to stable areas over time. Our results from national permanent plots indicate a woody encroachment process in Zambia, a potential ecological response to rising CO2 levels. We found that despite large emissions from deforestation, forests and woodlands have been acting as a carbon sink. This research addresses directly the potential feedbacks and responses to competing demands on forests coming from different sectors, including for agriculture and energy, to set the baseline on which to evaluate forest sustainability now and in the future given potentially new ecological conditions. It provides policy relevant
Moura, Emanoel G; Sena, Virley G L; Corrêa, Mariana S; Aguiar, Alana das C F
The unsustainable use of the soil of the deforested area at the Amazonian border is one of the greatest threats to the rainforest, because it is the predominant cause of shifting cultivation in the region. The sustainable management of soils with low natural fertility is a major challenge for smallholder agriculture in the humid tropics. In the periphery of Brazilian Amazonia, agricultural practices that are recommended for the Brazilian savannah, such as saturating soils with soluble nutrients do not ensure the sustainability of agroecosystems. Improvements in the tilled topsoil cannot be maintained if deterioration of the porous soil structure is not prevented and nutrient losses in the root zone are not curtailed. The information gleaned from experiments affirms that in the management of humid tropical agrosystems, the processes resulting from the interaction between climatic factors and indicators of soil quality must be taken into consideration. It must be remembered that these interactions manifest themselves in ways that cannot be predicted from the paradigm established in the other region like the southeast of Brazil, which is based only on improving the chemical indicators of soil quality. The physical indicators play important role in the sustainable management of the agrosystems of the region and for these reasons must be considered. Therefore, alley cropping is a potential substitute for slash and burn agriculture in the humid tropics with both environmental and agronomic advantages, due to its ability to produce a large amount of residues on the soil surface and its effect on the increase of economic crop productivity in the long term. The article presents some promising patents on the importance of an alternative for sustainability of agriculture.
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
Full Text Available Abstract Introduction Sustainable agricultural development is an important goal in economic planning and human development worldwide. A range of processes and relationships are transformed, beginning with aspects of basic soil structure, organic matter content, and diversity and activity of soil biota. Eventually, major changes also occur in the relationships among weed, insect, and disease populations, and in the balance between beneficial and pest organisms. Ultimately, nutrient dynamics and cycling, energy use efficiency, and overall system productivity are impacted. Measuring and monitoring these changes during the conversion period helps the farmer evaluate the success of the conversion process, and provides a framework to determine the requirements for sustainability. After improving resource use efficiency, replacement of ecological inputs with chemical inputs as second step and redesign of agro-ecosystems is as final step in transition of common to sustainable agriculture. The study was investigated to evaluation of Iran’s agricultural systems status. Materials and Methods Using organic and ecological inputs than chemicals is the second step for transition to sustainable agriculture. This study was performed to assess and measure the status of inputs replacement and agro-ecosystem designing based on ecological principle in Iran. For this purpose, we used 223 studied researches on agronomical and medicinal plants. After, they analyzed based on functional and structural characteristics and then used. Considering to the importance of multi-functionality in sustainable agriculture, in this study we considered the multiple managements for inputs replacement. The using functions in the study were: improving fertility and bio-chemical characteristics of soil, ecological managements of pest and diseases, reducing the energy usage, and increasing biodiversity. Using the organic and biological inputs, remaining the plant residual on soil, using
Surender, S.; Diwan, S.; Rao, V.U.M.
The concept of sustainable agriculture encompasses ecological, economic and social problems in which weather and climate can be of great importance. Despite considerable technological advancement and improved irrigation facilities, Indian farmers are still dependent on seasonal rains, which are highly variable both in time and space. Inclement weather events like droughts, floods, cold and heat waves, hails, squalls, tropical storms severely affect the agricultural production. Their harmful effects may be partially reduced if the occurrence of these events is predicted in advance and farmers are suitably advised to take preventive/corrective measures. With the objective to help the farmers maximize profits by decreasing weather related losses, increasing the timeliness of farm operations and to reduce environmental pollution through the optimal use of agricultural chemicals, the location specific/regional Agrometeorological Advisory Service was initiated in the year 1991. The forecasting skills of most of the weather parameters at Hisar have improved considerably over the years. Now, it is time to integrate and make use of vast agrometeorological information available online in preparing weather based advisories for in-season agricultural operations both for single locations and on a meso or regional scale as desired. This can be further strengthened through input from new technologies such as neural network, remote sensing, GIS, ground measurements and modeling applications along with traditional wisdom available with the farming communities should be integrated to further strengthen the location specific weather forecasting system for the development of sustainable and more efficient crop production systems. (author)
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.
Michael J. Lathuillière
Full Text Available We performed a Water Footprint Sustainability Assessment (WFSA in the Xingu Basin of Mato Grosso (XBMT, Brazil, with the objectives of (1 tracking blue (as surface water and green water (as soil moisture regenerated by precipitation consumption in recent years (2000, 2014; and (2 evaluating agricultural intensification options for future years (2030, 2050 considering the effects of deforestation and climate change on water availability in the basin. The agricultural sector was the largest consumer of water in the basin despite there being almost no irrigation of cropland or pastures. In addition to water use by crops and pasture grass, water consumption attributed to cattle production included evaporation from roughly 9463 ha of small farm reservoirs used to provide drinking water for cattle in 2014. The WFSA showed that while blue and green water consumptive uses were within sustainable limits in 2014, deforestation, cattle confinement, and the use of irrigation to increase cropping frequency could drive water use to unsustainable levels in the future. While land management policies and practices should strive for protection of the remaining natural vegetation, increased agricultural production will require reservoir and irrigation water management to reduce the potential threat of blue water scarcity in the dry season. In addition to providing general guidance for future water allocation decisions in the basin, our study offers an interpretation of blue and green water scarcities with changes in land use and climate in a rapidly evolving agricultural frontier.
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.
Hanegraaf, M.C.; Van Kuik, M.; Van Zeijts, H.
Between 1994 and 1996 CLM developed a method for assessing the ecological and economic sustainability of producing and using energy from agricultural and forest biomass. The method has much in common with environmental life cycle assessment (LCA). CLM has also co-ordinated a concerted action called 'Environmental aspects of biomass production and routes for European energy supply'. LCA is at present the best available instrument for assessing the ecological sustainability of energy crops. CLM focused on three topics disseminating the results of the concerted action; updating the work on bioethanol, and proposals for new financial instruments. The results are presented in this report. First, the results from the concerted action and work carried out by CLM were disseminated. Papers were presented at the international conference on 'Implementation of solid biofuels for carbon dioxide mitigation', 29-30 September 1997, Uppsala, Sweden, and at the international workshop on 'Environmental aspects of energy crop production', 9-10 October 1997, Brasimone, Italy. In addition, a paper was written on the need to co-ordinate policy options to stimulate the production and use of energy crops from an energy, agricultural and environmental point of view. Second, a study on bioethanol was carried out in which data obtained elsewhere on the use of bioethanol as a transport fuel were revised and updated. The sustainability of bioethanol production from sugar beet was compared with that of bioethanol from winter wheat. Using bioethanol from sugar beet replaces more fossil energy than bioethanol from winter wheat. For both crops, the costs per ton avoided CO2 decrease over time to 2010, but are still higher than electricity routes. The third action was the development of proposals for new financial instruments to stimulate energy production from biomass in the agricultural and forestry sector. This proposal was presented at the ALTENER Seminar on 'Financial incentives for
Manos, Basil D; Papathanasiou, Jason; Bournaris, Thomas; Voudouris, Kostas
This paper presents a decision support system (DSS) for sustainable development and environmental protection of agricultural regions developed in the framework of the Interreg-Archimed project entitled WaterMap (development and utilization of vulnerability maps for the monitoring and management of groundwater resources in the ARCHIMED areas). Its aim is to optimize the production plan of an agricultural region taking in account the available resources, the environmental parameters, and the vulnerability map of the region. The DSS is based on an optimization multicriteria model. The spatial integration of vulnerability maps in the DSS enables regional authorities to design policies for optimal agricultural development and groundwater protection from the agricultural land uses. The DSS can further be used to simulate different scenarios and policies by the local stakeholders due to changes on different social, economic, and environmental parameters. In this way, they can achieve alternative production plans and agricultural land uses as well as to estimate economic, social, and environmental impacts of different policies. The DSS is computerized and supported by a set of relational databases. The corresponding software has been developed in a Microsoft Windows XP platform, using Microsoft Visual Basic, Microsoft Access, and the LINDO library. For demonstration reasons, the paper includes an application of the DSS in a region of Northern Greece.
Xie, Jian; Hu, Liangliang; Tang, Jianjun; Wu, Xue; Li, Nana; Yuan, Yongge; Yang, Haishui; Zhang, Jiaen; Luo, Shiming; Chen, Xin
For centuries, traditional agricultural systems have contributed to food and livelihood security throughout the world. Recognizing the ecological legacy in the traditional agricultural systems may help us develop novel sustainable agriculture. We examine how rice-fish coculture (RF), which has been designated a "globally important agricultural heritage system," has been maintained for over 1,200 y in south China. A field survey demonstrated that although rice yield and rice-yield stability are similar in RF and rice monoculture (RM), RF requires 68% less pesticide and 24% less chemical fertilizer than RM. A field experiment confirmed this result. We documented that a mutually beneficial relationship between rice and fish develops in RF: Fish reduce rice pests and rice favors fish by moderating the water environment. This positive relationship between rice and fish reduces the need for pesticides in RF. Our results also indicate a complementary use of nitrogen (N) between rice and fish in RF, resulting in low N fertilizer application and low N release into the environment. These findings provide unique insights into how positive interactions and complementary use of resource between species generate emergent ecosystem properties and how modern agricultural systems might be improved by exploiting synergies between species.
Calzadilla, Alvaro; Rehdanz, Katrin; Tol, Richard S. J.
SummaryAgriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater resources - around 70 percent of all freshwater withdrawals are used for food production. These agricultural products are traded internationally. A full understanding of water use is, therefore, impossible without understanding the international market for food and related products, such as textiles. Based on the global general equilibrium model GTAP-W, we offer a method for investigating the role of green (rain) and blue (irrigation) water resources in agriculture and within the context of international trade. We use future projections of allowable water withdrawals for surface water and groundwater to define two alternative water management scenarios. The first scenario explores a deterioration of current trends and policies in the water sector (water crisis scenario). The second scenario assumes an improvement in policies and trends in the water sector and eliminates groundwater overdraft world-wide, increasing water allocation for the environment (sustainable water use scenario). In both scenarios, welfare gains or losses are not only associated with changes in agricultural water consumption. Under the water crisis scenario, welfare not only rises for regions where water consumption increases (China, South East Asia and the USA). Welfare gains are considerable for Japan and South Korea, Southeast Asia and Western Europe as well. These regions benefit from higher levels of irrigated production and lower food prices. Alternatively, under the sustainable water use scenario, welfare losses not only affect regions where overdrafting is occurring. Welfare decreases in other regions as well. These results indicate that, for water use, there is a clear trade-off between economic welfare and environmental sustainability.
Goetz, B.; Riss, A.; Zethner, G.
This chapter deals with fertilization techniques, bioenergy from agriculture, environmental aspects of a common agriculture policy in the European Union, bio-agriculture, fruit farming in Austria and with environmental indicators in agriculture. In particular renewable energy sources (bio-diesel, biogas) from agriculture are studied in comparison to fossil fuels and other energy sources. (a.n.)
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
Jens L. Hollberg; Jürgen Schellberg
Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs) has the potential to contribute to solving these ...
Key words: interactive conversion design / vegetable production / small farms / sustainable farming / Colombia / learning processes / facilitation / agricultural research methods
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.
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.
Full Text Available Sustainable supply of food and energy without posing any threat to environment is the current demand of our society in view of continuous increase in global human population and depletion of natural resources of energy. Cyanobacteria have recently emerged as potential candidates who can fulfill abovementioned needs due to their ability to efficiently harvest solar energy and convert it into biomass by simple utilization of CO2, water and nutrients. During conversion of radiant energy into chemical energy, these biological systems produce oxygen as a by-product. Cyanobacterial biomass can be used for the production of food, energy, biofertilizers, secondary metabolites of nutritional, cosmetics, and medicinal importance. Therefore, cyanobacterial farming is proposed as environment friendly sustainable agricultural practice which can produce biomass of very high value. Additionally, cyanobacterial farming helps in decreasing the level of greenhouse gas, i.e., CO2, and it can be also used for removing various contaminants from wastewater and soil. However, utilization of cyanobacteria for resolving the abovementioned problems is subjected to economic viability. In this review, we provide details on different aspects of cyanobacterial system that can help in developing sustainable agricultural practices. We also describe different large-scale cultivation systems for cyanobacterial farming and discuss their merits and demerits in terms of economic profitability.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Kulhavý, Zbyněk; Fučík, Petr
In this paper, issues of agricultural drainage systems are introduced and discussed from the views of their former, current and future roles and functioning in the Czech Republic (CR). A methodologically disparate survey was done on thirty-nine model localities in CR with different intensity and state of land drainage systems, aimed at description of commonly occurred problems and possible adaptations of agricultural drainage as perceived by farmers, land owners, landscape managers or by protective water management. The survey was focused on technical state of drainage, fragmentation of land ownership within drained areas as well as on possible conflicts between agricultural and environmental interests in a landscape. Achieved results confirmed that there is obviously an increasing need to reassess some functions of prevailingly single-purpose agricultural drainage systems. Drainage intensity and detected unfavourable technical state of drainage systems as well as the risks connected with the anticipated climate change from the view of possible water scarcity claims for a complex solution. An array of adaptation options for agricultural drainage systems is presented, aiming at enhancement of water retention time and improvement of water quality. It encompasses additional flow-controlling measures on tiles or ditches, or facilities for making selected parts of a drainage system inoperable in order to retain or slow down the drainage runoff, to establish water accumulation zones and to enhance water self-cleaning processes. However, it was revealed that the question of landowner parcels fragmentation on drained land in CR would dramatically complicate design and realization of these measures. Presented solutions and findings are propounded with a respect to contemporary and future state policies and international strategies for sustainable agriculture, water management and environment.
Finley, John W; Dimick, Dennis; Marshall, Elizabeth; Nelson, Gerald Charles; Mein, Jonathan R; Gustafson, David I
Nutrition science-based dietary advice urges changes that may have a great impact on agricultural systems. For example, the 2016 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends greatly increased fruit and vegetable consumption, but the present domestic production is insufficient to accommodate large-scale adoption of these guidelines. Increasing production to the extent needed to meet the DGA will necessitate changes in an already stressed agriculture and food system and will require nutrition and agriculture professionals to come together in open and collegial discourse. All involved need to understand the stress placed on the food system by increasing populations, changing diets, and changing environments, and recognize the major diet-based public health challenges. Furthermore, there is a need to understand the intricate interplay of the myriad parts of the food system and the vast amount of work necessary to make even small changes. New systems approaches are needed, especially at the research level, where nutrition, public health, agriculture, and the food industry work together to solve interconnected problems. Future well-being depends on a sustainable food system that continues to deliver optimal health with minimal impact on the environment. © 2017 American Society for Nutrition.
Oron, Gideon; Gillerman, Leonid; Bick, Amos; Manor, Yossi; Buriakovsky, Nisan; Hagin, Joseph
Field experiments were conducted in agricultural fields in which secondary wastewater of the City of Arad (Israel) is reused for irrigation. For sustainable agricultural production and safe groundwater recharge the secondary effluent is further polished by a combined two-stage membrane pilot system. The pilot membrane system consists of two main in row stages: Ultrafiltration (UF) and Reverse Osmosis (RO). The UF stage is efficient in the removal of the pathogens and suspended organic matter while the successive RO stage provides safe removal of the dissolved solids (salinity). Effluents of various qualities were applied for agricultural irrigation along with continuous monitoring of the membrane system performance. Best agricultural yields were obtained when applying effluent having minimal content of dissolved solids (after the RO stage) as compared with secondary effluent without any further treatment and extended storage. In regions with shallow groundwater reduced soil salinity in the upper productive layers, maintained by extra membrane treatment, will guarantee minimal dissolved solids migration to the aquifers and minimize salinisation processes. (c) IWA Publishing 2008.
Javid, M.A.; Ali, K.; Javed, M.; Mahmood, A.
One of the significant environmental hazards of irrigated agriculture is the accumulation of salts in the soil. The presence of large quantities of certain soluble salts badly affects the physical, chemical, biological and fertility characteristics of the soils. This pollution of soil salinity and its toxic degradation directly affects plants, hence impacting the air filters of nature. The soil and water salinity has adversely reduced the yield of our major agricultural crops to an extent that agricultural sustainability is being threatened. Salinity has also dwindled the survival of marine life, livestock, in addition to damaging of construction works. The problem can be estimated from the fact that out of 16.2 m.ha of irrigated land of Pakistan, 6.3 . ha are salt affected in the Indus Plain. The state of water pollution can further be assessed from the fact that presently about 106 MAF of water is diverted from the rivers into the canals of the Indus Plain which contains 28 MT of salts. Due to soil and water pollution more than 40,000 ha of good irrigated land goes out of cultivation every year. This it has drastically reduced the potential of our agricultural lands. Hence, an estimated annual loss of Rs. 14,000 million has been reported due to this soil-water salinity pollution in Pakistan. Some management options to mitigate the soil - water salinity pollution are proposed. (author)
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.
Bender, S Franz; Wagg, Cameron; van der Heijden, Marcel G A
Soil organisms are an integral component of ecosystems, but their activities receive little recognition in agricultural management strategies. Here we synthesize the potential of soil organisms to enhance ecosystem service delivery and demonstrate that soil biodiversity promotes multiple ecosystem functions simultaneously (i.e., ecosystem multifunctionality). We apply the concept of ecological intensification to soils and we develop strategies for targeted exploitation of soil biological traits. We compile promising approaches to enhance agricultural sustainability through the promotion of soil biodiversity and targeted management of soil community composition. We present soil ecological engineering as a concept to generate human land-use systems, which can serve immediate human needs while minimizing environmental impacts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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.
Full Text Available Great Recession is another proof that the current paradigm of economic growth should be changed. It ought to be applied to all sectors, including agriculture. The farming sector was strongly affected by substantial price increases of some products. It was especially painful for poorer consumers in developing and Third World countries, while its benefits were channelled mainly to big farmers and speculators in developed economies. Common Agricultural Policy could not avert this turbulence. The implementa-tion of the concept of sustainable development is a possible solution of this problem as its approach is more holistic and humanistic. However, the implementation of adequate reforms is very slow. It is a sign that leading US and EU policymakers attempt to stay within the limits of current model of growth.However, the second wave of price hikes may prove to be more lasting, which would further deepen income inequality.
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.
Teguh Adiprasetyo; Sukisno Sukisno; Nanik Setyowati; Sempurna Ginting; Merakati Handajaningsih
Poverty is still an insistent problem which when confronted by humanity requires a systemic, comprehensive and synchronized approach to alleviate it. The concentration of urban and rural poverty in developing countries underpins the importance of agriculture as a poverty reduction strategy since most of the poor people depend on agriculture. Thus, improving agricultural productivity, competitiveness and sustainability may reduce poverty. This study was intended to (1) find out if sustaina...
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.
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.
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
Hermans, F.L.P.; Apeldoorn, van D.F.; Vervoort, J.M.; Beers, P.J.; Veldkamp, T.
In the project “Images of sustainable development of Dutch agriculture and green space” three PhD candidates studied the topic of images in sustainable development. Frans Hermans focused on the topic of societal images and their role and influence in innovation projects. The title of his subproject
Zhuosen Wang; Crystal B. Schaaf; Alan H. Strahler; Mark J. Chopping; Miguel O. Román; Yanmin Shuai; Curtis E. Woodcock; David Y. Hollinger; David R. Fitzjarrald
This study assesses the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) BRDF/albedo 8 day standard product and products from the daily Direct Broadcast BRDF/albedo algorithm, and shows that these products agree well with ground-based albedo measurements during the more difficult periods of vegetation dormancy and snow cover. Cropland, grassland, deciduous and...
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
The importance of agricultural products, their potential conversion to energy sources and their applications for fibre-reinforced construction materials is emphasized. Another potentially important technology is the conversion of sunlight into electricity such as occurs in the leaves of plants. Parallels with nature exist, even though conversions with inorganic materials have, until now, been promising. The ability to control chemical reactions is the subject throughout all the following chapters. The goal is to achieve high reaction efficiencies and to use fewer basic materials, both of which will lead to a reduction in environmental stress. Sustainable developments in chemistry can be described by two approaches: (1) Improvements in society, with challenges for chemistry; and (2) Improvement in the chemical sector itself. Both approaches are dealt with in this report. Five areas for development have been chosen in the discussions for `DTO-Chemie`: Integrated plant conversion (IPC), in particular Valorisation of plant parts for raw materials and energy; Biomass conversion (C1 Chemistry), in particular Technologies for (among others) C1-based chemicals and energy carriers; Photovoltaic cells (PSC), in particular Technologies for the conversion of solar light into electricity; Process Technology in Fine chemistry (PFC), in particular Methodology of manufacturing processes for Fine chemicals; and Sustainable Construction Materials (FRC); in particular Techniques for using fibre-reinforced composites in construction applications. These areas can be viewed as clusters of technologies, with a strong chemistry and agricultural component, which are necessary for achieving a sustainable future. Furthermore, it is important to recognise that technology requires a progressive development (technology lifecycle). The five areas of technology development are tested against a number of criteria: (1) Sustainability / leap / volume; (2) Horizon 2050; (3) Commitment from industry
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
Sustaining food production, water quality, soil retention, flood, and climate regulation in agricultural landscapes is a pressing global challenge given accelerating environmental changes. Scenarios are stories about plausible futures, and scenarios can be integrated with biophysical simulation models to explore quantitatively how the future might unfold. However, few studies have incorporated a wide range of drivers (e.g., climate, land-use, management, population, human diet) in spatially explicit, process-based models to investigate spatial-temporal dynamics and relationships of a portfolio of ecosystem services. Here, we simulated nine ecosystem services (three provisioning and six regulating services) at 220 × 220 m from 2010 to 2070 under four contrasting scenarios in the 1,345-km 2 Yahara Watershed (Wisconsin, USA) using Agro-IBIS, a dynamic model of terrestrial ecosystem processes, biogeochemistry, water, and energy balance. We asked (1) How does ecosystem service supply vary among alternative future scenarios? (2) Where on the landscape is the provision of ecosystem services most susceptible to future social-ecological changes? (3) Among alternative future scenarios, are relationships (i.e., trade-offs, synergies) among food production, water, and biogeochemical services consistent over time? Our results showed that food production varied substantially with future land-use choices and management, and its trade-offs with water quality and soil retention persisted under most scenarios. However, pathways to mitigate or even reverse such trade-offs through technological advances and sustainable agricultural practices were apparent. Consistent relationships among regulating services were identified across scenarios (e.g., trade-offs of freshwater supply vs. flood and climate regulation, and synergies among water quality, soil retention, and climate regulation), suggesting opportunities and challenges to sustaining these services. In particular, proactive
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.
Trigunasih, N. M.; Lanya, I.; Subadiyasa, N. N.; Hutauruk, J.
Increasing number and activity of the population to meet the needs of their lives greatly affect the utilization of land resources. Land needs for activities of the population continue to grow, while the availability of land is limited. Therefore, there will be changes in land use. As a result, the problems faced by land degradation and conversion of agricultural land become non-agricultural. The objectives of this research are: (1) to determine parameter of spatial numerical classification of sustainable food agriculture in Badung Regency and Denpasar City (2) to know the projection of food balance in Badung Regency and Denpasar City in 2020, 2030, 2040, and 2050 (3) to specify of function of spatial numerical classification in the making of zonation model of sustainable agricultural land area in Badung regency and Denpasar city (4) to determine the appropriate model of the area to protect sustainable agricultural land in spatial and time scale in Badung and Denpasar regencies. The method used in this research was quantitative method include: survey, soil analysis, spatial data development, geoprocessing analysis (spatial analysis of overlay and proximity analysis), interpolation of raster digital elevation model data, and visualization (cartography). Qualitative methods consisted of literature studies, and interviews. The parameters observed for a total of 11 parameters Badung regency and Denpasar as much as 9 parameters. Numerical classification parameter analysis results used the standard deviation and the mean of the population data and projections relationship rice field in the food balance sheet by modelling. The result of the research showed that, the number of different numerical classification parameters in rural areas (Badung) and urban areas (Denpasar), in urban areas the number of parameters is less than the rural areas. The based on numerical classification weighting and scores generate population distribution parameter analysis results of a standard
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.
Wang, Deli; Yang, Zhiming; Wang, Ling; Sun, Wei
Soil salinization is a serious environmental problem across the Eurasian steppes, where millions people have been living for at least five thousand years and will still depend on it in the near future. During the last several decades, ecologists and grassland scientists have done much research on rational grassland utilization avoiding land degradation and reduction in ecological services. Meanwhile, the central and local governments took some attempts of agricultural policy and ecological subsidy to mitigate large scale land salinization in Northeast China. Fortunately, more and more farmers and stakeholders begin to adopt rational grassland management with the guidance of scientists and the help of local governments. However, up to date, there is still a gap between farmers, scientists and governments, which often negatively affect grassland production and remission of soil salinization in these areas. We conducted a case study on sustainable grassland production adapted to steppe salinization funded by EC project from 2011 to 2013. Our goal is trying to establish a mode of adaptive grassland management integrating previous scientific knowledge (grazing and seeding), current agricultural policies (ecological subsidy) and stakeholders' participation or performance. The study showed that: A. Despite of some grassland utilization techniques available for stakeholders (regulating stocking rate and seeding in pastures, or planting high quality forages), they tended to take the simplest action to enhance animal production and prevent grassland salinization; B. Compared to educating or training stakeholders, demonstration of grazing management is the most effective mean for knowledge dissemination or technology transfer; C. Ecological subsidy is absolutely welcome to the local people, and technology transfer became easier when combined with ecological subsidy; D. There was a contrasting effect in grassland production and land degradation mitigation for experimental farm
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.
Forouzangohar, Mohsen; 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 km(2) 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.
The growing development of irrigated agriculture is necessary for the sustainable production of the food required by the increasing World's population. Such development is limited by the increasing scarcity and low quality of the available water resources and by the competitive use of the water for other purposes. There are also increasing problems of contamination of surface and ground waters to be used for other purposes by the drainage effluents of irrigated lands. Irrigation and drainage may cause drastic changes in the regime and balance of water and solutes (salts, sodium, contaminants) in the soil profile, resulting in problems of water supply to crops and problems of salinization, sodification and contamination of soils and ground waters. This is affected by climate, crops, soils, ground water depth, irrigation and groundwater composition, and by irrigation and drainage management. In order to predict and prevent such problems for a sustainable irrigated agriculture and increased efficiency in water use, under each particular set of conditions, there have to be considered both the hydrological, physical and chemical processes determining such water and solute balances in the soil profile. In this contribution there are proposed the new versions of two modeling approaches (SOMORE and SALSODIMAR) to predict those balances and to guide irrigation water use and management, integrating the different factors involved in such processes. Examples of their application under Mediterranean and tropical climate conditions are also presented.
Full Text Available Bio-organic greenhouses that are based on alternative resources for producing heat and electricity stand out as an efficient option for the sustainable development of agriculture, thus ensuring good growth and development of plants in all seasons, especially during the cold season. Greenhouses can be used with maximum efficiency in various agricultural lands, providing ideal conditions of temperature and humidity for short-term plant growing, thereby increasing the local production of fruit and vegetables. This paper presents the development of a durable greenhouse concept that is based on complex energy system integrating fuel cells and solar panels. Approaching this innovative concept encountered a major problem in terms of local implementation of this type of greenhouses because of the difficulty in providing electrical and thermal energy from conventional sources to ensure an optimal climate for plant growing. The project result consists in the design and implementation of a sustainable greenhouse energy system that is based on fuel cells and solar panels.
The EPA Agriculture Resource Directory offers comprehensive, easy-to-understand information about environmental stewardship on farms and ranches; commonsense, flexible approaches that are both environmentally protective and agriculturally sound.
Petra Susan Kidd
Full Text Available Ultramafic soils are typically enriched in nickel (Ni, chromium (Cr, and cobalt (Co and deficient in essential nutrients, making them unattractive for traditional agriculture. Implementing agromining systems in ultramafic agricultural soils represent an ecological option for the sustainable management and re-valorisation of these low-productivity landscapes. These novel agroecosystems cultivate Ni-hyperaccumulating plants which are able to bioaccumulate this metal in their aerial plant parts; harvested biomass can be incinerated to produce Ni-enriched ash or “bio-ore” from which Ni metal, Ni ecocatalysts or pure Ni salts can be recovered. Nickel hyperaccumulation has been documented in ~450 species, and in temperate latitudes these mainly belong to the family Brassicaceae and particularly to the genus Odontarrhena (syn. Alyssum pro parte. Agromining allows for sustainable metal recovery without causing the environmental impacts associated with conventional mining activities, and at the same time, can improve soil fertility and quality and provide essential ecosystem services. Parallel reductions in Ni phytotoxicity over time would also permit cultivation of conventional agricultural crops. Field studies in Europe have been restricted to Mediterranean areas and these only evaluated the Ni-hyperaccumulator Odontarrhena muralis s.l. Two recent EU projects (Agronickel and LIFE-Agromine have established a network of agromining field sites in ultramafic regions with different edapho-climatic characteristics across Albania, Austria, Greece and Spain. Soil and crop management practices are being developed so as to optimize the Ni agromining process; field studies are evaluating the potential benefits of fertilization regimes, crop selection and cropping patterns, and bioaugmentation with plant-associated microorganisms. Hydrometallurgical processes are being up-scaled to produce nickel compounds and energy from hyperaccumulator biomass. Exploratory
Full Text Available Introduction Fast switch to sustainable agriculture patterns is not impossible for many farmers. However to achieve perfect sustainable in agro-ecosystems which are friendly with environment, changing conventional to sustainable agriculture should be carried slowly. For this purpose, three effective steps were mentioned: first level is increasing of inputs efficiency such as fertilizer and chemical pesticides which used in conventional agriculture now. Second level is related to changing inputs by friendly environmental inputs as alternative inputs and the final level is redesigning of the agro-ecosystems that its function is based on series of ecological process. On the other hand, achieving sustainable agriculture requires higher efficiency of inputs and many process should be replaced by friendly environmental inputs with chemical inputs and new system is designed based on ecological principles. The objective of this study was to offer approaches for improving inputs use efficiency as first step to transition from conventional to sustainable agriculture. Material and Methods In order to evaluate the transition status from conventional to sustainable agriculture in agro-ecosystems of Iran, scientific resource and researches that was performed about increasing of inputs efficiency as first step to transition from conventional to sustainable agriculture was studied. For this purpose, 177 studies that had been performed about using different inputs and its efficiency in various crops were assessed. Applied inputs included water, nitrogen and herbicides and studied plants included cereals (wheat, barley, rice, maize and sorghum, beans (bean, pea and lentil, oil crops (canola, sunflower, safflower and sesame, medicinal plants, potato, sugar beet and cotton. In this study, average and range of inputs use efficiency in different crops and also the relationship between increasing of inputs application with their use efficiency was assessed. In the
Wang, Xiuhong; Shen, Jianxiu; Zhang, Wei
China’s grain-for-green policy (GFGP) was implemented with the goal of improving ecological security. Consequently, agricultural energy and agrochemical inputs have been significantly increased to improve food security and to increase the income of farmers in the regions where the GFGP was implemented. In analysis of the sustainability of the agricultural system affected by the GFGP, it is essential to consider both economic profitability and environmental sustainability. Using Yanchi County as a case study area, this study used an emergy synthesis to examine the sustainability of the agricultural system before and after the GFGP in Northwest China. We found that the total emergy input and energy output of the agricultural system in the study area increased from 1991 to 2008; however, the sustainability of the system declined, and this decline was especially evident after the GFGP was launched in 2001. Increasing inputs of non-renewable purchased resources will not only reduce the effectiveness of the GFGP in Northwest China, but also hinder the implementation of the energy-saving and emission-reduction policy that China launched in 2005. We suggest that sustainable agricultural development in Northwest China should be based on effective use of renewable resources and development of a low-carbon agricultural economy. - Highlights: • The total emergy input and energy output of the study system increased from 1991 to 2008. • The change of each emergy index was more evident after the GFGP launched in 2001. • The increase in input of non-renewable purchased resources will gradually reduce the function of the GFGP in West China. • Agricultural development in West China should be based on organic agriculture
Rocha, João; Roebeling, Peter; Rial-Rivas, María Ermitas
The extensive use of fertilizers has become one of the most challenging environmental issues in agricultural catchment areas. In order to reduce the negative impacts from agricultural activities and to accomplish the objectives of the European Water Framework Directive we must consider the implementation of sustainable agricultural practices. In this study, we assess sustainable agricultural practices based on reductions in N-fertilizer application rates (from 100% to 0%) and N-application methods (single, split and slow-release) across key agricultural land use classes in the Vouga catchment, Portugal. The SWAT model was used to relate sustainable agricultural practices, agricultural yields and N-NO3 water pollution deliveries. Results show that crop yields as well as N-NO3 exportation rates decrease with reductions in N-application rates and single N-application methods lead to lower crop yields and higher N-NO3 exportation rates as compared to split and slow-release N-application methods. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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
Van Grinsven, Hans J M; Westhoek, Henk; Erisman, Jan Willem; De Vries, Wim
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
Rigby, Hannah; Landman, Michael; Collins, David; Walton, Katrina; Penney, Nancy; Pritchard, Deborah
to nutrient losses to air and water. This paper discusses the sustainable recycling N resources in biosolids and biowastes in agriculture in Australia using specific recent research examples from Western Australia, including lime amended biosolids, alum sludge and dewatered biosolids cake, and from Tasmania, papermill sludge. The primary focus is the N fertiliser replacement value of different biosolids and biowaste types under different environmental conditions, and management issues relating to the sustainable recycling of N. Experimental work included field trials and soil incubation studies. The findings are compared with research findings conducted in different climatic regions and soil types across Australia (Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales) and internationally.
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.
Hunziker, Matthias; Caviezel, Chatrina; Kuhn, Nikolaus J.
Southern Greenland currently experiences an increase in summer temperatures and a prolonged growing season (Masson-Delmotte et al. 2012), resulting in an increased potential regarding agricultural land use. Subsequently, the agricultural sector is expected to grow. Thereby, a higher hay production and grazing capacity is pursued by applying more efficient farming practices (Greenland Agriculture Advisory Board 2009). However, agricultural potential at borderline ecotones is not only influenced by factors like temperature and growing season but also by other ecologic parameters. In addition, the intensification of land use in the fragile boreal - tundra border ecotone has various environmental impacts (Perren et al. 2012; Normand et al. 2013). Already the Norse settlers practiced animal husbandry in southern Greenland between 986-1450 AD. Several authors mention the unadapted land use as main reason for the demise of the Norse in Greenland, as grazing pressure exceeded the resilience of the landscape and pasture economy failed (Fredskild 1988; Perren et al. 2012). During the field work in summer 2014, we compared the pedologic properties of already used hay fields, grazed land, birch woodland and barren, unused land around Igaliku (South Greenland), in order to estimate the potential and the sustainability of the land use in southern Greenland. Beside physical soil properties, nutrient condition of the different land use types, the shrub woodland and barren areas was analyzed. The results of the study show that the most suitable areas for intensive agricultural activity are mostly occupied. Further on, the fields, which were used by the Norse, seem to be the most productive sites nowadays. Less productive hay fields are characterized by a higher coarse fraction, leading to a reduced ability to store water and to an unfavorable nutrient status. An intensification of the agricultural land use by applying fertilizer would lead to an increased environmental impact
Full Text Available The rich natural potential for agriculture in Romania is contrasting with the low level of economic performance. Progress toward sustainable development in rural areas depends on processes that lead to increased valuation of the natural resources by cropping and livestock breeding, capturing more value by growing the number of processing stages performed at national level for food production, improvements in the distribution of benefits with special focus on rural population, harnessing the benefits of stewarding natural ecosystems that play a key role for the overall wellbeing of the population, diversifying the structure of economic activities, and encouraging entrepreneurial involvement. European policies of rural development are supporting most of these processes, but within the national context there encountered specific challenges born by the low level of maturation for property relationships, fragmentation of land ownership and cropping plots, cultural patterns that create strong resistance to change, and lack of financial resources. The paper highlights several aspects in order to assess at what extent the Romanian agriculture is making progress toward European requirements.
Rafique, Uzaira; Balkhair, Khaled S.; Ashraf, Muhammad Aqeel
The toxicity of organophosphate insecticides for nontarget organism has been the subject of extensive research for sustainable agriculture. Pakistan has banned the use of methyl/ethyl parathions, but they are still illegally used. The present study is an attempt to estimate the residual concentration and to suggest remedial solution of adsorption by different types of soils collected and characterized for physicochemical parameters. Sorption of pesticides in soil or other porous media is an important process regulating pesticide transport and degradation. The percentage removal of methyl parathion and ethyl parathion was determined through UV-Visible spectrophotometer at 276 nm and 277 nm, respectively. The results indicate that agricultural soil as compared to barren soil is more efficient adsorbent for both insecticides, at optimum batch condition of pH 7. The equilibrium between adsorbate and adsorbent was attained in 12 hours. Methyl parathion is removed more efficiently (by seven orders of magnitude) than ethyl parathion. It may be attributed to more available binding sites and less steric hindrance of methyl parathion. Adsorption kinetics indicates that a good correlation exists between distribution coefficient (Kd) and soil organic carbon. A general increase in Kd is noted with increase in induced concentration due to the formation of bound or aged residue. PMID:24689059
Full Text Available The toxicity of organophosphate insecticides for nontarget organism has been the subject of extensive research for sustainable agriculture. Pakistan has banned the use of methyl/ethyl parathions, but they are still illegally used. The present study is an attempt to estimate the residual concentration and to suggest remedial solution of adsorption by different types of soils collected and characterized for physicochemical parameters. Sorption of pesticides in soil or other porous media is an important process regulating pesticide transport and degradation. The percentage removal of methyl parathion and ethyl parathion was determined through UV-Visible spectrophotometer at 276 nm and 277 nm, respectively. The results indicate that agricultural soil as compared to barren soil is more efficient adsorbent for both insecticides, at optimum batch condition of pH 7. The equilibrium between adsorbate and adsorbent was attained in 12 hours. Methyl parathion is removed more efficiently (by seven orders of magnitude than ethyl parathion. It may be attributed to more available binding sites and less steric hindrance of methyl parathion. Adsorption kinetics indicates that a good correlation exists between distribution coefficient (Kd and soil organic carbon. A general increase in Kd is noted with increase in induced concentration due to the formation of bound or aged residue.
Full Text Available Smallholder farmers are the main producers of the world’s food and they will have to increase production by up to 100 percent by 2050 to feed the growing population. This must be achieved while preserving natural resources and that is why sustainable agricultural mechanization (SAM will be fundamental to the process. SAM is climate-smart and environmentally benign and essentially means no-till conservation agriculture, which requires specific mechanization inputs. Principally, these are seeders and planters capable of penetrating soil surface vegetative cover to deposit seed and fertilizer at the required depth and spacing; and equipment for management of cover crops and weeds. Mechanization is required not only for crop production, but also for processing and along the entire value chain. Mechanization inputs are usually expensive and so specialist service provision will be the indicated way forward. This will need collaboration from both the private and public sectors and will involve public-private partnerships to be developed in one form or another. Given the poor track record of public sector mechanization provision, the delivery of SAM should be firmly in the hands of the private sector that should be committed to SAM principles or otherwise be incentivized to the concept through smart subsidies. Improved information flows via smallholder farmer-friendly innovation platforms; and continuing development and testing of SAM technologies via regional centres of excellence will both be required—especially for sub-Saharan Africa.
Peter J Blank
Full Text Available Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields, and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.
Seham M. Hamed
Full Text Available Marine macroalgae are plant-like organisms with simple internal structures that generally live in coastal areas. They mainly include different communities of red, brown and green macroalgae. Marine macroalgae commonly occupy intertidal and sublittoral-to-littoral zones on rocks and other hard substrata. They are considered to be an excellent natural biosource in different aspects of agricultural fields. They have great proficiency in improving soil physical and chemical properties. Marine macroalgae are also characterized by producing a large array of biologically active biocidal substances against plant-infecting pathogens. Unfortunately, most available literatures on marine macroalgae and their derivatives mainly focused on their pharmaceutical applications but their potential utilization in sustainable agriculture development is still often regarded as a secondary goal. However, a relatively considerable dataset on marine macroalgae showed that they could play a major role in plant protection and improvement. This review summarizes different aspects of potential macroalgal applications in agriculture. Commercial production and exploitation of specific compounds with interesting biotechnological importance from marine macroalgae including microbicides, nematicides, insecticides, biofertilizers, biostimulators and soil conditioners are highlighted and discussed in detail. Bioactive compounds like fatty acids (in particular polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs, proteins (amino acids, bioflavonoids, sulfated polysaccharides, carotenoids, polyphenols and carbohydrates are considered to have bactericidal, antiviral and fungicidal effects against some plant-infecting pathogens. These biocontrol agents provide multiple benefits and act as useful pointers for improving cultivation practices in diverse habitats. Marine macroalgae can be generally considered as promising multifunctional bioinoculants and ecofriendly environmental tools in recent trends
Bianchi, F J J A; Booij, C J H; Tscharntke, T
Agricultural intensification has resulted in a simplification of agricultural landscapes by the expansion of agricultural land, enlargement of field size and removal of non-crop habitat. These changes are considered to be an important cause of the rapid decline in farmland biodiversity, with the remaining biodiversity concentrated in field edges and non-crop habitats. The simplification of landscape composition and the decline of biodiversity may affect the functioning of natural pest control because non-crop habitats provide requisites for a broad spectrum of natural enemies, and the exchange of natural enemies between crop and non-crop habitats is likely to be diminished in landscapes dominated by arable cropland. In this review, we test the hypothesis that natural pest control is enhanced in complex patchy landscapes with a high proportion of non-crop habitats as compared to simple large-scale landscapes with little associated non-crop habitat. In 74% and 45% of the studies reviewed, respectively, natural enemy populations were higher and pest pressure lower in complex landscapes versus simple landscapes. Landscape-driven pest suppression may result in lower crop injury, although this has rarely been documented. Enhanced natural enemy activity was associated with herbaceous habitats in 80% of the cases (e.g. fallows, field margins), and somewhat less often with wooded habitats (71%) and landscape patchiness (70%). The similar contributions of these landscape factors suggest that all are equally important in enhancing natural enemy populations. We conclude that diversified landscapes hold most potential for the conservation of biodiversity and sustaining the pest control function.
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...... showed that financial motivation is associated with farmers adopting new, more sustainable technology, whereas the lack of information on and lack of technical support for these technologies are significant barriers. Other results, research implications, limitations and suggestions for future research...
The report entitled Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation : A Canadian Perspective, presents a summary of research regarding the impacts of climate change on key sectors over the past five years as it relates to Canada. This chapter on agriculture describes how climate change will affect primary agriculture production in Canada with particular focus on potential adaptation options, and vulnerability of agriculture at the farm level. Agriculture is a vital part of the Canadian economy, although only 7 per cent of Canada's land mass is used for agricultural purposes due to the limitations of climate and soils. Most parts of Canada are expected to experience warmer conditions, longer frost-free seasons and increased evapotranspiration. The impacts of these changes on agriculture will vary depending on precipitation changes, soil conditions, and land use. Northern regions may benefit from longer farming seasons, but poor soil conditions will limit the northward expansion of agricultural crops. Some of the negative impacts associated with climate change on agriculture include increased droughts, changes in pest and pathogen outbreaks, and moisture stress. In general, it is expected that the positive and negative impacts of climate change would offset each other. 74 refs., 2 tabs., 1 fig
Singh, Jay Shankar; Kumar, Arun; Rai, Amar N.; Singh, Devendra P.
Keeping in view, the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters), generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, synga, and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet. PMID:27148218
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.
Soil erosion is one of the major causes of nutrient depletion in sub-Saharan Africa. Highlights of losses from erosion can be used to explain why agricultural production in this region is not sustainable. annual macronutrient losses were calculated from experimental results at 8 sites in Kenya between 1986 and 1990. these losses were used along with the current local prices of fertiliser to estimate the annual national budget required for there replenishment. On average, 5.72, 29.3 and 0.82 kg ha -1 yr -1 of N, P and K, respectively, were lost annually. These losses are determined by soil types, slope, crop cover characteristics and rainfall amounts. soil losses can be reduced by terracing, contour farming and intercropping to improve crop cover. These efforts reduce the adverse effects of sporadic rainfall on fragile soil types. in order to ensure sustainability however, control measures have to be supplemented by national additions of 64 000 t, 323 000 t and 10 000 t of N, P and K respectively per year. The equivalent costs of these fertilisers will be Ksh 1,408 Ksh 8721 Ksh 220 million for the respective nutrients. This would require a total of some US$256 million (Ksh 10 349 million) annually from the national budget
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
Hansen, K.; Shukla, S.; Holt, N.; Hendricks, G.; Sishodia, R. P.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are conventionally grown in raised bed plasticulture (RBP), a high intensity, high input, and high output production system. In 2016, the fresh market plasticulture industry covered 680,000 ha in the US, producing crops (e.g. tomato, peppers, melons, and strawberries) valued at ten billion dollars. To meet the increasing future demand for fresh fruits and vegetables and sustain the production potential of croplands, a transformation of the conventional food-water-energy nexus is essential. A novel agricultural conservation system, compact bed geometry, has been proposed to shift the paradigm in RBP, sustaining yield and decreasing inputs (e.g. water, nutrients, energy, and carbon). Compact bed geometries fit the shape of the wetting front created when water is applied through drip irrigation on the production soil, creating a taller (23-30 cm) and thinner bed (66-41 cm). Two seasons of tomato (single row) and pepper (double row) production, in the environmentally fragile watershed of the Florida Everglades, highlight the potential impact of compact bed geometry on environmental sustainability in agricultural production. No difference in plant growth or yield was detected, with a reduction of 5-50% in irrigation water, up to 20% less N application, 12% less P, 20% less K, and 5-15% less carbon dioxide emissions. The hydrologic benefits of compact bed geometry include 26% less runoff generation, decreased need for active drainage pumping, and increased residence time for irrigation water within the bed, overall decreasing instances of nutrient leaching. A water related co-benefit observed was a reduction in the occurrences of Phytophthora capsici in pepper, which has the potential to reduce yield by as much as 70%. Non-water co-benefits include up to a 250/ ha reduction in production cost, with the potential to save the industry 200 million dollars annually. This economic benefit has led to rapid industry adoption, with more than 20
Yin, Guanyi; Liu, Liming; Jiang, Xilong
To find a solution regarding sustainable arable land use pattern in the important grain-producing area during the rapid urbanization process, this study combined agricultural production, locational condition, and ecological protection to determine optimal arable land use. Dongting Lake basin, one of the major grain producing areas in China, was chosen as the study area. The analysis of land use transition, the calculation of arable land barycenter, the landscape indices of arable land patches, and the comprehensive evaluation of arable land quality(productivity, economic location, and ecological condition) were adopted in this study. The results showed that (1) in 1990-2000, the arable land increased by 11.77%, and the transformation between arable land and other land use types actively occurred; in 2000-2010, the arable land decreased by 0.71%, and more ecological area (forestland, grassland, and water area) were disturbed and transferred into arable land; (2) urban expansion of the Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan city cluster (the major economy center of this area) induced the northward movement of the arable land barycenter; (3) the landscape fragmentation and decentralization degree of arable land patches increased during 1990-2010; (4) potential high-quality arable land is located in the zonal area around Dongting Lake, which contains the Li County, Linli County, Jinshi County, Taoyuan County, Taojiang County, Ningxiang County, Xiangxiang County, Shaoshan County, Miluo County, and Zhuzhou County. The inferior low-quality arable land is located in the northwestern Wuling mountainous area, the southeastern hilly area, and the densely populated big cities and their surrounding area. In the optimized arable land use pattern, the high-quality land should be intensively used, and the low-quality arable land should be reduced used or prohibitively used. What is more, it is necessary to quit the arable land away from the surrounding area of cities appropriately, in order to
Keywords:sustainable agriculture; organic farming; whole farm management; decision support; farming systems research; designing; modeling; beta-gamma integration
The objective of the research described in this thesis was to develop a model that helps
The sustainable intensification of agriculture in the United States will require major shifts in producer decision-making, markets, and public policies. The Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network is working to better understand how these shifts may be accomplished. Through a common experime...
Reidsma, P.; Feng, S.; Loon, van M.; Luo, X.; Kang, C.; Lubbers, M.T.M.H.; Kanellopoulos, A.; Wolf, J.; Ittersum, van M.K.; Qu, F.
Water pollution in Chinese lakes is a major problem. To reduce nutrient pollution and enhance sustainable development in Taihu Basin, China, an integrated assessment of the impacts of agricultural land use policies has been performed, using the technical coefficient generator TechnoGIN and the
Linda R. Klein; William G. Hendrix; Virginia I. Lohr; Jolie B. Kaytes; Rodney D. Sayler; Mark E. Swanson; William J. Elliot; John P. Reganold
Inspired by international escalation in agricultural sustainability debates, we explored the promise of landscape-scale conservation buffers to mitigate environmental damage, improve ecological function, and enhance scenic quality. Although the ecological benefits of buffer vegetation are well established by plot- and field-scale research, buffer adoption by farmers is...
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
Larsen, Søren; Bentsen, Niclas S; Dalgaard, Tommy
To mitigate climate change it is necessary to further increase the deployment of renewable energy, including bioenergy. This analysis shows how this can be achieved in Danish agriculture and forestry before 2020. The key is a sustainable intensification and we show through three scenarios how...
Wijaya, A.; Glasbergen, P.; Leroy, P.; Darmastuti, A.
This paper investigates multi-stakeholder arrangements initiated by businesses and NGOs from the North that aim to enhance a more sustainable agricultural production at specific localities in Southern countries. We aim to better understand the search for concerted action in multi-actor arrangements.
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
Rabindra; Nath; Roy
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Schröder, J J; Smit, A L; Cordell, D; Rosemarin, A
Mineral phosphorus (P) fertilizers processed from fossil reserves have enhanced food production over the past 50 years and, hence, the welfare of billions of people. Fertilizer P has, however, not only been used to lift the fertility level of formerly poor soils, but also allowed people to neglect the reuse of P that humans ingest in the form of food and excrete again as faeces and urine and also in other organic wastes. Consequently, P mainly moves in a linear direction from mines to distant locations for crop production, processing and consumption, where a large fraction eventually may become either agronomically inactive due to over-application, unsuitable for recycling due to fixation, contamination or dilution, and harmful as a polluting agent of surface water. This type of P use is not sustainable because fossil phosphate rock reserves are finite. Once the high quality phosphate rock reserves become depleted, too little P will be available for the soils of food-producing regions that still require P supplements to facilitate efficient utilization of resources other than P, including other nutrients. The paper shows that the amounts of P applied in agriculture could be considerably smaller by optimizing land use, improvement of fertilizer recommendations and application techniques, modified livestock diets, and adjustment of livestock densities to available land. Such a concerted set of measures is expected to reduce the use of P in agriculture whilst maintaining crop yields and minimizing the environmental impact of P losses. The paper also argues that compensation of the P exported from farms should eventually be fully based on P recovered from 'wastes', the recycling of which should be stimulated by policy measures. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The plant protection by pesticides is increasing in Poland and the established trend rate took into account years 2005-2011. In the period 2002-2004 statistics did not present the full range of crop protection measures authorized for sale and consumption. In contrast the consumption of qualified seeds of basic grains and seed potatoes considerably decreased in Polish agriculture. Only for triticale it was noticed that the trend rate of qualified seeds was increasing. So the farmers should be more widely informed about the advantages of the exchange of seed grain for qualified grains. It will facilitate the quicker implementation of variety progress to agricultural production and adverse changes slowdown agricultural production.
Jay Shankar eSingh
Full Text Available Keeping in view the challenges concerning agro-ecosystem and environment, the recent developments in biotechnology offers a more reliable approach to address the food security for future generations and also resolve the complex environmental problems. Several unique features of cyanobacteria such as oxygenic photosynthesis, high biomass yield, growth on non-arable lands and a wide variety of water sources (contaminated and polluted waters, generation of useful by-products and bio-fuels, enhancing the soil fertility and reducing green house gas emissions, have collectively offered these bio-agents as the precious bio-resource for sustainable development. Cyanobacterial biomass is the effective bio-fertilizer source to improve soil physico-chemical characteristics such as water-holding capacity and mineral nutrient status of the degraded lands. The unique characteristics of cyanobacteria include their ubiquity presence, short generation time and capability to fix the atmospheric N2. Similar to other prokaryotic bacteria, the cyanobacteria are increasingly applied as bio-inoculants for improving soil fertility and environmental quality. Genetically engineered cyanobacteria have been devised with the novel genes for the production of a number of bio-fuels such as bio-diesel, bio-hydrogen, bio-methane, syngas and therefore, open new avenues for the generation of bio-fuels in the economically sustainable manner. This review is an effort to enlist the valuable information about the qualities of cyanobacteria and their potential role in solving the agricultural and environmental problems for the future welfare of the planet.
Full Text Available Climate change and the subsequent change in agricultural conditions increase the vulnerability of agricultural water use. Wastewater reuse is a common practice around the globe and is considered as an alternative water resource in a changing agricultural environment. Due to rapid urbanization, indirect wastewater reuse, which is the type of agricultural wastewater reuse that is predominantly practiced, will increase, and this can cause issues of unplanned reuse. Therefore, water quality standards are needed for the safe and sustainable practice of indirect wastewater reuse in agriculture. In this study, irrigation water quality criteria for wastewater reuse were discussed, and the standards and guidelines of various countries and organizations were reviewed to suggest preliminary standards for indirect wastewater reuse in South Korea. The proposed standards adopted a probabilistic consideration of practicality and classified the use of irrigation water into two categories: upland and rice paddy. The standards suggest guidelines for E. coli, electric conductivity (EC, turbidity, suspended solids (SS, biochemical oxygen demand (BOD, pH, odor, and trace elements. Through proposing the standards, this study attempts to combine features of both the conservative and liberal approaches, which in turn could suggest a new and sustainable practice of agricultural wastewater reuse.
Chang, Jinfeng; Viovy, Nicolas; Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Campioli, Matteo; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphaël; Leip, Adrian; Soussana, Jean-François
About 25% of European livestock intake is based on permanent and sown grasslands. To fulfill rising demand for animal products, an intensification of livestock production may lead to an increased consumption of crop and compound feeds. In order to preserve an economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture, a more forage based livestock alimentation may be an advantage. However, besides management, grassland productivity is highly vulnerable to climate (i.e., temperature, precipitation, CO2 concentration), and spatial information about European grassland productivity in response to climate change is scarce. The process-based vegetation model ORCHIDEE-GM, containing an explicit representation of grassland management (i.e., herbage mowing and grazing), is used here to estimate changes in potential productivity and potential grass-fed ruminant livestock density across European grasslands over the period 1961-2010. Here "potential grass-fed ruminant livestock density" denotes the maximum density of livestock that can be supported by grassland productivity in each 25 km × 25 km grid cell. In reality, livestock density could be higher than potential (e.g., if additional feed is supplied to animals) or lower (e.g., in response to economic factors, pedo-climatic and biotic conditions ignored by the model, or policy decisions that can for instance reduce livestock numbers). When compared to agricultural statistics (Eurostat and FAOstat), ORCHIDEE-GM gave a good reproduction of the regional gradients of annual grassland productivity and ruminant livestock density. The model however tends to systematically overestimate the absolute values of productivity in most regions, suggesting that most grid cells remain below their potential grassland productivity due to possible nutrient and biotic limitations on plant growth. When ORCHIDEE-GM was run for the period 1961-2010 with variable climate and rising CO2, an increase of potential annual production (over 3%) per decade
Muneepeerakul, C. P.; Muneepeerakul, R.
Population growth, increasing demands for food, and increasingly uncertain and limited water availability amidst competing demands for water by other users and the environment call for a novel approach to manage water in food production systems to be developed now. Tapping into broad popularity of crop insurance as a risk management intervention, we propose an innovative rainfall index insurance program as a novel systems approach that addresses water conservation in food production systems by exploiting two common currencies that tie the food production systems and others together, namely water and money. Our novel methodology allows for optimizing diverse farm and financial strategies together, revealing strategy portfolios that result in greater water use efficiency and higher incomes at a lower level of water use. Furthermore, it allows targeted interventions to achieve reduction in irrigation water, while providing financial protection to farmers against the increasing uncertainty in water availability. Not only would such a tool result in efficiently less use of water, it would also encourage diversification in farm practices, which reduces the farm's vulnerability against crop price volatility and pest or disease outbreaks and contributes to more sustainable agriculture.
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.
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.
Full Text Available In developing regions with high levels of poverty and a dependence on climate sensitive agriculture, studies focusing on climate change adaptation, planning, and policy processes, have gained relative importance over the years. This study assesses the impact of farmer perceptions regarding climate change on the use of sustainable agricultural practices as an adaptation strategy in the Chinyanja Triangle, Southern Africa. In this empirical approach, we adopt methods that account for the plausibility that unmeasured characteristics exist, which are correlated with perceptions and the adoption of Sustainable Agricultural Practices. We use a unique and representative dataset collected in December 2012 and June 2013, from smallholder farmers in the Chinyanja Triangle. The results indicate that farmer’s perceptions significantly influence the use of sustainable agricultural practices. Specifically, we established that farmer perceptions considerably impact the use of grain legume rotations, inorganic fertilizers, compost, and farmyard manure. Our results highlight the need for a serious and perhaps equal consideration of farmer perceptions regarding climate change, as important inputs to climate change adaptation policies targeted at enhancing climatic resilience in smallholder farming communities. This is plausible as the adaptation and pliability of farmers to the effects of climate change should be a social process involving the collective efforts from various stakeholders.
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.
Agricultural chemicals (both inorganic and organic) in drainage discharge from watersheds have raised concerns about the quality of surface water resources. For example, hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico has been related to the nutrients discharging from agricultural watersheds...
Calzadilla, A.; Rehdanz, K.; Tol, R.S.J.
Agriculture is the largest consumer of freshwater resources - around 70 percent of all freshwater withdrawals are used for food production. These agricultural products are traded internationally. A full understanding of water use is, therefore, impossible without understanding the international
Flórida Rosa Mali Assêncio
Full Text Available This paper presents a brief approach on environmental aspects related to the development of agriculture in the world and especially in Brazil, detaching some historical aspects. Some characteristics of the social and environmental degradation generated by the processes of production of modern agriculture, based on studies of Environmental Sciences, in general, and, more specifically, of Agroecology, are presented, as well as the necessity of searching for new models of development according to the recent paradigm of sustainability (social, economic and environmental, debated in international conferences on 'environment and development'.
Bianchi, F.J.J.A.; Booij, C.J.H.; Tscharntke, T.
Agricultural intensification has resulted in a simplification of agricultural landscapes by the expansion of agricultural land, enlargement of field size and removal of non-crop habitat. These changes are considered to be an important cause of the rapid decline in farmland biodiversity, with the
L. Hao; Ge Sun; Yongqiang Liu; G. S. Zhou; J. H. Wan; L. B. Zhang; J. L. Niu; Y. H. Sang; J. J He
Precipitation, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil moisture are the key controls for the productivity and functioning of temperate grassland ecosystems in Inner Mongolia, northern China. Quantifying the soil moisture dynamics and water balances in the grasslands is essential to sustainable grassland management under global climate change. We...
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
Vanwalleghem, Tom; Gómez, Jose Alfonso; Infante Amate, Juan; González Molina, Manuel; Fernández, David Soto; Guzmán, Gema; Vanderlinden, Karl; Laguna, Ana; Giráldez, Juan Vicente
The rational use of soil requires the selection of management practices to take profit of the beneficial functions of plant growth, water and nutrient storage, and pollutants removal by filtering and decomposition without altering its properties. However, the first evidence of important and widespread erosion peaks can generally be found with the arrival of the first farmers all over the world. In areas with a long land-use history such as the Mediterranean, clear signs indicating the advanced degradation status of the landscape, such as heavily truncated soils, are visible throughout. Soil conservation practices are then aimed at reducing erosion to geological rates, in equilibrium with long-term soil formation rates, while maximizing agricultural production. The adoption of such practices in most areas of the world are as old as the earliest soil erosion episodes themselves. This work firstly reviews historical evidence linking soil management and soil erosion intensity, with examples from N Europe and the Mediterranean. In particular, work by the authors in olive orchards will be presented that shows how significant variations in soil erosion rates between could be linked to the historical soil management. The potential of historical documents for calibrating a soil erosion model is shown as the model, in this case RUSLE-based and combining tillage and water erosion, adequately represents the measured erosion rate dynamics. Secondly, results from present-day, long-term farm experiments in the EU are reviewed to evaluate the effect of different soil management practices on physical soil properties, such as bulk density, penetration resistance, aggregate stability, runoff coefficient or sediment yield. Finally, we reflect upon model and field data that indicate how future global climate change is expected to affect soil management and erosion and how the examples used above hold clues about sustainable historical management practices that can be used successfully
Irina Elena PETRESCU
Full Text Available This paper represents an analysis of the level of labor productivity in agriculture for each development region of Romania. Labor productivity in agriculture was analyzed by two parameters, namely: the value of agricultural production and the number of employees in agriculture for the period 2011 – 2012. The level of labor productivity is influenced by the quality of biological and bio-capacity of plants and animals as well, as well as the equipment and quality of work performed. From the factorial analysis it can be noticed a decrease of labor productivity caused by a decrease in the value of agricultural production.
LeMone, D.V.; Goodell, P.C.; Harris, A.H.; Winston, J.W.
The current, ongoing, intensive development of the international phosphate industry is destined to impinge onto at least two major aspects of nuclear energy in the immediate future. The first contact will come in the evaluation of the economic viability and potential sustainability of sedimentary phosphorites as a secondary source for uranium. The second impact will be in the determination of whether or not there exists significant uranium contamination in the utilization of phosphate fertilizers on agricultural systems. There are no adequate substitutes for phosphatic fertilizers. Phosphorous derived from these fertilizers is absolutely essential for the maintenance, growth, and yield of crop plants as well as the survival of all living systems. If the current (6.748 billion), let alone projected, global population (±9 billion, 2040) is without a continuing, uninterrupted, and increasing supply of this ubiquitous commodity for the agricultural system, the world will face certain global famine. The most severely impacted will be those emerging and third world tropical nation-states with phosphate-poor soil systems. The fundamental reason we have been able to feed the bulk of humanity today and avoid a predicted Malthusian future famine is in large part due to the use of phosphate fertilizers. Accompanying the benefits of phosphate-based fertilizers are potentially serious side effects that need to be examined. Phosphate based fertilizers contain heavy metals, led by uranium. Some of the resulting problems are the questions of: the quantitative dimensions of uranium contained in phosphate fertilizers that is lost into the environment (soil and aqueous systems) and how, whether, and under what conditions does the metal enter the biosphere's food chain (animals, plants, and water). Therefore, the downside to the use of phosphate fertilizers is that the uranium in those fertilizers can be transferred to agricultural systems and subsequently to ground- and running
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
Partnerships mirror the changing nature of the relationships among state, business and civil society organizations, and are often considered as innovative mechanisms to overcome single actor failure in the context of globalization. This thesis analyzes the capacity of partnerships to promote sustainable change in global agricultural commodity chains, using the global coffee, cotton and cocoa chains as main fields of application for the empirical analyses. All three chains are characterized by...
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
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 the transition towards more sustainable production systems. Agronomic efficiency measures the technical performance. If it could be improved, environmental damage could be reduced while, at the sam...
Fardeau, J.C.; Guiraud, G.; Marol, C.
Sustainable agriculture is defined in many ways. In all of them, two main complementary concepts appear: this agriculture must firstly satisfy the human needs of foods for the present and secondly must not compromise the ability for the future generations to meet their needs. Therefore, concerning P, the sustainability in an ecosystem can be maintained if, and only if: (i) bioavailable soil P is not a limiting factor of crop yields in the considered conditions; (ii) all the parameters describing the available soil P will be unmodified each time that P is simultaneously taken by crops and returned to soils; (iii) P inputs and outputs must be without negative consequences on environment. Whatever the ecosystem, P nutrition can be described in terms of fluxes of P between soil and plant roots. The isotopic exchange method gives informations not only on bioavailable soil P but also on potential fluxes of P between soil and soil-solution. As roots take phosphorus in the soil solution it is concluded that this method can be used to predict not only potential P uptake by plants or crops in native soils but also the contribution to crop nutrition of a P application in soil. Isotopic tracers of P seem to be, at the present time, the simplest tool useful to describe, with a high accuracy, the main link of P cycle in sustainable agriculture: the bioavailable soil P. (authors). 9 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab. (authors).
Hees, E.M.; Van der Weijden, W.J.; Hin, C.J.A.
Sustainable development of the agricultural sector in the Netherlands is high on the list of priorities in the environmental policy of the Netherlands. In this report special attention is paid to sustainability indicators which can be used in the transition of a Dutch National Environmental Balance towards a Dutch National Sustainability Balance. The report consists of three parts: (1) an essay in the form of an imaginary review from the year 2030 back to the transition process of the agricultural sector from the year 2000 onwards; (2) 14 texts on proposals for economical, socio-cultural and ecological indicators; and (3) four maps which present chances for offering 'green' services in Dutch agricultural areas. [Dutch] Een van de sectoren waar duurzame ontwikkeling hard nodig is, is de landbouw. Het 4e Nationaal Miliebeleidsplan (NMP4) noernt de landbouw naast de energiesector en biodiversiteit als een prioritaire sector. In dit rapport is een visie neergelegdeen met speciale aandacht voor duurzaamheidindicatoren. Die indicatoren zouden bouwstenen kunnen zijn voor de voorgenomen overgang van een Nationale Milieubalans naar een Nationale Duurzaamheidsbalans. Dit rapport bestaat uit drie uiteenlopende delen: een essay in de vorm van een denkbeeldige terugblik vanuit het jaar 2030 naar het transitieproces dat de landbouw vanaf 2000 heeft doorgemaakt; een 14-tal tekstuele bijIagen, met onder meer voorstellen voor te hanteren economische, sociaal-culturele en ecologische indicatoren; en een viertal kaart-bijlagen waarop staat aangegeven waar in het Nederlandse landbouwareaal kansen liggen voor groene diensten.
Fardeau, J.C.; Guiraud, G.; Marol, C.
Sustainable agriculture is defined in many ways. In all of them, two main complementary concepts appear: this agriculture must firstly satisfy the human needs of foods for the present and secondly must not compromise the ability for the future generations to meet their needs. Therefore, concerning P, the sustainability in an ecosystem can be maintained if, and only if: (i) bioavailable soil P is not a limiting factor of crop yields in the considered conditions; (ii) all the parameters describing the available soil P will be unmodified each time that P is simultaneously taken by crops and returned to soils; (iii) P inputs and outputs must be without negative consequences on environment. Whatever the ecosystem, P nutrition can be described in terms of fluxes of P between soil and plant roots. The isotopic exchange method gives informations not only on bioavailable soil P but also on potential fluxes of P between soil and soil-solution. As roots take phosphorus in the soil solution it is concluded that this method can be used to predict not only potential P uptake by plants or crops in native soils but also the contribution to crop nutrition of a P application in soil. Isotopic tracers of P seem to be, at the present time, the simplest tool useful to describe, with a high accuracy, the main link of P cycle in sustainable agriculture: the bioavailable soil P. (authors). 9 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab. (authors)
Full Text Available This research provides analysis of the case of the Jackson Farm development application, embedded within the particular dynamics of the municipal, regional, and provincial sustainability land use policy culture of the Metro Vancouver region, in Canada. Within a culture of appreciation of the increasing need for sustainability in land use policy, including the protection of agricultural lands at the provincial level through the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR, to urban intensification and protection of the green zone at the regional scale, lies a political conflict that comes into focus in individual land use decisions, within municipalities struggling for autonomy. This case is neither driven strictly by “the politics of the highest bidder” nor by policy failure; the case of the Jackson Farm is instead a case of the challenges of implementing inter-governmental coordination and collaborative governance in a context of both significant sustainability policy and urban growth. The process can be seen to follow an ecological modernization agenda, seeking “win–win” alternatives rather than recognizing that typical compromises, over time, may tip the direction of development away from sustainability policy goals. Understanding the twists, turns, and eventual compromise reached in the case of the Jackson Farm brings to light the implications of the shift in the regional planning culture which may necessitate a less flexible, more structured prioritization of competing goals within plans and policies in order to meet sustainability goals. We highlight this, and present an alternative implementation process within the existing policy regime with potential to aid the specific goal of agricultural land protection.
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.
Full Text Available Incorporating adaptation into subsistence farming systems is an important strategy to reduce damages related to climate change and to protect livelihoods in developing countries. Using a dataset of 450 farm households collected from three agro-ecological zones, this study examines rural networks, assesses farm-level institutional support and documents any existing structural gaps on climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector of Pakistan. For this purpose, a social network analysis method is used. The study findings reveal that farmers reported a decrease in crop production and increase in pests and diseases due to climate change. Further, changing crop varieties, sowing dates, input mixes and planting trees are the key measures adopted by farmers. Lack of information, finances and resources are the key adaptation constraints. The study findings show that only 28% and 13% of the respondents do not have access to financial services and climate adaptation knowledge, respectively. Support to farmers mainly consists of marketing information and farm equipment from community-based organizations, while private institutions offer weather forecasting services. Public institutions are poorly represented in the network analysis. We also found that extension services are key institutions in the climate adaptation network, while agricultural credits, post-harvest services and marketing of produce were dominant but weakly connected in the financial support network. We also found that with an increase in the provision of services at the farm level, farmers not only adapt more but also move from low-cost and short-term measures to advanced measures. This study proposes an integrated framework to improve the stakeholders’ networking through different kind of partnerships and better adaptation to climate change.
Chang, Chein-Chi; DiGiovanni, Kimberly; Mei, Ying; Wei, Li
This review on Sustainability covers selected 2015 publications on the focus of Sustainability. It is divided into the following sections : • Sustainable water and wastewater utilities • Sustainable water resources management • Stormwater and green infrastructure • Sustainability in wastewater treatment • Life cycle assessment (LCA) applications • Sustainability and energy in wastewater industry, • Sustainability and asset management.
Carlier, L; De Vliegher, A; Van Cleemput, O; Boeckx, P
The European agricultural policy is not simple and needs to accommodate also social and environmental requirements. Grassland will continue to be an important form of land use in Europe, but with increased diversity in management objectives and systems used. Besides its role as basic nutrient for herbivores and ruminants grasslands have opportunities for adding value by exploiting positive health characteristics in animal products from grassland and through the delivery of environmental benefits. In fact grasslands contribute to a high degree to the struggle against erosion and to the regularizing of water regimes, to the purification of fertilizers and pesticides and to biodiversity. Finally they have aesthetic role and recreational function as far as they provide public access that other agricultural uses do not allow. But even for grassland it is very difficult to create a good frame for its different tasks (1) the provision of forage for livestock, (2) protection and conservation of soil and water resources, (3) furnishing a habitat for wildlife, both flora and fauna and (4) contribution to the attractiveness of the landscape. Nevertheless it is the only crop, able to fulfil so many tasks and to fit so many requirements.
Full Text Available The role of agriculture in rural areas has changed significantly, it has even increased, since having been attributed numerous new functions, from social to ecologic. Also Slovene agriculture, its direction, intensity level, size and proprietal structure was subject to considerable changes as a result of inclusion of Slovenia in the EU and implementation of the Common Agricultural Policy. However it should be considered whether the direction of development of Slovene agriculture corresponds to protection and conservation of our major natural resources?
Horrocks, Claire Alice
Intensive agriculture has led to an increase in production; however this has often coincided with a decline in the provision of other Ecosystem Services (ES). ES affected include those regulated by soil chemical, physical and biological properties such as biodiversity provision and the regulation of nutrient cycling, water quality and rates of greenhouse gas emissions. A growing awareness of the value of nonproduction ES to human health and wellbeing has encouraged the funding ...
Shelef, Oren; Soloway, Elaine; Rachmilevitch, Shimon
plantation in arid conditions. 5) Balanites aegyptiaca is potentially a good biomass crop and good feed for grazers as goats. We illuminated differences related to drought tolerance between two distinct ecotypes. Attempts to develope sustainable agriculture based on local species will save resources (water, fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides), keep endangered plant species and enhance vegetation reestablishment.
Campana, Pietro Elia
Grassland degradation is considered as one of the worst environmental and economic problems in China because of the negative impacts on water and food security. The application of the photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) technology for irrigation is an innovative and sustainable solution to curb the progress of grassland desertification and to promote the conservation of farmland in remote areas. The combination of PVWP with water saving irrigation techniques and the sustainable management of th...
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.
Raphael Miller de Souza Caldas
Full Text Available Ilha da Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal located in Atlantic Ocean, in center coordinates 32º43'N 17º43'O, is considered the largest island of archipelago of the same name. The island covers an area of 740 km². The island has many climate peculiarities mainly influenced by altitude and barriers formed by sharp reliefs, and that they provide North / South axis. Climate variability existing of the island is defined in two types temperate in north and subtropical climate in south. The part of North is cooler and wetter than the south, due to winds from North and end up having a barrier relief inherent to region. Since the year of 1419, the island was subject to various economic and agricultural cycles. Actually, the agricultural occupation of the territory is predominantly winery, horticultural and fruit production. The study was conducted from January to May 2016. Data in census institutes and scientific articles were compared for discussion. The data of production, area of cultivation were intertwined with sustainable agriculture like organic farming and possibilities was available for openings boundaries according to adjustment of the culture temperature, photoperiod and precipitation, and may contribute to increase economy and quality of life in island. The agriculture of the island is formed basically by agriculture family subsistence, involving more than 45,000 people, representing 20% of Madeira population resulting only 3% of the region's economy.
Full Text Available N2O, CH4, and CO2 are potential greenhouse gas (GHG contributing to climate change; therefore, solutions have to be sought to reduce their emission from agriculture. This work evaluates GHG emission from grasslands submitted to different mineral fertilizers during vegetation period (June–September in two experimental sites, namely, seminatural grassland (8 treatments of mineral fertilizers and cultural pasture (intensively managed in the Training Farm of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture. Chamber method was applied for evaluation of GHG emissions on the field scale. As a result, soil chemical composition, compactness, temperature, and gravimetric moisture as well as biomass yield of fresh and dry biomass and botanical composition, were assessed during the research. Furthermore, a simulation of multi-criteria assessment of sustainable fertilizers management was carried out on a basis of ARAS method. The multicriteria analysis of different fertilizing regimes was based on a system of environmental and productivity indices. Consequently, agroecosystems of cultural pasture (N180P120K150 and seminatural grassland fertilizing rates N180P120K150 and N60P40K50 were evaluated as the most sustainable alternatives leading to reduction of emissions between biosphere-atmosphere and human-induced biogenic pollution in grassland ecosystems, thus contributing to improvement of countryside environment.
This book is the result of several years of expedition into the development of metropolitan FoodClusters. The authors fascination for the agricultural landscapes in and around metropolises led him to the conclusion that improving the efficiency of agriculture is the most effective way to safeguard
Halloran, Afton Marian Szasz; Magid, Jakob
As a multifunctional activity and land use, urban agriculture supports a range of objectives, from urban greening to food security. However, it is often left out of urban policy. As a result of the highly contextual and cross-cutting nature of urban agriculture, there are relatively few comprehen...
Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the use of white clover (Trifolium repens) in grasslands, as a more sustainable alternative to fertiliser nitrogen inputs. However, mixtures of grasses and white clover have frequently been associated with unstable and hence unreliable herbage
Full Text Available The majority of farm households in Turkey and especially the Eastern Anatolia are still based on low-input semi subsistence agriculture and livestock production. Despite a slow decline in recent years, agriculture and livestock production remains a major employer in Turkey and it is a significant contributor to the country’s gross domestic product, GDP. Whist Turkey is one of the EU candidate countries, is self sufficient in food production and Turkish agriculture is poorly structured inefficient, with farming in the Eastern Anatolia being mainly subsistence farming. Yet, these traditional rural structures combined with poor access to low level of education and low level of off-farm unemployment problem makes the situation more complicated and unsustainable. The best way to promote sustainability, better and higher production of Eastern Anatolian and rural Turkey is to invest in the local people, villages through improved, continuing and effective agricultural and livestock programs in particular. Investment in human capital especially in the rural areas leads to more employment opportunities through entrepreneurship and innovation in organic agriculture and livestock production. A holistic approach to developing and improving supply chains could unlock the potential for sophisticated, state-of-the-art organic agriculture and livestock producers and businesses in the region to become EU and global players. Eastern Anatolian livestock producers and the farmers have the ambitions to take part in future progress because the region is naturally organic not by design but default. It is for sure that present potential of the region has not been fully determined and utilized. EU has greatly benefited from previous enlargements economically, politically and socially. When European Union (EU and Turkish Government relations considered and accession of Turkey to EU would be the logical consequence of the previous accessions. The screening on chapter 11
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.
Haby, Michelle M; Chapman, Evelina; Clark, Rachel; Galvão, Luiz A C
Objectives To identify the agriculture, food, and nutrition security interventions that facilitate sustainable food production and have a positive impact on health. Methods Systematic review methods were used to synthesize evidence from multiple systematic reviews and economic evaluations through a comprehensive search of 17 databases and 10 websites. The search employed a pre-defined protocol with clear inclusion criteria. Both grey and peer-reviewed literature published in English, Spanish, and Portuguese between 1 January 1997 and November 2013 were included. To classify as "sustainable," interventions needed to aim to positively impact at least two dimensions of the integrated framework for sustainable development and include measures of health impact. Results Fifteen systematic reviews and seven economic evaluations met the inclusion criteria. All interventions had some impact on health or on risk factors for health outcomes, except those related to genetically modified foods. Impact on health inequalities was rarely measured. All interventions with economic evaluations were very cost-effective, had cost savings, or net benefits. In addition to impacting health (inclusive social development), all interventions had the potential to impact on inclusive economic development, and some, on environmental sustainability, though these effects were rarely assessed. Conclusions What is needed now is careful implementation of interventions with expected positive health impacts but with concurrent, rigorous evaluation. Possible impact on health inequalities needs to be considered and measured by future primary studies and systematic reviews, as does impact of interventions on all dimensions of sustainable development.
Michelle M. Haby
Full Text Available ABSTRACT Objectives To identify the agriculture, food, and nutrition security interventions that facilitate sustainable food production and have a positive impact on health. Methods Systematic review methods were used to synthesize evidence from multiple systematic reviews and economic evaluations through a comprehensive search of 17 databases and 10 websites. The search employed a pre-defined protocol with clear inclusion criteria. Both grey and peer-reviewed literature published in English, Spanish, and Portuguese between 1 January 1997 and November 2013 were included. To classify as “sustainable,” interventions needed to aim to positively impact at least two dimensions of the integrated framework for sustainable development and include measures of health impact. Results Fifteen systematic reviews and seven economic evaluations met the inclusion criteria. All interventions had some impact on health or on risk factors for health outcomes, except those related to genetically modified foods. Impact on health inequalities was rarely measured. All interventions with economic evaluations were very cost-effective, had cost savings, or net benefits. In addition to impacting health (inclusive social development, all interventions had the potential to impact on inclusive economic development, and some, on environmental sustainability, though these effects were rarely assessed. Conclusions What is needed now is careful implementation of interventions with expected positive health impacts but with concurrent, rigorous evaluation. Possible impact on health inequalities needs to be considered and measured by future primary studies and systematic reviews, as does impact of interventions on all dimensions of sustainable development.
Key words: Mekong Delta; IAA; ECOPATH; Nutmon; LCA; environmental impact; sustainability
In the Mekong Delta (MD), intensification and modernization of crop, fish and livestock production causes concern about sustainable use of natural resources. The objectives of this research were to
Full Text Available The excessive use of groundwater resources has created numerous environmental consequences in Iran. Many water experts believe that this crisis can be overcome by fostering sustainable environmental behavior in the utilization of groundwater resources and increasing the farmers' environmental knowledge, attitude and emotions. The objective of this study was to investigate transformation of environmental knowledge to sustainable use of groundwater resources through the analysis of the mediating role of environmental emotions in Iran's agriculture. This research was carried out via a survey technique within the category of descriptive-correlation and causal-relational research. All the wheat producing farmers of Sistan and Baluchestan Province, which is a clear example of critical conditions for groundwater resources in Iran (N=168,873, constituted the statistical population of the study of whom 384 participants were selected using a stratified random sampling method. The research instrument was a questionnaire whose validity was confirmed by a panel of professionals in agricultural extension, education and water management. The reliability of the items of the questionnaire was also evaluated via a pilot study and Cronbach's alpha (0.70≤α≤0.84. The results of the causal analysis indicated that environmental knowledge (β=0.309 and environmental emotions (β=0.565 have the significant influence on sustainable environmental behavior in the utilization of groundwater among wheat farmers. Therefore, it can be said environmental emotions is an important mediating factor for potentially improving water stakeholders' sustainable environmental behavior. Keywords: Sustainable environmental behavior (SEB, Groundwater, Environmental knowledge (EK, Environmental emotions (EE, Causal analysis
Kritee, K.; Ahuja, R.; Nair, D.; Esteves, T.; Rudek, J.; Thu Ha, T.
Industrial agriculture systems, mostly in developed and some emerging economies, are far different from the small-holder farms (size management variability from farm to farm and also the current inability to ground-truth remote sensing data due to lack of relaible basic parameters (e.g., yields, N use, farm boundaries) which are necessary for calibrating empirical/biogeochemical models. While we continue to learn from new research, we have found that it is crucial to follow some steps if sustainable farming programs are to succeed at small-holder farms Demographic data collection and GPS plot demarcation to establish farm size and ownership Baseline nutrient, water & energy use and crop yield determination via surveys and self-reporting which are verifiable through farmer networks given the importance of peer to peer learning in the dissemination of new techniques in such landscapes "Sustainable" practice determination in consultation with local universities/NGO experts Measurements on representative plots for 3-4 years to help calibrate biogeochemical models and/or empirical equations and establish which practices are truly "sustainable" (e.g., GHG emission reduction varies from 0-7 tCO2e/acre for different sustainable practices). Propagation of sustainable practices across the landscape via local NGOs/governments after analyzing the replicability of identified farming practices in the light of local financial, cultural or socio-political barriers. We will present results from representative plots (including soil and weather parameters, GHG emissions, yields, inputs, economic and environmental savings), farmer surveys and diary data; and discuss our key conclusions based on our approach and the analysis of the collected data which was enabled by use of a commercially available comprehensive agricultural data collection software.
Full Text Available In exploring the social dynamics of agrofood movements in Ecuador as examples of self-organization (i.e., locally distributed and resolved development, this article departs from a preoccupation with innovation by means of design and the use of scaling as a metaphor for describing research contributions in agriculture and food. The case material highlights that much development is contingent, unpredictable, and unmanageable as well as unbound to fixed spaces or places. In their study of people’s daily practice, the authors do not find clear boundaries between dichotomies of internal–external, lay–expert, traditional–modern, or local–global organization, but heterogeneous blends of each. For the purposes of sustainable development, this highlights the need for attention to be paid to relationships (social, material, and biological, adaptation (the capacity to innovate, and responsibility (adherence to norms of sustainability. Far from romanticizing self-organization, the authors acknowledge that people and their institutions share varying degrees of complicity for the goods as well as the bads of their economic activity, such as mass soil degradation, agrobiodiversity loss, and poisoning by pesticides. Nevertheless, even under highly difficult conditions, certain actors effectively bypass the limitations of formal institutions in forging a socio-technical course of action (i.e., policy for relatively healthy living and being. As such, the authors have come to appreciate self-organization as a neglected, if paradoxical, resource for policy transition towards more sustainable agriculture and food.
Djuwendah, E.; Priyatna, T.; Kusno, K.; Deliana, Y.; Wulandari, E.
Building agribusiness model of LEISA is needed as a prototype of sustainable regional and economic development (SRRED) in the watersheds (DAS) of West Java Province. Agribusiness model of LEISA is a sustainable agribusiness system applying low external input. The system was developed in the framework of optimizing local-based productive resources including soil, water, vegetation, microclimate, renewable energy, appropriate technology, social capital, environment and human resources by combining various subsystems including integrated production subsystems of crops, livestock and fish to provide a maximum synergy effect, post-harvest subsystem and processing of results, marketing subsystems and supporting subsystems. In this study, the ecological boundary of Cipunegara sub-watershed ecosystem, administrative boundaries are Surian Subdistricts in Sumedang. The purpose of this study are to identify the potency of natural resources and local agricultural technologies that could support the LEISA model in Surian and to identify the potency of internal and external inputs in the LEISA model. The research used qualitative descriptive method and technical action research. Data were obtained through interviews, documentation, and observation. The results showed that natural resources in the form of agricultural land, water resources, livestock resources, and human labor are sufficient to support agribusiness model of LEISA. LEISA agribusiness model that has been applied in the research location is the integration of beef cattle, agroforestry, and agrosilvopasture. By building LEISA model, agribusiness can optimize the utilization of locally based productive resources, reduce dependence on external resources, and support sustainable food security.
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
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
Shingirai S. Mugambiwa
Full Text Available This article aims to assess the impacts of climate change towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal number two (SDG 2 as well as examining the poverty alleviation strategies by subsistence farmers in South Africa. Widespread hunger and poverty continue to be among the most life-threatening problems confronting mankind. Available statistics show that global poverty remains a serious challenge around the world. Across the globe, one in five people lives on less than $1 a day and one in seven suffers from chronic hunger. Similarly, the developing world is adversely affected by poverty and hunger. In the sub-Saharan Africa, research has revealed a higher prevalence of hunger, malnutrition, poverty and food insecurity. SDG 2 focuses more on eliminating hunger and promoting sustainable agriculture. The study employed an exploratory design and a qualitative method. Snowball sampling was used in selecting relevant sources which led the researchers to other research work on the same field through keywords and reference lists. The researchers employed discourse analysis to analyse data. The study discovered that there are numerous potential effects climate change could have on agriculture. It affects crop growth and quality and livestock health. Farming practices could also be affected as well as animals that could be raised in particular climatic areas. The impact of climate change as well as the susceptibility of poor communities is very immense. The article concludes that climate change reduces access to drinking water, negatively affects the health of people and poses a serious threat to food security.
Baquero Armans, Grau; Esteban Dalmau, Bernat; Puig Vidal, Rita; Riba Ruiz, Jordi-Roger; Rius Carrasco, Antoni
This work proposes and analyses a model for an agricultural fuel self-supply exploitation. The model is based on the current extended crop rotation of wheat and barley in Anoia region (Catalonia, Spain). The introduction of rapeseed to the current crop rotation and its conversion into oil to be used as agricultural fuel is presented. Life cycle assessment methodology is used to carry out an environmental and an economic assessment. Environmental results show a preference for the vegetable oil...
Jorrín, J.; González-Fernández, P.
The seminatural prairie of the Raña of Cañamero (Spain) is a degraded and unproductive agrosystem with acid and stony soils, and low coverage of xerophytic grasses. In a project about secondary reconversion of the raña-prairie to a more productive cropland, an experimental field (EF) was established to assess the effect on plot-productivity of the interaction between correction of soil pH (liming) with three cropping systems: a no-tilled and annually fertilized and improved prairies, and a conventionally-tilled forage crop. The EF model of management was designed as plant-conservative, because no herbicide was applied after seeding to preserve the post-emergence of wild herbs and the natural grass diversity of the prairie. Between 2008 and 2012, we analysed the effect of managing factors (initial conventional-tillage, fertilization, liming and cropping) and agricultural predictors (pH, C:N ratio, soil bulk density and herbaceous biomass) on the alpha(α)-diversity of one of the major group of soil animals, the oribatids. In relation to the raña-prairie, all EF-plots improved their soil bulk density (ρs) and herbaceous biomass (t/ha), and enhanced desirable α-diversity values (richness, abundance and community equity). We conclude that the plant-conservative model: i) do not affect statistically the species richness of the prairie; ii) the desirable α-diversity responses are negatively correlated with soil bulk density and positively with herbaceous biomass, and iii) the low input or minimum intervention model, of an initial and conventional till and annual fertilisation, is the threshold and optimal model of agricultural management to improving oribatids diversity of the raña-soil. (Author)
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
Lussem, U.; Bolten, A.; Gnyp, M. L.; Jasper, J.; Bareth, G.
Monitoring forage yield throughout the growing season is of key importance to support management decisions on grasslands/pastures. Especially on intensely managed grasslands, where nitrogen fertilizer and/or manure are applied regularly, precision agriculture applications are beneficial to support sustainable, site-specific management decisions on fertilizer treatment, grazing management and yield forecasting to mitigate potential negative impacts. To support these management decisions, timely and accurate information is needed on plant parameters (e.g. forage yield) with a high spatial and temporal resolution. However, in highly heterogeneous plant communities such as grasslands, assessing their in-field variability non-destructively to determine e.g. adequate fertilizer application still remains challenging. Especially biomass/yield estimation, as an important parameter in assessing grassland quality and quantity, is rather laborious. Forage yield (dry or fresh matter) is mostly measured manually with rising plate meters (RPM) or ultrasonic sensors (handheld or mounted on vehicles). Thus the in-field variability cannot be assessed for the entire field or only with potential disturbances. Using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) equipped with consumer grade RGB cameras in-field variability can be assessed by computing RGB-based vegetation indices. In this contribution we want to test and evaluate the robustness of RGB-based vegetation indices to estimate dry matter forage yield on a recently established experimental grassland site in Germany. Furthermore, the RGB-based VIs are compared to indices computed from the Yara N-Sensor. The results show a good correlation of forage yield with RGB-based VIs such as the NGRDI with R2 values of 0.62.
Li, J.; Wen, G.; Li, D.
Trough mastering background information of Yunnan province grassland resources utilization and ecological conditions to improves grassland elaborating management capacity, it carried out grassland resource investigation work by Yunnan province agriculture department in 2017. The traditional grassland resource investigation method is ground based investigation, which is time-consuming and inefficient, especially not suitable for large scale and hard-to-reach areas. While remote sensing is low cost, wide range and efficient, which can reflect grassland resources present situation objectively. It has become indispensable grassland monitoring technology and data sources and it has got more and more recognition and application in grassland resources monitoring research. This paper researches application of multi-source remote sensing image in Yunnan province grassland resources investigation. First of all, it extracts grassland resources thematic information and conducts field investigation through BJ-2 high space resolution image segmentation. Secondly, it classifies grassland types and evaluates grassland degradation degree through high resolution characteristics of Landsat 8 image. Thirdly, it obtained grass yield model and quality classification through high resolution and wide scanning width characteristics of MODIS images and sample investigate data. Finally, it performs grassland field qualitative analysis through UAV remote sensing image. According to project area implementation, it proves that multi-source remote sensing data can be applied to the grassland resources investigation in Yunnan province and it is indispensable method.
Ainul hayati Daud; Rabiah Abu Hassan
Malaysia became a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations in 1969. One of the IAEA main activities in which Malaysia actively participates is the Technical Assistance and Cooperation (TQ Programme, through this TC Programme, Malaysia receives assistance in the form of provision of project components namely expert service, equipment and fellowship training. Since 1970, Malaysia implemented more than 70 projects, valued at more than USD 9 million, of which 16 projects were related to the development of agriculture. The TC Programme is complemented by the Contract Research Project (CRP) of the IAEA. Malaysia completed more than 60 Research Projects, of which more than 25 projects were in the agricultural sector. Both the TC and CRP Programmes contributed towards the development of trained manpower and the establishment of facilities for agricultural research and technology transfer. This report reviews the assistance received through these TC and CRP Programmes and its contribution towards the development of agricultural research with emphasis on sustainability of rice production. (Author)
Trabaquini, Kleber; Galvão, Lênio Soares; Formaggio, Antonio Roberto; de Aragão, Luiz Eduardo Oliveira E Cruz
The Brazilian Cerrado area is in rapid decline because of the expansion of modern agriculture. In this study, we used extensive field data and a 30-year chronosequence of Landsat images (1980-2010) to assess the effects of time since conversion of Cerrado into agriculture upon soil chemical attributes and soybean/corn yield in the Alto do Rio Verde watershed. We determined the rates of vegetation conversion into agriculture, the agricultural land use time since conversion, and the temporal changes in topsoil (0-20 cm soil depth) and subsurface (20-40 cm) chemical attributes of the soils. In addition, we investigated possible associations between fertilization/over-fertilization and land use history detected from the satellites. The results showed that 61.8% of the native vegetation in the Alto do Rio Verde watershed was already converted into agriculture with 31% of soils being used in agriculture for more than 30 years. While other fertilizers in cultivated soils (e.g., Ca +2 , Mg +2 , and P) have been compensated over time by soil management practices to keep crop yield high, large reductions in C org (38%) and N tot (29%) were observed in old cultivated areas. Furthermore, soybean and cornfields having more than 10 years of farming presented higher values of P and Mg +2 than the ideal levels necessary for plant development. Therefore, increased risks of over-fertilization of the soils and environmental contamination with these macronutrients were associated with soybean and cornfields having more than 10 years of farming, especially those with more than 30 years of agricultural land use.
Dogliotti Moro, S.; García, M.C.; Peluffo, S.; Dieste, J.P.; Pedemonte, A.J.; Bacigalupe, G.F.; Scarlato, M.; Alliaume, F.; Alvarez, J.; Chiappe, M.; Rossing, W.A.H.
Meeting the goals of sustainable growth of food production and reducing rural poverty requires assisting family farmers to develop more productive, profitable, resource efficient and environmentally friendly farms. Faced with decreasing product prices and increasing production costs during the last
Agovino, Massimiliano; Cerciello, Massimiliano; Gatto, Andrea
This work introduces a revised version of the Food Sustainability Index, proposed by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition in 2016. Our Adjusted Food Sustainability Index features two important advantages: 1) it employs the Mazziotta-Pareto method to compute weights, hence granting an objective aggregation criterion and 2) it does not take policy variables into account, thus focusing on the status quo. The policy variables are aggregated into the Policy Index, measuring the quality of the food sustainability policies. We compute the two indices for 25 countries worldwide, then we use the Data Envelopment Analysis to evaluate policy efficiency. Our results show that country-level variation in policy efficiency is wide and policies affect food sustainability significantly, especially when they target nutritional challenges. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Lorenz, Marco; Brunotte, Joachim; Ortmeier, Berthold
Regarding increasing pressures by global societal and climate change, for example, the assessment of the impact of land use and land management practices on land productivity, land degradation and the related decrease in sustainable food production and the provision of ecosystem services gains increasing interest. Regarding international research on land use and soil threats, main problems in agricultural land use on global scale are erosion by water and wind, soil organic matter loss, salinization, depletion of nutrients, chemical and physical deterioration, including e.g. soil compaction. When coming to soil sciences, basically soil functions are affected negatively by intensive food production and field traffic. Management based negative changes in soil functions and a suboptimal soil structure have multiple negative effects on physical, biological and chemical soil functions, like a poor water balance, air and water permeability, disturbed soil fauna, impeded root penetration etc. and in consequence on the achievable yields. The presentation deals with the multiple effects of different agricultural machinery and technologies and different agricultural soil tillage (e.g. no-till, conservation tillage, ploughing), on various soil properties of a stagnic Luvisol in Lower Saxony, Germany. These are e.g. bulk density, air capacity, saturated water permeability, changes in pore size distribution and water retention curve as well as crop yields. Furthermore results of a long term study of bulk density and total pore size on more then 20 farms in Lower Saxony since the year 1952 will be presented. Finally, key factors and first recommendations for sustainable agricultural soil protection will be derived from the results.
Tek Bahadur Gurung
Full Text Available Majority of landlocked mountainous countries are poorly ranked in Human Development Index (HDI, mostly due to poor per capita agriculture production, increasing population, unemployment, expensive and delayed transportation including several other factors. Generally, economy of such countries substantially relies on subsistence agriculture, tourism, hydropower and largely on remittance etc. Recently, it has been argued that to utilize scarce suitable land efficiently for food production, poor inland transport, hydropower, irrigation, drinking water in integration with other developmental infrastructures, an overarching policy linking water - energy – food nexus within a country for combating water, energy and food security would be most relevant. Thus, in present paper it has been opined that promotion of such linkage via nexus approach is the key to sustainable development of landlocked mountainous countries. Major land mass in mountainous countries like Nepal remains unsuitable for agriculture, road and other infrastructure profoundly imposing food, nutrition and energy security. However, large pristine snowy mountains function as wildlife sanctuaries, pastures, watershed, recharge areas for regional and global water, food and energy security. In return, landlocked mountainous countries are offered certain international leverages. For more judicious trade off, it is recommended that specific countries aerial coverage of mountains would be more appropriate basis for such leverages. Moreover, for sustainability of mountainous countries an integrated approach enabling water - energy – food nexus via watershed-hydropower-irrigation-aquaculture-agriculture-integrated linking policy model is proposed. This model would enable protection of watershed for pico, micro, and mega hydro power plants and tail waters to be used for aquaculture or irrigation or drinking water purposes for food and nutrition security.
Andriesse, W.; Boone, K.; de Bont, C.; Brouwers, J.; Hack-Ten Broeke, M.; Migchels, G.; Oenema, O.; van de Peet, G.; Pinxterhuis, I.; Smit, A.; Stuiver, M.; Sukkel, W.; Verkerke, W.; Verzandvoort, S.; Visser, A.; Zwart, K.; Damen, M.
This report forms the Netherlands’ contribution to CSD-16 (2008) of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development. It comprises an overview of the Netherlands’ policies, priorities and activities with regard to sustainable development in the fields of agriculture, land and rural development, drought
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.
Full Text Available One of the most evident elements of the agricultural crisis is farm abandonment in many marginal rural areas, such as mountains. Some traits of mountain agriculture such as remoteness, low productivity, extreme weather and small farm size, can limit the adaptation and the competitiveness of this branch. The analysis aims to assess the consumers’ Willingness to Pay (WTP for permanence of the upland farms and mountain pastures, by a Contingent Valuation analysis. The main results are that a WTP for the redevelopment of the pastures exists and that the personal characteristics of the sample are more influential than the opinions of the individuals on WTP. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that consumers seem to prefer an agricultural orientation of the upland farms rather than a touristic one. In the conclusion section, some policy guidelines are proposed.
Full Text Available The importance of a shift toward agricultural systems, which are more complex in terms of biodiversity in emerging countries such as China, where most of the population (about 60% lives in rural areas, in poor conditions and still relies on agriculture as the main source of income, is discussed. In China the problems caused by shifting to more intensive and polluting agricultural production patterns to address the demand for food of the growing population and by the need of higher incomes of rural communities are serious. The experience gained in the framework of the Sino-Italian Cooperation Program for Environment Protection jointly launched by the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory (IMET and the State Environment Protection Administration of China (SEPA in the year 2000, through the implementation of several cooperation projects in different rural areas of China is critically discussed.
Kamel, S.M.; Dahl, C.
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...... 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...
Thieu, V.; Billen, G. F.; Garnier, J.; Lancelot, C.; Gypens, N.
Located in the North-Western Europe the terrestrial continuum that includes the Seine, Somme, and Scheldt River basins offers an interesting example of a transborder territory (France, Belgium, and Netherlands) with high-intensity anthropogenic pressures. It well-illustrates the rapid development of modern agriculture in industrialised countries and the resulting severe alteration of water resources and jeopardising the capacity of rural territories to produce drinking water. The corresponding nutrient loads delivered then into the Southern Bight of the North Sea, strongly affect the ecological functioning of the coastal zone. An integrated ‘river-ocean’ assessment, coupling two deterministic models - the SENEQUE RIVESTRAHLER model simulating nutrient dynamic in the drainage network and the MIRO model describing the ecological functioning coastal ecosystem - points out the relevance of current policy based measures (improvement of waste water treatment) to mitigate phosphorous emissions, while the nitrogen pollution related to agriculture will remain critical despite the implementation of classical management measure (good agricultural practices). Therefore and irrespectively of the current political agenda, a more radical alternative is established, consisting of a generalised shift to an integrated agriculture of all agricultural areas in the three basins, excluding the use of synthetically compounded fertilisers and the importation of livestock feed. Such scenario aims at evaluating whether agriculture, by essence, can conciliate (i) the demand for food and feed by local populations, (ii) a good ecological functioning of aquatic ecosystems and (iii) a balanced nutrient status for the adjacent coastal area. This scenario involves an increased livestock density in the Seine and Somme and a decrease in livestock in the Scheldt basin. It leads to a significant reduction of agricultural production that finally brings the three basins closer to autotrophy
Ye, Yanmei; Wu, Cifang; Cheng, Chengbiao; Qiu, Lingzhang; Huang, Shengyu; Zheng, Ruihui
The concept and characteristics of engineering designs on sustainable agricultural land consolidation project were discussed in this paper. Principles, basic methods and procedures of engineering designs on agricultural land consolidation project were put forward, which were successfully adopted for designing agricultural land consolidation in Xuemeiyang region of Changtai County, including diversity designs of sustainable land use, engineering designs of soil improvement, roads, ditches, and drains for protecting existent animal environments, and design of ecological shelter-forests in farmland. Moreover, from sustainable economic, ecological and social points, the results of these engineering designs were evaluated based on fouteen important indexes. After carrying out these engineeringdesigns, the eco-environments and agricultural production conditions were significantly improved, and the farm income was increased in planned regions.
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
Wells, Betty L.; Tanner, Bonnie O.
The Agricultural Women's Leadership Network illustrates the following processes of social change in gendered organizations: (1) change begins as social networks expand to focus on issues; (2) women's organizations gain a foothold during economic crises; (3) new interdependencies bring new organizational alliances; (4) change continues as identity…
Full Text Available Coal mining adversely affects the eco-system as a whole. It is important to conduct suitable assessment studies to learn the potential adverse impact of mining on agriculture. In the subsequent discussions an attempt has been made to clarify the coal mining activities and its residual impact on environment and agricultural activities.The leaseholds for the underground mines are procured from the land lords who grant mining authority the right for underground coal mining. The land for houses, dwellings and the associated activities are purchased piecemeal from different sources while large portion of the surface right remained under the control of farmers and landlords. Underground mining in these areas is conducted with full responsibility of the surface protection by the operators who normally maintain pillars as the natural support to the surface features. Increasing demand for open caste mining process requires huge land. These lands sometime are acquired at the cost of cultivable land. Coal mining has direct impact over agriculture in the study region and residual impacts of mining bring far reaching consequences. The present study is explanatory in nature based on empirical facts collected from various formal sources from Coal India office. The task is to bring out the issues related to coal mining activities and their impact on vegetation and agriculture in adjoining areas in Raniganj and Jharia coalfields in India through this study.
Full Text Available Intensity of the farm production organisation in relation to soil organic matter balance in different degree of mechanization process of work for 42 farms situated in different regions of Poland was analysed. Coefficients agricultural production process in ecological, economic and social aspects were presented also. It was shown that indexes; intensity farm production organisation and soil organic matter balance are correlated.
Schouten, A.M.; Bitzer, V.C.
The objective of this paper is to understand and trace the emergence of Southern standards in global agricultural value chains. While the trend towards private standards established by developed country or ‘Northern’ actors has received significant attention in the literature, recently an emergent
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...
Intensity of the farm production organisation in relation to soil organic matter balance in different degree of mechanization process of work for 42 farms situated in different regions of Poland was analysed. Coefficients agricultural production process in ecological, economic and social aspects were presented also. It was shown that indexes; intensity farm production organisation and soil organic matter balance are correlated.
Rangelands comprise approximately 40% of the earth’s surface and are the largest land cover type in the world. Degradation from mismanagement, desertification, and drought impact more than 50% of rangelands across the globe. The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has been evaluating means of r...
Bisseleua, D. H. B.; Idrissou, L.; Olurotimi, P.; Ogunniyi, A.; Mignouna, D.; Bamire, S. A.
Purpose: In this paper, we explore the strategic role of Multi-stakeholder processes (MSP) in agricultural innovations and how it has impacted livelihood assets' (LAs) capital dynamics of stakeholders in platforms in West Africa. Design/Methodology/Approach: We demonstrate how LA capitals and socio-economic dynamics induced by MSP can enhance…
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.
Bhardwaj, Deepak; Ansari, Mohammad Wahid; Sahoo, Ranjan Kumar; Tuteja, Narendra
Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers.
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
Current soil management strategies are mainly dependent on inorganic chemical-based fertilizers, which caused a serious threat to human health and environment. The exploitation of beneficial microbes as a biofertilizer has become paramount importance in agriculture sector for their potential role in food safety and sustainable crop production. The eco-friendly approaches inspire a wide range of application of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPRs), endo- and ectomycorrhizal fungi, cyanobacteria and many other useful microscopic organisms led to improved nutrient uptake, plant growth and plant tolerance to abiotic and biotic stress. The present review highlighted biofertilizers mediated crops functional traits such as plant growth and productivity, nutrient profile, plant defense and protection with special emphasis to its function to trigger various growth- and defense-related genes in signaling network of cellular pathways to cause cellular response and thereby crop improvement. The knowledge gained from the literature appraised herein will help us to understand the physiological bases of biofertlizers towards sustainable agriculture in reducing problems associated with the use of chemicals fertilizers. PMID:24885352
Baynard, Chris W.; Mjachina, Ksenya; Richardson, Robert D.; Schupp, Robert W.; Lambert, J. David; Chibilyev, Alexander A.
This paper examines the pattern and extent of energy development in steppe landscapes of northeast Colorado, United States. We compare the landscape disturbance created by oil and gas production to that of wind energy inside the Pawnee National Grasslands eastern side. This high-steppe landscape consists of a mosaic of federal, state, and private lands where dominant economic activities include ranching, agriculture, tourism, oil and gas extraction, and wind energy generation. Utilizing field surveys, remote sensing data and geographic information systems techniques, we quantify and map the footprint of energy development at the landscape level. Findings suggest that while oil and gas and wind energy development have resulted in a relatively small amount of habitat loss within the study area, the footprint stretches across the entire zone, fragmenting this mostly grassland habitat. Futhermore, a third feature of this landscape, the non-energy transportation network, was also found to have a significant impact. Combined, these three features fragment the entire Pawnee National Grasslands eastern side, leaving very few large intact core, or roadless areas. The primary objective of this ongoing work is to create a series of quantifiable and replicable surface disturbance indicators linked to energy production in semi-arid grassland environments. Based on these, and future results, we aim to work with industry and regulators to shape energy policy as it relates to environmental performance, with the aim of reducing the footprint and thus increasing the sustainability of these extractive activities.
The increasing complexity of modern day society has led to the emergence of a specific type of sustainability problems known as complex problems. These types of problems can be characterised by their cognitive complexity and inherent insecurity, their normative complexity that allows for
This paper explores the relevance of extra local market linkages and local-level social capital to sustainable livelihood outcomes in two agrarian communities on Mexico's Baja Peninsula. Contextualized by the specificity of Mexico's transition from state-directed rural development to neoliberally-guided rural development in the 1990s, findings…
Patil, S.; Reidsma, P.; Shah, P.; Purushothaman, S.; Wolf, J.
Karnataka is one of the south-western Indian states where agrarian distress as a major problem. Crop yields have been stagnant in the last decade, and coupled with increased input costs, this has led to reduced incomes and debts. There is an urgent need to study options to improve the sustainability
Bender, S.F.; van der Heijden, M.G.A.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/240923901
Efficient resource use is a key factor for sustainable production and a necessity for meeting future global food demands. However, the factors that control resource use efficiency in agro-ecosystems are only partly understood. We investigated the influence of soil biota on nutrient leaching,
Loeber, A.; Vermeulen, T.; Barbier, M.; Elzen, B.
The management of projects for sustainable innovation is characterised by a variety of intricacies. Facilitators play a central role in dealing with these challenges. Adopting an empirical approach, this chapter discusses the practical approaches and attitudes that facilitators develop to deal with
Popovici, Elena-Ana; Sima, Mihaela; Balteanu, Dan; Dragota, Carmen-Sofia; Grigorescu, Ines; Kucsicsa, Gheorghe
The current study was carried out within the FP7 ECLISE project in the Eastern Lower Danube Plain (Bărăgan Plain), one of the major agricultural areas in Romania. In this region, climate change signals are becoming more evident being predominantly characterized by increasing temperatures, decreasing of precipitations and intensification of extreme events in terms of frequency, intensity and duration. Over the past decades, the effects of extreme climatic phenomena on crop production have been ever more severe (very low outputs in the droughty years, significant crop losses during flooding periods, hailstorms, etc.). Concurrently, these effects have been the result of a whole range of complex interactions with other environmental, social, economic and political factors over the post-communist period. Using questionnaires survey for small individual households and large agricultural farms, focus group interviews and direct field observation, this study analyses the farmers' perception in terms of climate change, the impact of climate change on agriculture and how the farmers react and adapt to these changes. The current study have revealed that all farmers believe drought as being by far the most important climatic factor with major impact on agricultural production, followed by acid rains, hail storms and ground frost, facts evidenced also by the climatic diagnosis of the region. The majority of respondents have taken adaptation agricultural measures in response to changes in climate conditions (drought resistant seeds, modern technology to keep the moisture in the soil, etc.), but they consider that a national strategy for mitigating the effects of climate change would be more effective in this respect. Also, in order to correlate the farmers' perception of climate change and climatic factors, the authors used and processed a wide range of meteorological data (daily, monthly and annual from the most representative meteorological stations in the study-area), as
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
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
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.
Villamar, Cristina Alejandra; Rivera, Diego; Aguayo, Mauricio
The aim of this study was to establish sustainably feasible areas for the implementation of anaerobic co-digestion plants for agricultural wastes (cattle/swine slurries and cereal crop wastes). The methodology was based on the use of geographic information systems (GIS), the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and map algebra generated from hedges related to environmental, social and economic constraints. The GIS model obtained was applied to a region of Chile (Bío Bío Region) as a case study showing the energy potential (205 MW-h) of agricultural wastes (swine/cattle manures and cereal crop wastes) and thereby assessing its energy contribution (3.5%) at country level (Chile). From this model, it was possible to spatially identify the influence of each factor (environmental, economic and social) when defining suitable areas for the siting of anaerobic co-digestion plants. In conclusion, GIS-based models establish appropriate areas for the location of anaerobic co-digestion plants in the revaluation of agricultural waste from the production of energy through biogas production. © The Author(s) 2016.
Vagner A. Benedito
Full Text Available World population is projected to reach its maximum (~10 billion people by the year 2050. This 45% increase of the current world population (approaching seven billion people will boost the demand for food and raw materials. However, we live in a historical moment when supply of phosphate, water, and oil are at their peaks. Modern agriculture is fundamentally based on varieties bred for high performance under high input systems (fertilizers, water, oil, pesticides, which generally do not perform well under low-input situations. We propose a shift of research goals and plant breeding objectives from high-performance agriculture at high-energy input to those with an improved rationalization between yield and energy input. Crop breeding programs that are more focused on nutrient economy and local environmental fitness will help reduce energy demands for crop production while still providing adequate amounts of high quality food as global resources decline and population is projected to increase.
Full Text Available Landscape heterogeneity is regarded as a key factor for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem function in production landscapes. We investigated whether grassland sites at close vicinity to forested areas are more frequently used by bats. Considering that bats are important consumers of herbivorous insects, including agricultural pest, this is important for sustainable land management. Bat activity and species richness were assessed using repeated monitoring from May to September in 2010 with acoustic monitoring surveys on 50 grassland sites in the Biosphere Reserve Schorfheide-Chorin (North-East Germany. Using spatial analysis (GIS, we measured the closest distance of each grassland site to potentially connecting landscape elements (e.g., trees, linear vegetation, groves, running and standing water. In addition, we assessed the distance to and the percent land cover of forest remnants and urban areas in a 200 m buffer around the recording sites to address differences in the local landscape setting. Species richness and bat activity increased significantly with higher forest land cover in the 200 m buffer and at smaller distance to forested areas. Moreover, species richness increased in proximity to tree groves. Larger amount of forest land cover and smaller distance to forest also resulted in a higher activity of bats on grassland sites in the beginning of the year during May, June and July. Landscape elements near grassland sites also influenced species composition of bats and species richness of functional groups (open, edge and narrow space foragers. Our results highlight the importance of forested areas, and suggest that agricultural grasslands that are closer to forest remnants might be better buffered against outbreaks of agricultural pest insects due to higher species richness and higher bat activity. Furthermore, our data reveals that even for highly mobile species such as bats, a very dense network of connecting elements within the
Alrøe, Hugo Fjelsted; Kristensen, Erik Steen
Agricultural systems are characterised by involving both natural and social systems. Organic farming, in particular, has developed as part of a wider organic movement incorporating producers, manufacturers and consumers. The organic movement is based on explicit rules as well as broader formulated principles and goals for farming and manufacturing, which are connected to underlying values and perceptions of the relationship between human and nature. This paper is concerned with the challenges...
International Finance Corporation
This IFC SmartBook is a compilation of sixteen IFC SmartLessons that presents practical lessons learned by staff from across the IFC and the World Bank on approaches for engaging in agriculture that have led to success. Agribusiness is a crucial economic sector, for food security of course, for managing water stress and ecosystem services, but also as a source of employment in emerging mar...
Parikh, K.; Rabar, F.
The energy consumption and production in agriculture is described. Energy is used in forming for the mechanization of work, for irrigation, fertilizing and plant protectives. Energy is also supplied as biogas, manure, charcoal and alcohol, apart from foodstuffs. The largest energy input in the industrial countries is used for the mechanization in forming while the largest energy share in the developing countries is determined by fertilizers.
(1) The element analysis shown that ten kinds of agricultural wastes containing a certain amount of C, N, H elements, the highest content of C element, and t value ranges from 36.02% 36.02%, and the variation of C, N, H elements content in difference materials was not significant. The TOC concentration of sugar cane was up to 38.66 mg·g-1, and quality ratio was 39‰, significantly lower than C elements content. The released TOC quality of the rest materials were 2.36 2.36 mg·g-1, and the order from high to low were the soybean straw, rice straw, corn straw, rice husk, poplar branches, wheat straw, reeds, corn cob and wood chips respectively. The long-term leaching experiment of selected Optimized agricultural waste showed that the TOC content in leaching solution rise rapidly to peak value and was stable afterwards, with the concentration of 4.59 19.46 mg·g-1. The TOC releasing amount order was same with the short-term leaching experiment. (2) The releasing of nitrate nitrogen in ten kinds of agricultural waste was low (corn straw was up to 0.12mg·g-1, and the rest were all below 0.04mg·g-1 without accumulation. Most of the ammonia nitrogen concentration in leachate was lower than 0.3mg·g-1. The kjeldahl nitrogen in the corn straw, soybean straw, rice straw, reed, rice husk, and sugar cane leachate (0.81 1.65mg·g-1) were higher than that of poplar branches, corn cob and wood chips (corn straw, rice husk and wheat straw leachate. Above all, it can be concluded that the sugar cane, corn straw, rice husk, wheat straw, corn cob, wood were ideal carbon source material in ten kinds of agricultural.
Full Text Available For many years, agricultural intensification and exploitation has resulted in biodiversity loss and threaten ecosystem functioning. Developing strategies to bridge human needs and ecosystem health for harmonization of ecosystem is a major concern for ecologist and agriculturist. The lack of information on species diversity of natural enemies and how to utilize them with integration of habitat management that can renovate ecological process was the main obstacle. Parasitoids, a group of natural enemies, play a very important role in regulating insect pest population. During the last ten years, we have been working on exploration of parasitoid species richness, how to use it to restore ecosystem functions, and identifying key factors influencing host-parasitoid interaction. Here, we propose a model of habitat management that is capable of maintaining agricultural biodiversity and ecosystem functions. We present data on parasitoid species richness and distribution in Java and Sumatera, their population structure and its impact toward biological control, relationship between habitat complexes and parasitoid community, spatial and temporal dynamic of parasitoid diversity, and food web in agricultural landscape. Implications of our findings toward conservation of agroecosystem are discussed.
Gleick, P. H.
As global and regional populations continue to rise for the next several decades, the need to grow more food will worsen old -- and produce new -- challenges for water resources. Expansion of irrigated agriculture is slowing due to constraints on land and water, and as a result, some have argued that future new food demands will only be met through improvements in agricultural productivity on existing irrigated and rainfed cropland, reductions in field losses and food waste, and social changes such as dietary preferences. This talk will address the central role that improvements in water-use productivity can play in the food/water/population nexus. In particular, the ability to grow more food with less water will have a great influence on whether future food demands will be met successfully. Such improvements can come about through changes in technology, regulatory systems, economic incentives and disincentives, and education of water users. Example of potential savings from three different strategies to improve agricultural water productivity in California. (From Pacific Institute).
Full Text Available It is well-known that the use of incentives should lead to an improvement of the existing economic, environmental and social status, to raising the level of economic indicators for the benefit of the person who provides incentives and who is the object of stimulation. The current socio-economic conditions dictate the need to find effective forms of land management and rational land use management, correcting mistakes and resolving existing issues. This is possible only after all agricultural land use is fully provided with the necessary land management works. These issues can be solved by implementing the planning documents for the development of territories (national, regional, local, etc.. They put in place an algorithm of action to address the issue, but the greatest advantage of the proposed development program is the possibility of developing a land management process on agricultural lands. Clear financing of development programs, allows to ensure the implementation of the outlined plans for the implementation of land management works that are necessary on agricultural land. But in the context of the limited economic opportunities of Ukraine, the financing of land management measures provided for by the program should be only partially depending on the possibilities and level of environmental issues of land use.
Antille Diogenes L.
Full Text Available Drivers for and potential barriers against adoption of controlled traffic farming (CTF systems in Argentina are reviewed. Traffic compaction is one of the main factors affecting crop productivity within Argentinean agriculture, and has significant although less quantified impacts on the whole-of-farm system. This suggests that the benefits of no-tillage (NT, which represents the dominant form of cropping in Argentina, are not fully realised. Conservative estimates indicate that crop yields could be improved by at least 15% if NT is used in conjunction with CTF. Cost-benefit analyses of available options for compaction management are required. Despite this, and based on reported evidence internationally, a shift toward increased uptake of CTF within Argentinean agriculture is likely to: (1 improve productivity and farm profitability, (2 enhance environmental performance, and (3 maintain competitiveness of the agricultural sector. Appropriate technical advice and support is a key requirement to drive adoption of CTF. Therefore, the adoption process will benefit from collaboration developed with well-established research and extension organisations in Australia and the United Kingdom, and active engagement of machinery manufacturers.
Jens L. Hollberg
Full Text Available Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs has the potential to contribute to solving these problems. In this study, we explored the potential of VIs for distinguishing five differently-fertilized grassland communities. Therefore, we collected spectral signatures of these communities in a long-term fertilization experiment (since 1941 in Germany throughout the growing seasons 2012–2014. Fifteen VIs were calculated and their seasonal developments investigated. Welch tests revealed that the accuracy of VIs for distinguishing these grassland communities varies throughout the growing season. Thus, the selection of the most promising single VI for grassland mapping was dependent on the date of the spectra acquisition. A random forests classification using all calculated VIs reduced variations in classification accuracy within the growing season and provided a higher overall precision of classification. Thus, we recommend a careful selection of VIs for grassland mapping or the utilization of temporally-stable methods, i.e., including a set of VIs in the random forests algorithm.
Johnson, Justin Andrew; Runge, Carlisle Ford; Senauer, Benjamin; Foley, Jonathan; Polasky, Stephen
Feeding a growing and increasingly affluent world will require expanded agricultural production, which may require converting grasslands and forests into cropland. Such conversions can reduce carbon storage, habitat provision, and other ecosystem services, presenting difficult societal trade-offs. In this paper, we use spatially explicit data on agricultural productivity and carbon storage in a global analysis to find where agricultural extensification should occur to meet growing demand while minimizing carbon emissions from land use change. Selective extensification saves ∼ 6 billion metric tons of carbon compared with a business-as-usual approach, with a value of approximately $1 trillion (2012 US dollars) using recent estimates of the social cost of carbon. This type of spatially explicit geospatial analysis can be expanded to include other ecosystem services and other industries to analyze how to minimize conflicts between economic development and environmental sustainability.
The utilization of agricultural biomass for production of electric power can help to reduce the environmental emissions while achieving energy security and sustainable development. This paper presents a methodology for estimating the power production potential of agricultural biomass in a country. Further, the methodology has been applied to develop a roadmap for producing reliable power in India. The present study reveals that about 650 Mt/year of agricultural biomass is generated in India, while about one-third of this has been found to be surplus for energy applications. The cereal crops have major contribution (64.60%) in production of surplus biomass followed by sugarcane (24.60%) and cotton (10.68%). The energy potential of these resources is of the order of 3.72 EJ, which represents a significant proportion of the primary energy consumption in the country. These biomass resources can produce electric power of 23–35 GW depending upon the efficiency of thermal conversion. The delivery of biomass to the plants and selection of appropriate technology have been found as the major issues that need to be resolved carefully. In the end, the study summarizes various technological options for biomass collection and utilization that can be used for producing clean and consistent power supply. - Highlights: •The production of bioelectricity in India is imperative and inevitable. •About one-third of the agricultural biomass is available for power generation. •The power potential of these resources is of the order of 23–31 GW. •The delivery of biomass to plants and technology selection are the key issues. •India should exploit these resources for producing clean and reliable power.
Kazandjiev, V.; Georgieva, V.; Moteva, M.; Marinova, T.; Dimitrov, P.
The farming is one of the most important branches that bring the increase to the gross internal production in Bulgaria. At the same time, the agriculture is the only branch, as in home, so in world scale in which the made as well direct production spending and investing regenerating (or not) only in the frameworks to one vegetative season. In addition on this, development of the intensive farming without using the most advanced technologies such as irrigation, automation, selection - for obtaining stable cultivars and hybrids, permanent weather monitoring and agroclimatic zoning and integrated and biochemical protection to the cultures and plantations had not possible. Analysis of long-term meteorological data from different regions shows clear tendencies to warming and drying for the period of contemporary climate (1971-2000) as well in Bulgaria. Hydro-meteorological conditions in the country are worsened. The most entire estimate is made from the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) 2007. Most of authors proven that the last decades are really warmest for last century, even for the entire period of the most instrumental observations. The causes for global warming was long time debatable, but the last investigations prove it anthropogenetic derive. The main goal of the paper is framing in conditions of the expected climate changes in our country for period 2020-2050-2070 and the most likely impacts on the agriculture with inspection padding to the consequences in them and making physical conditions for development of proof farming in production regions of the country. By the means of the systematized database of meteorological and agrometeorological data which we have at disposition for the period of this survey (1971-2000); Provide assignment of the expected climatic changes according to the scenarios in the centers for observing and investigations of climatic changes in Europe, US., Canada and Australia (ECHAM 4, HadCM 2, CGCM 1, CSIRO-MK2 Bs and
Lucero, C. E.; Deverel, S. J.; Jacobs, P.; Kelsey, R.
Transformed from the largest wetland system on the west coast of the United States to agriculture, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is an extreme teaching example of anthropogenic threats to sustainability. For over 6,000 years, over 280,000 ha of intertidal freshwater marsh accreted due to seal level rise and sediment deposition. Farming of organic soils since 1850 resulted in land subsidence caused primarily by oxidation. Over 2 billion cubic meters of soil were lost resulting in elevations on Delta islands ranging from -1 to -8 m and increased risk of levee failures and water supply disruption. Alteration of water flows and habitat caused dramatic declines in aquatic species. A cycle in which oxidation of organic soils leads to deepening of drainage ditches to maintain an aerated root zone which in turn results in sustained oxidation and subsidence is perpetuated by the momentum of the status quo despite evidence that agricultural practices are increasingly unsustainable. Flooding of the soils breaks the oxidation/subsidence cycle. We assessed alternate land uses and the carbon market as a potential impetus for change. Using the peer-reviewed and locally calibrated SUBCALC model, we estimated net global warming potential for a range of scenarios for a representative island, from status quo to incorporating significant proportions of subsidence-mitigating land use. We analyzed economic implications by determining profit losses or gains when a simulated GHG offset market is available for wetlands using a regional agricultural production and economic optimization model, We estimated baseline GHG emissions at about 60,000 tons CO2-e per year. In contrast, modeled implementation of rice and wetlands resulted in substantial emissions reductions to the island being a net GHG sink. Subsidence would be arrested or reversed where these land uses are implemented. Results of economic modeling reveal that conversion to wetlands can have significant negative farm financial
György Iván, Neszmélyi
Agriculture is one of the major branches of the economy in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa. It employs around 70% of the population and its contribution to the national GDP ranges around 45% (2012). In spite of the fact that most of the area is arable the majority of food, the Nigerian population consumes, comes from imports. The paper attempts to provide in insight to the reasons, why Nigeria could still not achievew self sufficiency from major food crops and livestock. Beyond t...
Harvie, Jamie; Mikkelsen, Leslie; Shak, Linda
Health care leaders are broadening their awareness to include the need to address the food system as a means to individual, public, and global health, above and beyond basic nutritional factors. Key voices from the health care sector have begun to engage in market transformation and are aggregating to articulate the urgency for engagement in food and agricultural policy. Systemic transformation requires a range of policies that complement one another and address various aspects of the food system. Health care involvement in policy and advocacy is vital to solve the expanding ecological health crises facing our nation and globe and will require an urgency that may be unprecedented.
Ermolaeva, Olga; Zeyliger, Anatoly
Today world's water systems face formidable threats due to climate change and increasing water withdraw for agriculture, industry and domestic use. Projected in many parts of the earth increases in temperature, evaporation, and drought frequency shrunk water availability and magnify water scarcity. Declining irrigation water supplies threaten the sustainability of irrigated agricultural production which plays a critical role in meeting global food needs. In irrigated agriculture there is a strong call for deep efforts in order on the one hand to improve water efficiency use and on the other to maximize yields. The aim of this research is to provide tool to optimize water application with crop irrigation by sprinkling in order to sustain irrigated agriculture under limited water supply by increasing net returns per unit of water. For this aim some field experimental results of 2012 year growing season of alfalfa, corn and soya irrigated by sprinkling machines crops at left bank of Volga River at Saratov Region of Russia. Additionally a combination of data sets was used which includes MODIS images, local meteorological station and results of SWAP (Soil-Water-Atmosphere-Plant) modeling. This combination was used to estimate crop water stress defined as ratio between actual (ETa) and potential (ETc) evapotranspiration. By this way it was determined the effect of applied irrigation scheduling and water application depths on evapotranspiration, crop productivity and water stress coefficient. Aggregation of actual values of crop water stress and biomass data predicted by SWAP agrohydrological model with weather forecasting and irrigation scheduling was used to indicate of both rational timing and amount of irrigation water allocation. This type of analysis facilitating an efficient water management can be extended to irrigated areas by developing maps of water efficiency application serving as an irrigation advice system for farmers at his fields and as a decision support
Killeen, Timothy J.; Schroth, Goetz; Turner, Will; Harvey, Celia A.; Steininger, Marc K.; Dragisic, Christine; Mittermeier, Russell A.
We evaluate the potential of a proposed policy model that would explicitly link the cultivation of biofuels with forest conservation (Biofuel + FC) as part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The model postulates that a ratio of 4:1 forest conservation to biofuel cultivation be linked to proposals for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD + Biofuel), while a ratio of 9:1 biofuel cultivation to reforestation on degraded landscape (RDL + Biofuel) be linked to the afforestation/reforestation component of the Clean Development Mechanism. Both biofuel production options would be limited to the cultivation of woody perennial biofuel species on low biomass landscapes in order to maximize the carbon benefits of the proposed policy model. The potential to conserve forest, avoid GHG emissions, improve carbon sequestration, and produce renewable energy are evaluated by an illustrative model for five case studies (Pará – Brazil, East Kalimantan – Indonesia, Madagascar, Colombia and Liberia). The Biofuel + FC policy model is then compared with three counterfactual scenarios: REDD Alone with no biofuel cultivation; Biofuel Alone with expanded biofuel cultivation in the absence of REDD and a Most Likely scenario where REDD and biofuel cultivation are implemented without explicit regulatory linkages. The proposed policy model would leverage forest carbon with biofuel markets, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve biodiversity, as well as improve human welfare in developing countries, a win–win–win strategy for sustainable development. -- Highlights: ► We propose to link biofuel cultivation with forest conservation (REDD + Biofuels). ► A similar proposal to support reforestation on degraded landscapes (RDL + Biofuels). ► Woody perennial biofuel species on low biomass landscapes maximize carbon benefits. ► REDD+ revenues can subsidize and foster sustainable biofuels. ► Production of
Molinuevo-Salces, Beatriz; Larsen, Søren U.; Biswas, Rajib
Based on numerous investigations on increasing the biogas yield of manure, a new concept was developed to increase the economical operation of manure based biogas plants by combining up concentration of manure with a more specific treatment of the recalcitrant lignocellulosic fiber fraction...... by implementing the treatment on the digested solid fraction. Catch crops have been identified as a sustainable co-substrate for biogas production with a high biogas potential. For exploiting this biomass for profitable biogas production, the biomass yield per hectare, harvest costs, TS concentration and specific...
A Consultants' Meeting on 'The assessment of soil conservation technologies for sustainable agricultural production' was held in Vienna at the IAEA Headquarters from May 28-30, 2001. The consultants' presentations reviewed recent advances in the use of fallout radionuclides to measure soil erosion as well as approaches and technologies applied for soil conservation worldwide. Also, activities and experiences of FAO and UNEP in the field of land degradation, soil conservation and related issues were presented. Based on the information provided by the Scientific Secretary, a full project proposal was prepared during the second part of the Consultants' Meeting. The consultants also provided recommendations on the formulation and implementation of a future CRP on the subject
Miranda-Ackerman, Marco A; Azzaro-Pantel, Catherine
New consumer awareness is shifting industry towards more sustainable practices, creating a virtuous cycle between producers and consumers enabled by eco-labelling. Eco-labelling informs consumers of specific characteristics of products and has been used to market greener products. Eco-labelling in the food industry has yet been mostly focused on promoting organic farming, limiting the scope to the agricultural stage of the supply chain, while carbon labelling informs on the carbon footprint throughout the life cycle of the product. These labelling strategies help value products in the eyes of the consumer. Because of this, decision makers are motivated to adopt more sustainable models. In the food industry, this has led to important environmental impact improvements at the agricultural stage, while most other stages in the Food Supply Chain (FSC) have continued to be designed inefficiently. The objective of this work is to define a framework showing how carbon labelling can be integrated into the design process of the FSC. For this purpose, the concept of Green Supply Chain Network Design (GSCND) focusing on the strategic decision making for location and allocation of resources and production capacity is developed considering operational, financial and environmental (CO 2 emissions) issues along key stages in the product life cycle. A multi-objective optimization strategy implemented by use of a genetic algorithm is applied to a case study on orange juice production. The results show that the consideration of CO 2 emission minimization as an objective function during the GSCND process together with techno-economic criteria produces improved FSC environmental performance compared to both organic and conventional orange juice production. Typical results thus highlight the importance that carbon emissions optimization and labelling may have to improve FSC beyond organic labelling. Finally, CO 2 emission-oriented labelling could be an important tool to improve the
DeFries, Ruth S.; Fanzo, Jessica; Mondal, Pinki; Remans, Roseline; Wood, Stephen A.
Over the last several decades, voluntary certification programs have become a key approach to promote sustainable supply chains for agricultural commodities. These programs provide premiums and other benefits to producers for adhering to environmental and labor practices established by the certifying entities. Following the principles of Cochrane Reviews used in health sciences, we assess evidence to evaluate whether voluntary certification of tropical agricultural commodities (bananas, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, and tea) has achieved environmental benefits and improved economic and social outcomes for small-scale producers at the level of the farm household. We reviewed over 2600 papers in the peer-review literature and identified 24 cases of unique combinations of study area, certification program, and commodity in 16 papers that rigorously analyzed differences between treatment (certified households) and control groups (uncertified households) for a wide range of response variables. Based on analysis of 347 response variables reported in these papers, we conclude that certification is associated on average with positive outcomes for 34% of response variables, no significant difference for 58% of variables, and negative outcomes for 8% of variables. No significant differences were observed for different categories of responses (environmental, economic and social) or for different commodities (banana, coffee and tea), except negative outcomes were significantly less for environmental than other outcome categories (p = 0.01). Most cases (20 out of 24) investigated coffee certification and response variables were inconsistent across cases, indicating the paucity of studies to conduct a conclusive meta-analysis. The somewhat positive results indicate that voluntary certification programs can sometimes play a role in meeting sustainable development goals and do not support the view that such programs are merely greenwashing. However, results also indicate that
Leakey, Roger R B
Shifting agriculture in the tropics has been replaced by sedentary smallholder farming on a few hectares of degraded land. To address low yields and low income both, the soil fertility, the agroecosystem functions, and the source of income can be restored by diversification with nitrogen-fixing trees and the cultivation of indigenous tree species that produce nutritious and marketable products. Biodiversity conservation studies indicate that mature cash crop systems, such as cacao and coffee with shade trees, provide wildlife habitat that supports natural predators, which, in turn, reduce the numbers of herbivores and pathogens. This review offers suggestions on how to examine these agroecological processes in more detail for the most effective rehabilitation of degraded land. Evidence from agroforestry indicates that in this way, productive and environmentally friendly farming systems that provide food and nutritional security, as well as poverty alleviation, can be achieved in harmony with wildlife.
Alluvione, Francesco; Moretti, Barbara; Sacco, Dario; Grignani, Carlo
Energy efficiency of agriculture needs improvement to reduce the dependency on non-renewable energy sources. We estimated the energy flows of a wheat-maize-soybean-maize rotation of three different cropping systems: (i) low-input integrated farming (LI), (ii) integrated farming following European Regulations (IFS), and (iii) conventional farming (CONV). Balancing N fertilization with actual crop requirements and adopting minimum tillage proved the most efficient techniques to reduce energy inputs, contributing 64.7% and 11.2% respectively to the total reduction. Large differences among crops in energy efficiency (maize: 2.2 MJ kg -1 grain; wheat: 2.6 MJ kg -1 grain; soybean: 4.1 MJ kg -1 grain) suggest that crop rotation and crop management can be equally important in determining cropping system energy efficiency. Integrated farming techniques improved energy efficiency by reducing energy inputs without affecting energy outputs. Compared with CONV, energy use efficiency increased 31.4% and 32.7% in IFS and LI, respectively, while obtaining similar net energy values. Including SOM evolution in the energy analysis greatly enhanced the energy performance of IFS and, even more dramatically, LI compared to CONV. Improved energy efficiency suggests the adoption of alternative farming systems to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. However, a thorough evaluation should include net global warming potential assessment. -- Highlights: → We evaluated the energy flows of integrated as alternative to conventional Farming. → Energy flows, soil organic matter evolution included, were analyzed following process analysis. → Energy flows were compared using indicators. → Integrated farming improved energy efficiency without affecting net energy. → Inclusion of soil organic matter in energy analysis accrue environmental evaluation.
Artunduaga Salas, Rodrigo
In accordance with the premise that the base of the sustainable agricultural development is based on the conviction that it is possible to increase the agricultural production without affecting the natural resources non-renewable, the author makes a conceptual mark of the technological revolution in Latin America, he makes an analysis of the environment and the paper of the different organisms of the state inside this field
Wahyunto, Wahyunto; Supriatna, Wahyu; Agus, Fahmuddin
Peatland is an increasingly important land resource for livelihood, economic development, and terrestrial carbon storage. Kubu Raya and Pontianak Districts of West Kalimantan rely their future agricultural development on this environmentally fragile peatland because of the dominance (58% and 16% area, respectively) of this land in the two districts. A study aimed to evaluate land use changes on peatland and to develop strategies for sustainable peatland use and management for agriculture. Tim...
New agricultural technologies bring multiple impacts which are hard to predict. Two changes taking place in Indian agriculture are a transition from bullocks to tractors and an associated replacement of manure with synthetic fertilisers. This paper uses primary data to model social, environmental and economic impacts of these transitions in South India. It compares ploughing by bullocks or tractors and the provision of nitrogen from manure or synthetic urea for irrigated rice from the greenhouse gas (GHG), economic and labour perspective. Tractors plough nine times faster than bullocks, use substantially less labour, with no significant difference in GHG emissions. Tractors are twice as costly as bullocks yet remain more popular to hire. The GHG emissions from manure-N paddy are 30 % higher than for urea-N, largely due to the organic matter in manure driving methane emissions. Labour use is significantly higher for manure, and the gender balance is more equal. Manure is substantially more expensive as a source of nutrients compared to synthetic nutrients, yet remains popular when available. This paper demonstrates the need to take a broad approach to analysing the sustainability impacts of new technologies, as trade-offs between different metrics are common.
Wani, Suhas P; Dixin, Yin; Li, Zhong; Dar, William D; Chander, Girish
A participatory watershed management approach is one of the tested, sustainable and eco-friendly options to upgrade rain-fed agriculture to meet growing food demand along with additional multiple benefits in terms of improving livelihoods, addressing equity issues and biodiversity concerns. Watershed interventions at study sites in Thailand (Tad Fa and Wang Chai) and India (Kothapally) effectively reduced runoff and the associated soil loss. Such interventions at Xiaoxincun (China) and Wang Chai improved groundwater recharging and availability. Enhanced productive transpiration increased rainwater use efficiency for crop production by 13-29% at Xiaoxincun; 13-160% at Lucheba (China), 32-37% at Tad Fa and 23-46% at Wang Chai and by two to five times at Kothapally. Watershed interventions increased significantly the additional net returns from crop production as compared with the pre-watershed intervention period. Increased water availability opened up options for crop diversification with high-value crops, including increased forage production and boosted livestock-based livelihoods. In dryland tropics, integrated watershed management approach enabled farmers to diversify the systems along with increasing agricultural productivity through increased water availability, while conserving the natural resource base. Household incomes increased substantially, leading to improved living and building the resilience of the community and natural resources. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry.
Couralt, D.; Hadria, R.; Ruget, F.; Duchemin, B.; Hagolle, O.
This study focused on the feasibility of using remote sensing data acquired at high spatial and temporal resolution (FORMOSAT-2 images(http://www.spotimage.fr/web/en/977--formosat-2-images.php) for crop monitoring at regional scale. The monitoring of agricultural practices such as grassland mowing and irrigation is essential to simulate accurately all processes related to crop system. This information is needed for example in crop simulation models to estimate production, water and fertilizer consumption and can thus serve to better understand the interactions between agriculture and climate. The analysis of these interactions is especially important in Mediterranean region where the effects of climate changes and crop management modifications are increasingly marked. In this context, an experiment was conducted in 2006 in Crau region in the South-Eastern France. In this area, permanent grassland represents 67 % of the usable agricultural area, and it is often used with irrigation (47 % of the permanent grassland). A time series of 36 FORMOSAT-2 images was acquired with a three days frequency from March to October 2006. Information concerning grassland mowing and irrigation was collected through a survey over 120 fields. The high FORMOSAT-2 revisit frequency allowed replicating the dynamics of Leaf Area index (LAI), and detecting to some extents cultural practices like vegetation cut. Simple automatic algorithms were developed to obtain daily values of LAI for each grasslands field linked with the main agricultural practices performed (cut and irrigation dates). This information was then used in a crop model called STICS (http://126.96.36.199/stics/) to estimate the spatial variability of evapotranspiration and drainage associated with the aerial biomass productions. Comparisons between simulated and observed yields gave satisfactory results. The great spatial variations of evapotranspiration were strongly related to the crop and water management. Such
László, Márton, ,, Dr.
A lysimeter N-experiment was carried out over a period of three years (1986-1988) in Hungary on a slightly calcareous Ramann sandy-loam brown forest soil. In a trial without seed inoculation, the effect of N-fertiliser was studied on yield and N-uptake and the mineral (NO3+ NO2 ) N-content of 0-90 cm soil-layer of soybean. On the given soil with regulated optimal water supply the highest quantity of 200 kg/ha N-dose seemed to give alredy over-fertilization and lowered in its tendency the grain and pod yield. About one third of the dry matter production without roots and foliage at harvest was given by the grain yield, which ranged between 1.8-5.4 t/ha, depending on the treatment applied and on years. The N-content was accumulated chiefly in the grain, its concentration exceeded about 7-10 times the N-content of roots and stalk. The half of the total N-uptake, on an average 102-256 kg/ha, was built in the grain. The highest N-yield = 631 kg/ha was achieved in 1988 by 150 kg/ha N-fertilization per year. In the first years the N-uptake of the plants agreed with the total supply (mineral reserve of soil + given in the form of fertilizer + precipitation N), while in the 3th year a double amount was recorded. The mineral reserve of N in the soil did not decrease at the end of the trial. Presumably, the soil of soybean in monoculture lost gradually its "Rhisobium japonicum sterility", the biological N-fixation increased with the time. In the first years without seed inoculation however, soybean may be in need of N-fertilization. Key Words: soybean, nitrogen, sustainable agriculture Introduction Soya is an important crop and is now grown all over the world (Márton et al. 1998, Márton et al. 1998, Kádár and Márton 1999, Márton and Kádár 1999, Márton and Kádár 1998). This crop originated in the Far East and has been grown in China for more than four thousand years. It has for long been regarded as one of the five sacred grains with rice, wheat, barley and millet
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.
Zambon, Ilaria; Colantoni, Andrea; Carlucci, Margherita; Morrow, Nathan; Sateriano, Adele; Salvati, Luca
Land Degradation (LD) in socio-environmental systems negatively impacts sustainable development paths. This study proposes a framework to LD evaluation based on indicators of diversification in the spatial distribution of sensitive land. We hypothesize that conditions for spatial heterogeneity in a composite index of land sensitivity are more frequently associated to areas prone to LD than spatial homogeneity. Spatial heterogeneity is supposed to be associated with degraded areas that act as hotspots for future degradation processes. A diachronic analysis (1960–2010) was performed at the Italian agricultural district scale to identify environmental factors associated with spatial heterogeneity in the degree of land sensitivity to degradation based on the Environmentally Sensitive Area Index (ESAI). In 1960, diversification in the level of land sensitivity measured using two common indexes of entropy (Shannon's diversity and Pielou's evenness) increased significantly with the ESAI, indicating a high level of land sensitivity to degradation. In 2010, surface area classified as “critical” to LD was the highest in districts with diversification in the spatial distribution of ESAI values, confirming the hypothesis formulated above. Entropy indexes, based on observed alignment with the concept of LD, constitute a valuable base to inform mitigation strategies against desertification. - Highlights: • Spatial heterogeneity is supposed to be associated with degraded areas. • Entropy indexes can inform mitigation strategies against desertification. • Assessing spatial diversification in the degree of land sensitivity to degradation. • Mediterranean rural areas have an evident diversity in agricultural systems. • A diachronic analysis carried out at the Italian agricultural district scale.
Zambon, Ilaria, E-mail: email@example.com [Department of Agricultural and Forestry scieNcEs (DAFNE), Tuscia University, Via S. Camillo de Lellis, I-01100 Viterbo (Italy); Colantoni, Andrea [Department of Agricultural and Forestry scieNcEs (DAFNE), Tuscia University, Via S. Camillo de Lellis, I-01100 Viterbo (Italy); Carlucci, Margherita [Department of Social and Economic Science, University of Rome La Sapienza, Piazzale A. Moro 5, I-00185 Rome (Italy); Morrow, Nathan [Tulane University, Payson Program in International Development at the School of Law, New Orleans (United States); Sateriano, Adele; Salvati, Luca [Italian Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA-RPS), Via della Navicella 2-4, I-00184 Rome (Italy)
Land Degradation (LD) in socio-environmental systems negatively impacts sustainable development paths. This study proposes a framework to LD evaluation based on indicators of diversification in the spatial distribution of sensitive land. We hypothesize that conditions for spatial heterogeneity in a composite index of land sensitivity are more frequently associated to areas prone to LD than spatial homogeneity. Spatial heterogeneity is supposed to be associated with degraded areas that act as hotspots for future degradation processes. A diachronic analysis (1960–2010) was performed at the Italian agricultural district scale to identify environmental factors associated with spatial heterogeneity in the degree of land sensitivity to degradation based on the Environmentally Sensitive Area Index (ESAI). In 1960, diversification in the level of land sensitivity measured using two common indexes of entropy (Shannon's diversity and Pielou's evenness) increased significantly with the ESAI, indicating a high level of land sensitivity to degradation. In 2010, surface area classified as “critical” to LD was the highest in districts with diversification in the spatial distribution of ESAI values, confirming the hypothesis formulated above. Entropy indexes, based on observed alignment with the concept of LD, constitute a valuable base to inform mitigation strategies against desertification. - Highlights: • Spatial heterogeneity is supposed to be associated with degraded areas. • Entropy indexes can inform mitigation strategies against desertification. • Assessing spatial diversification in the degree of land sensitivity to degradation. • Mediterranean rural areas have an evident diversity in agricultural systems. • A diachronic analysis carried out at the Italian agricultural district scale.
Tsakiridis, Nikolaos L.; Tziolas, Nikolaos; Dimitrakos, Agathoklis; Galanis, Georgios; Ntonou, Eleftheria; Tsirika, Anastasia; Terzopoulou, Evangelia; Kalopesa, Eleni; Zalidis, George C.
Soil Spectral Libraries facilitate agricultural production taking into account the principles of a low-input sustainable agriculture and provide more valuable knowledge to environmental policy makers, enabling improved decision making and effective management of natural resources in the region. In this paper, a comparison in the predictive performance of two state of the art algorithms, one linear (Partial Least Squares Regression) and one non-linear (Cubist), employed in soil spectroscopy is conducted. The comparison was carried out in a regional Soil Spectral Library developed in the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace region of Northern Greece, comprised of roughly 450 Entisol soil samples from soil horizons A (0-30 cm) and B (30-60 cm). The soil spectra were acquired in the visible - Near Infrared Red region (vis- NIR, 350nm-2500nm) using a standard protocol in the laboratory. Three soil properties, which are essential for agriculture, were analyzed and taken into account for the comparison. These were the Organic Matter, the Clay content and the concentration of nitrate-N. Additionally, three different spectral pre-processing techniques were utilized, namely the continuum removal, the absorbance transformation, and the first derivative. Following the removal of outliers using the Mahalanobis distance in the first 5 principal components of the spectra (accounting for 99.8% of the variance), a five-fold cross-validation experiment was considered for all 12 datasets. Statistical comparisons were conducted on the results, which indicate that the Cubist algorithm outperforms PLSR, while the most informative transformation is the first derivative.
Zhang, Ming; Duan, Fang; Mao, Zisen
As a major part of farming sustainability, the issues of grain production and its quality improvement have been important in many countries. This paper aims to address these issues in China. Based on the data from the main production provinces and by applying the stochastic frontier analysis methodology, we find that the improvement of transportation and the use of agricultural machinery have become the main driving forces for grain quality improvement in China. After further studying different provinces’ potentials of grain quality improvement, we show that grain quality has increased steadily. Therefore, we can conclude China’s grain quality improvement is indeed sustainable. Furthermore, different grains like rice, wheat, and corn share similar characteristics in terms of quality improvement, but the improvement rate for rice is relatively low, while those of corn and wheat are relatively high. Moreover, the overall change of efficiency gain of grain quality improvement is not significant for different provinces. The efficiency gains of the quality improvements for rice and wheat even decrease slightly. In addition, we find that only expanding grain quality improvement potential can simultaneously achieve the dual objectives of improving grain quality and increasing yield. PMID:29401727
Zhang, Ming; Duan, Fang; Mao, Zisen
As a major part of farming sustainability, the issues of grain production and its quality improvement have been important in many countries. This paper aims to address these issues in China. Based on the data from the main production provinces and by applying the stochastic frontier analysis methodology, we find that the improvement of transportation and the use of agricultural machinery have become the main driving forces for grain quality improvement in China. After further studying different provinces' potentials of grain quality improvement, we show that grain quality has increased steadily. Therefore, we can conclude China's grain quality improvement is indeed sustainable. Furthermore, different grains like rice, wheat, and corn share similar characteristics in terms of quality improvement, but the improvement rate for rice is relatively low, while those of corn and wheat are relatively high. Moreover, the overall change of efficiency gain of grain quality improvement is not significant for different provinces. The efficiency gains of the quality improvements for rice and wheat even decrease slightly. In addition, we find that only expanding grain quality improvement potential can simultaneously achieve the dual objectives of improving grain quality and increasing yield.
Full Text Available As a major part of farming sustainability, the issues of grain production and its quality improvement have been important in many countries. This paper aims to address these issues in China. Based on the data from the main production provinces and by applying the stochastic frontier analysis methodology, we find that the improvement of transportation and the use of agricultural machinery have become the main driving forces for grain quality improvement in China. After further studying different provinces’ potentials of grain quality improvement, we show that grain quality has increased steadily. Therefore, we can conclude China’s grain quality improvement is indeed sustainable. Furthermore, different grains like rice, wheat, and corn share similar characteristics in terms of quality improvement, but the improvement rate for rice is relatively low, while those of corn and wheat are relatively high. Moreover, the overall change of efficiency gain of grain quality improvement is not significant for different provinces. The efficiency gains of the quality improvements for rice and wheat even decrease slightly. In addition, we find that only expanding grain quality improvement potential can simultaneously achieve the dual objectives of improving grain quality and increasing yield.
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)
Matios, Edward; Burney, Jennifer
Accurate information on agricultural water needs and withdrawals at appropriate spatial and temporal scales remains a key limitation to joint water and land management decision-making. We use InVEST ecosystem service mapping to estimate water yield and water consumption as functions of land use in Fresno County, a key farming region in California's Central Valley. Our calculations show that in recent years (2010-2015), the total annual water yield for the county has varied dramatically from ∼0.97 to 5.37 km 3 (all ±17%; 1 MAF ≈ 1.233 km 3 ), while total annual water consumption has changed over a smaller range, from ∼3.37 to ∼3.98 km 3 (±20%). Almost all of the county's water consumption (∼96% of total use) takes place in Fresno's croplands, with discrepancy between local annual surface water yields and crop needs met by surface water allocations from outside the county and, to a much greater extent, private groundwater irrigation. Our estimates thus bound the amount of groundwater needed to supplement consumption each year (∼1.76 km 3 on average). These results, combined with trends away from field crops and toward orchards and vineyards, suggest that Fresno's land and water management have become increasingly disconnected in recent years, with the harvested area being less available as an adaptive margin to hydrological stress.