Roles of Small Farms and Sustainable Intensification in Attaining Food Security
Sustainable intensification is receiving growing attention as a means to address the challenge of feeding an increasingly populous and resource-constrained world. While originally conceived as a framework to increase the productivity and sustainability of smallholder production in developing countries, more recently its implications are being considered for agriculture at different scales all around the world. This talk will focus on its relevance to small farms in developing countries.
Sustainable intensification can serve as a useful guiding framework for raising agricultural productivity on existing arable land in a sustainable manner. At the same time, sustainable intensification is not an adequate framework for achieving food security overall, because it can only address one component of the food system. Action is also needed to ensure access to food for vulnerable groups, bolster property rights for farmers, curb food waste and over-consumption (particularly of meat and dairy products), preserve agricultural land and stem population growth. Achieving food security requires nothing less than a food system perspective situated within the wider context of a green economy.