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Sustainable Intensification of Tropical Agro-Ecosystems: Need and Potentials

Andres, Christian and Bhullar, Gurbir S. (2016) Sustainable Intensification of Tropical Agro-Ecosystems: Need and Potentials. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 4:5, online- .

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PDF - Published Version - English

Document available online at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fenvs.2016.00005/full


Rapid population growth, increasingly complex economies and novel industrial uses of agricultural products call for further intensification of agriculture, particularly in the tropics. How to achieve sustainable intensification of food production systems in tropical regions that are challenged by ongoing climate change, loss of natural resources and biodiversity is a matter of debate. Here we highlight the major knowledge gaps in agricultural research and policy that must be addressed to develop adequate governance and regulatory frameworks for sustainable agricultural intensification. They include quantification of the (i) value of (public/private) goods generated by ecosystem services, (ii) costs to conserve the natural resources and biodiversity that maintain ecosystem services, and (iii) true costs of different types of agriculture (in environmental, social, and health dimensions) as well as (iv) required adaptations that will make alternative farming strategies feasible at a global scale. We discuss the synergies and potential of agro-ecology and organic agriculture to transform our food systems and highlight the importance of controlling demand for food through societal (behavioral) and political (structural) changes in agricultural value chains. Finally, we review the sustainability standards and participatory guarantee systems in developed and developing countries, respectively, and argue that exemplars from developed countries could be role models in adapting governance and regulatory frameworks for developing countries.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Department of International Cooperation, Agriculture in the tropics, sustainable intensification, tropical agro-ecosystems, organic agriculture, agro-ecology, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services, Green Revolution, policy frameworks
Subjects: Food systems > Recycling, balancing and resource management
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > International
Related Links:http://www.fibl.org/en/switzerland/development/working-themes/production-systems.html
Deposited By: Andres, Christian
ID Code:29722
Deposited On:08 Feb 2016 12:58
Last Modified:08 Feb 2016 12:58
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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