in: Earthscan food and agriculture
Sustainable intensification (SI) has emerged in recent years as a powerful new conceptualisation of agricultural sustainability and has been widely adopted in policy circles and debates. It is defined as a process or system where yields are increased without adverse environmental impact and without the cultivation of more land. Co-written by Jules Pretty, one of the pioneers of the concept and internationally known and respected authority on sustainable agriculture, this book sets out current thinking and debates around sustainable agriculture and intensification. It recognises that world population is increasing rapidly, so that yields must increase on finite land and other resources to maintain food security. It provides the first widely accessible overview of the concept of SI as an innovative approach to agriculture and as a key element in the transition to a green economy. It presents evidence from around the world to show how various innovations are improving yields, resilience and farm incomes, particularly for 'resource constrained' smallholders in developing countries, but also in the developed world. It shows how SI is a fundamental departure from previous models of agricultural intensification. It also highlights the particular role and potential of small-scale farmers and the fundamental importance of social and human capital in designing and spreading effective innovations.