“Sustainable intensification” – what is it?

26 January, 2011 by (comments)

Well, according to UK chief scientific adviser John Beddington, it is the only way we’re going to significantly increase the amount of food produced on the same amount of farmland to meet the challenges of a booming world population. Beddington oversaw the Foresight think-tank’s Global Food and Farming Futures report, which we blogged about yesterday, and which calls for a “revolution” in the global food system.

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In the Science podcast today from the Financial Times, Beddington talks about the report, and argues that increasing the amount of farmland is not an option – it will only result in the clearing of more tropical rainforests. Doing more with what we currently have is the solution – and this, in a nutshell, is sustainable intensification. Click to listen to more, including his thoughts on the role of GM crops. The section starts from at around 0m 35 secs and runs to 8min 10secs.

We’ll bring you more on the importance of sustainable intensification – an important component of eco-efficient agriculture – as well as some examples from CIAT of where and how it works. Stay tuned.

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