Sustainable The future global fiber and food
SustainableIntensification of Farming SystemsIntroduction The limited natural resource baseand a growing population rate imply that if either the future or current fiberand food requirements are not met at the required level, then the availablenatural resources will have to be used in a more sustainable manner. Thepromotion of sustainable agriculture demands that the farm management methodsshould promote an equitable outcome for all small-scale farmers, increaseeconomic stability, conserve nutrients, and foster synergies in crop production(Garnett et al., 2013).
The future global fiber and food requirement areprojected to increase considerably as the average income increases with therise in population, however limited water or land resources can be brought intoproduction to help satisfy this demand. Every agricultural system, therefore,ought to intensify the application of the existing water and land resources inthe production of food and cash crops, forestry or even aquaculture. Thesustainable intensification is generally connected with the application ofexternal inputs and more efficient use of the production inputs (Pretty,Toulmin & Williams, 2011). In this connection, the goal of this research isto provide a way out of poverty and hunger for the small-scale farm householdsvia a sustainably intensified farming system of improving crop variety. Thepractices that are capable of maximizing food production and crop varietyimprovement from the existing farmland while reducing the negative effects onthe environment involves embracing sustainable intensification of the farmingsystem. Sustainable intensification aims at the efficient farming system whileprotecting the environment and at the same time promoting some of the positiveeconomic and social outcomes which in turn contribute to a range ofdevelopmental goals such as food security (Pretty, Toulmin & Williams, 2011).
Goalsand Objectives The purpose of the proposal is toencourage the adoption of sustainable intensification innovation in theimprovement of crop variety that in turn increase the crop productivity whileconserving the natural resources by the small-scale farmers in East Africa. Theincreased adoption of sustainable intensification innovation will requiresupport from credit service providers and microfinance institutional supportservices which are beyond the scope of the program. The impacts of the projectwill, therefore, be achieved via the linkages support of the agriculturalsupport services. In this sense, the proposal is therefore aimed at achievingthe following detrimental objectives:1. Synthesizethe existing knowledge on sustainable intensification and identify thematicareas and knowledge gaps, which require interventions by the stakeholder inputs2.
Makeuse of the available tools in mapping the current agricultural status forimportant crops, nutrition, soils, and climate while identifying some of thepotential zones of influence and vulnerable geographical areas wheresustainable intensification can be implemented3. Capacitybuilding for the project partners to disseminate, tests, and developsustainable intensification practices and innovation.4. Improveinformation flow and knowledge exchange among the agricultural stakeholdersthrough developing, testing, and disseminating Sustainable intensification options,which can improve the on-farm and off-farm natural water, soil, and landresource management.5.
Identifythe opportunities and constraints for sustainable intensification throughcharacterizing the farming systemTheMethodology The above objectives and goal willbe met by carrying out proper SWOT Analysis and literature review throughinviting a number of stakeholders to different workshops and identifying theavailable secondary literature such as journals and publications. These will beaimed towards understanding the needs and jointly develop thematic areas thatare most significant to address the nutritional and food security for thesmall-scale farmers globally, especially in East Africa. The literature reviewwill be conducted with the aim of identifying and summarizing some of theunderlying strategic plans, which extends to past activities that document thesignificance and needs of sustainable intensification. This will be achievedthrough the available government and NGOs documents and the peer-reviewed journalarticles, which strongly prioritize agriculture as a fundamental area ofconcern and importance towards investing in the future vision of food security.In this context, the available data on climate will be determined and assembledso that they can be analyzed for the past trends and hence determine areas ofimprovement. Situation analysis regarding strengths, weakness, opportunities,and threats will be conducted towards understanding sustainable intensificationthrough active collaboration or partnership with the local organizations.
LiteratureReview Sustainable intensification ofagricultural production, given the burgeoning future or current challengesfacing the environment and food supply, should emerge as a priority for boththe international development partners and policymakers. Sustainableintensification can be described as the production of more from the same pieceof land whiles increasing the flow of environmental services and contributionsto natural capital by reducing the negative environmental impacts (Garnett& Godfray, 2012). The objective ofachieving sustainable intensification will be possible through the endorsementof the ecosystem approach in the world agricultural management. In thiscontext, the ecosystem approach makes use of the inputs such as fertilizer,seed, water, and land in complementing the natural processes, which oftensupport the growth of plants such as the soil biota actions, which allow plantsto access nutrients, natural predation for pest control, and pollination amongothers.
The adoption of the farming system has substantial promises such as theincreased efficiency and simultaneous increase of yields through the reductionof negative environmental impacts on food production, particularly on the cropvariety improvement (Pretty, Toulmin & Williams, 2011). Sustainable intensification is basedon agricultural management practices and production systems, which includes theefficient water management and the integrated management o weeds, diseases, andinsect pests. It further entails the application of good quality, high yieldingvarieties, and well-adapted seeds; cultivation of a wide a range of varietiesand species in sequences, rotations, and associations; and the maintenance ofhealthy soil, which is further aimed at enhancing crop nutrition.
Management atthe scale of cropping system should be based on the judicious application ofexternal inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers, integration of a variety ofplant species, as well as the biological processes (Garrity et al., 2010). Itis of great significance that the agricultural sector should develop andprovide more food of higher quality and income to rising population.Investments towards promoting agricultural growth appear to be paying off asthe crop yields have been on the rise, however further investment plans arerequired to maintain this effort through sustainable intensification of thefarming system. The crop variety improvement throughsustainable intensification of the farming system, when supported andeffectively implemented, will, in turn, provide the desired win-win outcomesthat are required in meeting up the wide setback of saving the planet andfeeding the global population.
According to Pretty, Toulmin & Williams(2011), this system has the capacity of allowing countries to manage, developor plan agricultural productions in such a way that addresses the aspirationsand needs of the society without jeopardizing the fundamental rights of thefuture generation to fully enjoy the wide array of the goods and servicesoffered by the environment. For instance, an indicator of a win-win situation,which deems beneficial to both farmers and the environment, will be theincrease in productivity along with a decline in the overuse of inputs likemineral fertilizers (Garnett et al., 2013). Sustainable intensification as wellas bringing a number of benefits to the environment and food security, has alot to offer the small farmers plus their families (who contribute to 30percent of the global population) through cost reductions, building resilienceto stress, enhancing their productivity, and strengthening their riskmanagement capacities. The reduction in the agricultural input expenses will,in turn, free resources for investment in farms while at the same time ensuringeducation, health, and food securities of the farm families (Garrity et al.
,2010). This system will result in the increased net income or farmers, whichwill be achieved at a minimal environmental cost thereby delivering both publicand private benefits. The new paradigms of sustainableintensification of crop production and improvement of crop variety recognizethe need for a remunerative and productive agriculture which also enhances andpreserve the environment and the natural base that in turn positivelycontribute to harnessing the services offered by the environment. This farmingsystem will not only reduce the climatic effects on crop variety improvement,it will also mitigate the factors influencing the climate change through thereduction of emission and through contributing to the carbon sequestration inthe soils. The system when embraced can be applied towards enhancingbiodiversity both below and above the ground level in order to improveecosystem services for a healthier environment and better productivity (Pretty,Toulmin & Williams, 2011). Nevertheless, the risk of long-term, persistentfood insecurity remains most acute in a number of low-income countries,particularly in Africa.
The rate at which pressure is mounting on theenvironment and broader resources from the intensification and extension ofagriculture should be concentrated progressively in countries with highpopulation growth rates, low levels of food consumption and poor agriculturalresource endowments.Conclusion In conclusion, farmers can describeSustainable intensification as a social learning process, which will require asubstantial strengthening of agricultural extension services from bothnon-traditional and traditional sources to support and encourage its adoption.Further, mobilizing social capital for this system will necessitate theparticipation of people in the local decision-making process and ensure fairand decent working conditions in agriculture in general. Therefore, withadequate funding and policy support, the crop variety improvement throughsustainable intensification of the farming system can be implemented in arelatively short period of time over large production areas.