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Agroecological approaches to agricultural development (English)

This background study stresses that the interest in the sustainability of agricultural and food systems can be traced to environmental concerns that began to appear in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, concerns about sustainability centre on the need to develop agricultural technologies and practices that: i) do not have adverse effects on the environment (partly because the environment is an important asset for farming); ii) are accessible to and effective for farmers, and lead both to improvements in food productivity and have positive side-effects on environmental goods and services. Sustainability in agricultural systems incorporates concepts of both resilience (the capacity of systems to buffer shocks and stresses) and persistence (the capacity of systems to continue over long periods), and addresses many wider economic, social and environmental outcomes. The study explains that agricultural systems in all parts of the world will have to make improvements. In many, the challenge is to increase food production to solve immediate problems of hunger. In others, the focus will be more on adjustments that maintain food production whilst increasing the flow of environmental goods and services. Further changes in environments and markets will bring substantial challenges to agricultural systems. The most significant is likely to be climate change. It is also predicted that energy prices will have a substantial impact as markets for bio-fuels and demand for cereal and oil products changes dramatically. Finally, consumer behavior will affect whole supply chains, as people increasingly choose food products that are labeled as having come from agricultural systems that can claim they are sustainable.


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    Pretty,Jules N.

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    Working Paper

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    The World Region,

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    Agroecological approaches to agricultural development

  • Keywords

    agriculture system;farmer;agroecosystem productivity;renewable source of energy;agroecosystems;Soil and Water Conservation;biological control of pest;mutually beneficial collective action;food production;environmental goods;human capital;soil organic matter;farming system;Integrated Pest Management;environment and development;crop and livestock;world food production;natural capital;natural resource problem;demand for food;improvements in water;types of asset;demand for labor;agricultural and food;incidence of malaria;consumption of fossil;status of woman;negative externality;social capital;capital investment cost;urban food production;urban economic growth;depletion of resource;net social benefit;renewable energy production;access to food;demand for meat;Natural Resource Management;infrastructure and services;greenhouse gas emission;social and institutional;road and bridges;target poverty reduction;human capital asset;area under irrigation;limits to growth;carbon in soils;source of food;loss of habitat;health and nutrition;number of chickens;social and environmental;factor of production;convention on biodiversity;global positioning system;costs of externality;decomposition of waste;agricultural land area;yield increase;external costs;agricultural production;Carbon sequestration;Natural Resources;productive use;dry season;soil erosion;external input;agenda 21;



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Pretty,Jules N.

Agroecological approaches to agricultural development (English). Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.