Chapter 4

Farming Systems for Sustainable Intensification

Sieglinde Snapp and Barry Pound


Farming systems are dynamic, but the overall trajectory around the globe is of increasing intensification of resource use for agricultural production. This chapter sets out some historical views on forces that drive agricultural intensification. These include population density, markets, access to resources, and technological innovations. The big question facing society today is how to support sustainable intensification (SI) in ways that ensure that future generations are able to maintain production, the environment, and equitable societies. Definitions of SI vary, and are discussed here in a broad sense, including equity (who gains and who might ...

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