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Agricultural Systems: Agroecology and Rural Innovation for Development, 2nd Edition by Barry Pound, Sieglinde Snapp

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Chapter 5

Designing for the Long-term

Sustainable Agriculture

Sieglinde Snapp

Abstract

Farming systems must simultaneously address production goals, livelihoods, and environmental sustainability, in a constantly changing world. There is no defined set of practices that comprises sustainable farm design, because agroecosystem management takes place within this inherently dynamic context. Farmers have devised a remarkable range of sophisticated and complex systems that exploit heterogeneity, and help cope with variability. We can learn from indigenous design, and apply biological principles for sustainable outcomes. The principles described here include: biodiversity, resource-use efficiency, economic production, and resilience. We explore how ...

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