Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Sustainable Intensification

Sustainable Intensification offers an approach to evaluate and balance the environmental, economic and social objectives of agriculture, improving the efficient use of resources for agriculture with the goal of producing more food on the same amount of land but with reduced negative environmental or social impacts. In this vein, the Food Security and Agriculture Core Course offers Sustainable Intensification resources that provide information for the implementation of the U.S. Government's Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) and about how USAID/BFS is working with smallholder farmers toward resilience and better nutrition.

Farmers often have to make choices based on complex considerations of risk, market conditions, the availability and affordability of inputs, and environmental conditions. Rhoda's Story is just one example of the complex considerations and decisions farmers make to increase yields while improving the productivity and sustainability within their resources.

In addition, USAID, working with their research partners at the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sustainable Intensification (SIIL), developed and recently launched the Sustainable Intensification Assessment Framework. The framework was developed primarily for use in smallholder farming contexts where changes in agricultural production can have positive or negative effects on development goals such as alleviating poverty, avoiding land degradation, increasing food security and nutrition security, and supporting women’s empowerment. The Toolkit provides step by step guidance, along with a sustainable intensification indicator manual on how development projects can estimate the indicators and metrics listed in the Guide for Sustainable Intensification Assessment.

Takeaways:

  • Explore approaches for assessing and strengthening biophysical components enabling agricultural productivity
  • The integration of crop, livestock and fisheries production is a bulwark of the food system & food security
  • The sustainable intensification framework plays a role for making optimal choices to cope and thrive with shocks and stresses on the environment

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