The Fuss Over Intensified Farming In Africa

The Fuss Over Intensified Farming In Africa

From All Africa

Spikes in food prices and extreme climatic events have threatened global food security in recent years, raising concerns about humanity’s ability to feed its growing population.

These fears prompted scientists from the Royal Society to propose, in 2009, the “sustainable intensification” (SI) of agriculture. The term, which by most definitions means increasing yields with minimum damage to the environment and without drawing more land under production, is not new, but it has attracted a great deal of controversy.

This is because various stakeholders – agriculture-based corporations, aid agencies, academics, activists and civil society organizations – assumed SI would employ certain kinds of production systems to increase crop yields. Some civil society organizations argued corporations and certain aid agencies would use the push for SI to promote the use of genetically modified (GM) crops and chemical fertilizers, for example.

A new paper published in Science attempts to clarify and, to some degree, depoliticize the ideas behind SI. SI is part of “a multipronged strategy to achieving sustainable food security rather than an all-encompassing solution”, the authors write.

Read more at AllAfrica.com.