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Food security as a function of Sustainable Intensification of Crop Production

Theodor Friedrich Amir Kassam

*Corresponding author: Theodor Friedrich theodor.friedrich@fao.org


The challenge to eradicate hunger and establish food security across all its four pillars (availability, accessibility, health and safety, and continuity) is ongoing. The actual situation in global food production leads most of the attention to improving accessibility and safety of food, particularly to vulnerable populations. However, in view of the growth in demand, which includes changes in preferences for example towards food of animal origin, availability and continuity will play larger roles in future. Food production needs to increase over the coming decades at challenging rates, while facing problems of degradation and reduced availability of natural resources for production such as soil and water, and facing increasing challenges from climate change. The actual trends in yield development suggest that a simple gradual improvement of production within the existing concepts will not provide a sustainable or feasible solution, and that more fundamental changes in the agricultural production paradigm are required to face these future challenges. The Sustainable Intensification represents such a change in paradigm in which high production levels are combined with sustainability. The concept of sustainable intensification, the rationale for it and its functional elements, represented by Conservation Agriculture, are presented in this paper.

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