Sustainable Crop Production Intensification

  E-mail   Print


Prof. Michele Pisante
Agronomy and crop sciences research and education center - University of Teramo (Italy)

Dr. Amir Kassam
Conservation Agriculture Community of Practice (CA-CoP), FAO (Italy)

Invitation to submit an original research article, opinion paper or review article for a special edition of AIMS Agriculture and Food

Theme:  Sustainable Crop Production Intensification

Manuscript Topics

The concept of Sustainable Agriculture needs to be revisited in the context of the need to increase productivity to meet the food and agricultural demands of the future total projected population of some 10 billion by the end of the 21st century. It is obvious that the concept of Sustainable Agriculture must recognize that agricultural ecosystems are sustainable in the long-term only if the outputs of all components produced balance the natural and synthetic inputs into the production systems. Whether the required amount of input (e.g. nutrients) to obtain a desired yield is supplied in organic or biological form rather than in mineral form is a matter of preference, availability, economics and logistics. Plants cannot differentiate the nutrients supplied through the organic or biological or synthetic sources but the yield response functions, nutrient retention and release rates, and efficiency of nutrient utilization are affected by the way the combined nutrient sources are managed and whether production paradigm is based on conventional tillage agriculture or no-till Conservation Agriculture. In either case, the important question is the need to establish the supply of nutrients in effective forms, in adequate, quantities, at right times and correct locations to support the production of the desired amount of food and other agricultural products to meet the needs of 10 billion people by the end of the century.

With the publication of Save and Grow in 2011, FAO proposed a new paradigm of sustainable crop production intensification, one that is both highly productive and environmentally sustainable, and at the same time efficient and resilient, and capable of delivering ecosystem services such as clean and regulated fresh water supplies, carbon sequestration, control of soil degradation and erosion, and enhancement of agrobiodiversity. FAO recognized that, over the past half-century, agriculture based on the intensive use of mechanical tillage and agrochemical inputs has increased global food production and average per capita food consumption. However, in the process of this tillage-based intensification, there has been a severe depletion of natural resources of many agro-ecosystems, jeopardizing future crop productivity and agro-ecological potentials, and has added to the emissions of green house gases responsible for global warming.

In light of the above, the concept of sustainable crop production intensification should be the primary strategic objective of innovative agricultural research and development strategies internationally for the coming decades. Already, a set of core agroecological principles for sustainable production (such as minimum soil disturbance, maintenance of soil cover, and diversified cropping system) and a range of locally formulated and often location-specific practical options exist for farming practices, approaches and technologies that can strengthen sustainability and at the same time intensify crop production in terms of increased output and productivity (efficiency). These principles and practices need to be applied and mainstreamed internationally in the coming decades.

In order to do this, a renewed attention on the results of innovative research and development initiatives to improve agricultural productivity growth on a sustainable basis is needed. Additionally, intertwining challenges of climate change and competition for land, water and energy require attention in the following areas: bridging the agronomically attainable gap between actual and potential productivity levels in the agriculture of developing countries; investing in agricultural innovation and knowledge system development, broadly defined; and improving national and international research and development cooperation for sustainable agriculture growth and natural resource management.

The above brief presentation for this special edition of AIMS Agriculture and Food invites contributors to submit articles that address the topic of Sustainable Crop Production Intensification from all the above described points of view. The fields of interest include, but is not limited to, the (overlapping) disciplines of agronomists, biotechnologists, crop physiologists, soil scientists, and agroecologists who must also work with geologists, hydrologists, climatologists, computer scientists, system engineers, economists, with particular interest in the emerging multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary systems approach to research and development at multiple scales and levels of systems such as the farm, household, community, landscape, basin, sectors and cross-sectors, local, national and international.

Instruction for Authors:

Submission due date: 31 January 2016.

Michele Pisante, Amir Kassam
+ Abstract     + HTML     + PDF(526 KB)
Emilio J. González-Sánchez, Amir Kassam, Gottlieb Basch, Bernhard Streit, Antonio Holgado-Cabrera, Paula Triviño-Tarradas
+ Abstract     + HTML     + PDF(635 KB)
Boris Boincean, Amir Kassam, Gottlieb Basch, Don Reicosky, Emilio Gonzalez, Tony Reynolds, Marina Ilusca, Marin Cebotari, Grigore Rusnac, Vadim Cuzeac, Lidia Bulat, Dorian Pasat, Stanislav Stadnic, Sergiu Gavrilas, Ion Boaghii
+ Abstract     + HTML     + PDF(769 KB)
Marcello Mastrorilli, Raffaella Zucaro
+ Abstract     + HTML     + PDF(925 KB)
Theodor Friedrich, Amir Kassam
+ Abstract     + HTML     + PDF(628 KB)
A. Nurbekov, A. Akramkhanov, A. Kassam, D. Sydyk, Z. Ziyadaullaev, J.P.A. Lamers
+ Abstract     + HTML     + PDF(1039 KB)
Abha Mishra, Prabhat Kumar, Jan Willem Ketelaar
+ Abstract     + HTML     + PDF(981 KB)
I. Bashour, A. AL-Ouda, A. Kassam, R. Bachour, K. Jouni, B. Hansmann, C. Estephan
+ Abstract     + HTML     + PDF(789 KB)
Open Access Journals
Open Access Journals