Measuring sustainable intensification in smallholder agroecosystems: A review
This article (PDF) in the Global Food Security journal identified sustainable intentification (SI) indicators, through a systematic qualitative review of the literature with a primary focus on African smallholder farming systems. SI is at the forefront of food security discussions as a means to meet the growing demand for agricultural production while conserving land and other resources. A broader definition of SI is emerging that takes into account the human condition, nutrition and social equity. Next steps require identification of indicators and associated metrics, to track progress, assess tradeoffs and identify synergies. The authors assessed indicators and metrics for which there is consensus, and those that remain contested. The sustainable intensification literature to date contains a rich array of indicators and metrics for evaluating SI efforts. SI indicators define concepts relevant to sustainable intensification and allow for the articulation of goals in SI efforts. Some often-cited SI indicators currently have few metrics associated with them, particularly in the domain of social sustainability. As the discourse around SI continues and gaps in the literature are filled, it will remain the responsibility of researchers and stakeholders to select indices and metrics that are appropriate to the goals, constraints, and ecological setting of each individual SI effort.