System of crop intensification for more productive, resource-conserving, climate-resilient, and sustainable agriculture: experience with diverse crops in varying agroecologies
This article (PDF) in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability reviews various farmer-centred innovations for agroecological crop management that can contribute to agricultural sustainability. These changes represent the emerging system of crop intensification, which is being increasingly applied in Asian, African, and Latin American countries. The ideas and methods of the system of rice intensification which is improving irrigated rice production are now being extended/adapted to many other crops. Promoting better root growth and enhancing the soil’s fertility with organic materials are being found effective means for raising the yields of many crop plants with less water, less fertilizer, reduced seeds, fewer agrochemicals, and greater climate resilience. System of crop intensification innovations developed so far have been well-suited to rural communities and producers because they stem from and are adapted for local needs and capacities. Rapid acceptance and spread of most system of crop intensification initiatives have been seen in the reviews of various crops. There has been slower response from policy-makers in most countries, imbued as they are with the suppositions and preferences of green-revolution agricultural technology. More research will be needed to verify the efficacy and impact of these innovations and to clarify their conditions and limits. But as no negative effects for human or environmental health have been identified, making these agronomic options more widely known should prompt more investigation and, to the extent justified by results, utilization of these methodologies.