Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture in Africa

The UK Foresight Food and Farming Futures report commissioned over 100 peer-reviewed evidence papers, which included 40 case studies illustrating how sustainable intensification is being practised in Africa. Now, these case studies have been made available in a special issue of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability.

Sustainable agricultural intensification means increasing agricultural production from the same area of land, while reducing environmental risks and improving the use of natural resources. These case studies are examples of how agricultural practices such as crop improvements, agroforestry and soil conservation, conservation agriculture, integrated pest management and horticulture are helping to create productive and sustainable agricultural systems in Africa.

Over the 40 case studies, the Foresight researchers found that these sustainable agriculture projects had offered benefits to 10.39 million farmers and their families, and doubled crop yields on about 12.75 million hectares of land.

The productivity outcomes from the case studies can be analysed by thematic focus, indicating where most potential lies:

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All the papers are available to access free online, but only for a couple of months. After that, the journal special issue is available to purchase from Earthscan.

The challenge now is to scale up those successful initiatives, policies and partnerships so that more people may benefit.

The synthesis report of these case studies can be found on the Foresight Project website.