1st Edition

Sustainable Intensification of Agriculture Greening the World's Food Economy

    196 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    196 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Sustainable intensification (SI) has emerged in recent years as a powerful new conceptualisation of agricultural sustainability and has been widely adopted in policy circles and debates. It is defined as a process or system where yields are increased without adverse environmental impact and without the cultivation of more land.

    Co-written by Jules Pretty, one of the pioneers of the concept and internationally known and respected authority on sustainable agriculture, this book sets out current thinking and debates around sustainable agriculture and intensification. It recognises that world population is increasing rapidly, so that yields must increase on finite land and other resources to maintain food security. It provides the first widely accessible overview of the concept of SI as an innovative approach to agriculture and as a key element in the transition to a green economy. It presents evidence from around the world to show how various innovations are improving yields, resilience and farm incomes, particularly for ‘resource constrained’ smallholders in developing countries, but also in the developed world. It shows how SI is a fundamental departure from previous models of agricultural intensification. It also highlights the particular role and potential of small-scale farmers and the fundamental importance of social and human capital in designing and spreading effective innovations.

    1. It could be a wonderful world

    2. Twenty-first century agriculture and food

    3. The sustainable intensification of agriculture

    4. Does sustainable intensification work?

    5. Sustainable intensification on smaller farms in developing countries

    6. Sustainable intensification in industrialised countries

    7. Redesigning an agricultural knowledge economy with social capital

    8. Sustainable intensification for greener economies

    9. World-building by redesign



    Jules Pretty is Professor of Environment and Society at the University of Essex, UK. His sole-authored books include The East Country (2017), The Edge of Extinction (2014), This Luminous Coast (2011), The Earth Only Endures (2007), Agri-Culture (2002) and Regenerating Agriculture (1995). He is the Chief Editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability. He received the UK honour of OBE in 2006 for services to sustainable agriculture, and an honorary degree from Ohio State University in 2009. He has made many media contributions, including to BBC radio, on agriculture, food and sustainability.

    Zareen Pervez Bharucha is a Research Fellow in the Global Sustainability Institute, Anglia Ruskin University, UK, where she leads the Global Risk and Resilience research theme. Her work addresses sustainability transitions, resilience and adaptation with a particular focus on rainfed farms in India. She is also co-editor and author of Ecocultures: Blueprints for Sustainable Communities  (2015) and Deputy Editor for the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability.

    'Pretty and Bharucha have presented a text to draw attention to a major global issue which requires immediate action. It is relevant to all those wih environmental interests' - Antoinette Mannion, The Niche, British Ecological Society