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Sustainable intensification: a multifaceted, systemic approach to international development

Himmelstein, Jennifer, Ares, Adrian, van Houweling, Emily
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2016 v.96 no.15 pp. 4833-4839
agricultural development, gender, models, nutrition
Sustainable intensification (SI) is a term increasingly used to describe a type of approach applied to international agricultural projects. Despite its widespread use, there is still little understanding or knowledge of the various facets of this composite paradigm. A review of the literature has led to the formalization of three principles that convey the current characterization of SI, comprising a whole system, participatory, agroecological approach. Specific examples of potential bottlenecks to the SI approach are cited, in addition to various technologies and techniques that can be applied to overcome these obstacles. Models of similar, succcessful approaches to agricultural development are examined, along with higher level processes. Additionally, this review explores the desired end points of SI and argues for the inclusion of gender and nutrition throughout the process. To properly apply the SI approach, its various aspects need to be understood and adapted to different cultural and geographic situations. New modeling systems and examples of the effective execution of SI strategies can assist with the successful application of the SI paradigm within complex developing communities. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry