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Discussion paper: Sustainable increase of crop production through improved technical strategies, breeding and adapted management – A European perspective

Schröder, Peter, Sauvêtre, Andrés, Gnädinger, Friederike, Pesaresi, Paolo, Chmeliková, Lucie, Doğan, Nedim, Gerl, Georg, Gökçe, Ayhan, Hamel, Chantal, Millan, Rocio, Persson, Tomas, Ravnskov, Sabine, Rutkowska, Beata, Schmid, Thomas, Szulc, Wiesław, Teodosiu, Carmen, Terzi, Valeria
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.678 pp. 146-161
biodiversity, breeding, crop production, crop rotation, ecosystems, farmers, food production, governance, pest control, pollinators, rural areas, soil, stakeholders
During the next decade it will be necessary to develop novel combinations of management strategies to sustainably increase crop production and soil resilience. Improving agricultural productivity, while conserving and enhancing biotic and abiotic resources, is an essential requirement to increase global food production on a sustainable basis. The role of farmers in increasing agricultural productivity growth sustainably will be crucial. Farmers are at the center of any process of change involving natural resources and for this reason they need to be encouraged and guided, through appropriate incentives and governance practices, to conserve natural ecosystems and their biodiversity, and minimize the negative impact agriculture can have on the environment. Farmers and stakeholders need to revise traditional approaches not as productive as the modern approaches but more friendly with natural and environmental ecosystems values as well as emerging novel tools and approaches addressing precise farming, organic amendments, lowered water consumption, integrated pest control and beneficial plant-microbe interactions. While practical solutions are developing, science based recommendations for crop rotations, breeding and harvest/postharvest strategies leading to environmentally sound and pollinator friendly production and better life in rural areas have to be provided.