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Sustainable Intensification: A New Paradigm for African Agriculture

Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly vulnerable to global challenges such as food insecurity, climate change, rural poverty, malnutrition and environmental protection. This puts pressure on the fragile food production system.

The term ‘Sustainable Intensification’ – ‘producing more outputs with more efficient use of all inputs on a durable basis, while reducing environmental damage and building resilience, natural capital and the flow of environmental services’ – has become synonymous with big, industrial agriculture. The writers of the report are concerned that as the world’s population grows, there is a risk that we will lose sight of the scientific value and relevance of the term, including to smallholder farmers.

The report provides examples of how Sustainable Intensification is being used by smallholder farmers in Africa to address the continent’s food and nutrition crisis.