Agriculture problem: Sustainability

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Literature review: Sustainability problem for Agriculture

The “Ten Problems for Agriculture in the 2020s” booklet identifies ten relevant areas from very recent contributions put forward at academic level in the form of journal articles, conference proceedings and students theses. Ten freely accessible internet references have been selected for each area and direct links are provided at the end of each chapter for own consultation. Our selected references do not intend to mirror ranking indexes nor establish novel classifications. On the contrary, they are meant to represent peer-reviewed, diverse and scientifically-sound case studies for vertical dissemination aimed at non-specialist readers. They will also be able to scoop even more references through the bibliography that is reported at the end of each selected reference.

Without further ado, these are the ten problems that we are going to introduce in this booklet:

  1. climate change, 
  2. precision agriculture,
  3. crop planning,
  4. climate-smart,
  5. soil ecosystem,
  6. entrepreneurship,
  7. competitiveness,
  8. sustainability,
  9. developing countries,
  10. biological control.

Each problem has its own dedicated chapter made of an introductory section, a short presentation of the ten selected references and a conclusions section.

The final chapter of this booklet will report the conclusions from each chapter again in order to provide a complete executive summary.

8 Sustainability

THE PROBLEM – In accordance with the latest methodology approved by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, sustainable agriculture is a trade-off between competing targets at economic, social, political and ecological level. In that sense, adhering countries are now collecting data following an agreed definition known as FAO 2.4.1 Sustainability Indicator, which is made of eleven sub-indicators that incorporate said levels. It is becoming clearer and clearer that sustainable agriculture is a dynamic, multi-target political process instead of a mere benchmark.

CASE STUDIES — … buy this booklet from Amazon …

CONCLUSIONS — An agreed methodological framework for the systematic literature review of agricultural sustainability studies is still needed and the connotation of agricultural sustainable intensification has not been clearly defined yet. Women’s empowerment Is also an issue. The new 2.4.1 FAO indicator for agriculture monitoring sustainable food production systems and resilient agricultural practices is now close to launch and decision-making models are being developed, also to understand human-environment interactions of the biodiversity of agriculture and food systems. More in detail, a series of difficult decisions on numerous methodological aspects are linked to the approval of that indicator. Community engagement, partnership between industry, regulators and farmers, plus education with proper training programs are needed. Farming with higher labor endowment might be less eco-efficient contradicts the commonly known perception. It must be noted that agricultural sustainability is based on the water–energy–food nexus and therefore it can vary with time, with pesticide utilization being the most important issue. COVID-19 challenges to agriculture are reducing supplies due to seasonality of production and lack of seasonal or migrant labor, rising prices, reducing demand due to lockdown implementations.

TEN FREE REFERENCES FROM THE INTERNET — … buy this booklet from Amazon …

“Ten Problems for Agriculture in the 2020s” booklet for Amazon Kindle, 2020; click on the cover to go to the dedicated Amazon listing page

booklet updated on 5 Dec 2020, now on sale as version 1.1

By TenProblems

Literature Reviews for Inquisitive Minds