Food security and the environment: Interdisciplinary research to increase productivity while exercising environmental conservation uri icon

abstract

  • Global food insecurity is increasing in absolute terms despite recent decreases in percentage terms. Options to increase food production while protecting the environment exclude further expansion of cropland, leaving increased agricultural productivity as an option assuming we address its associated technological and societal challenges while exercising environmental conservation. Improving productivity requires redoubled efforts in interdisciplinary work to design and implement sound agricultural management practices and efficient use of inputs. Based on a historical perspective of the last few decades on hypothesized environmental limits to food production and looking at prospective futures, we analyze the required type of interdisciplinary research to improve productivity. We conclude that bringing together increased food supply and environmental conservation requires research that integrates engineering, technology, science, policy, and action.

publication date

  • 2018
  • 2018