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Sustainable Agricultural Intensification – A Perspective from Latin America and the Caribbean
Published: 31 October 2014 by MDPI in The 4th World Sustainability Forum session Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife
Abstract: Sustainable agriculture is broadly established in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), but the way that food is being produced and consumed requires rethinking. Sustainable agricultural intensification (SAI) is becoming an approach to address various complex challenges in agriculture. A total of 760 participants (57% LAC) from 101 countries registered for a 2-week e-consultation, which included 3 components with the aim of promoting the dialogue and partnerships on SAI in LAC. In the first component there was an exchange of ideas on its conceptual framework, while in the second component experiences and lessons learned from programs, practices, policies and solutions to address challenges in the region were shared, and the last component served to discuss how to increase regional cooperation through the identification of actors and actions. This paper provides a synthesis report of the e-forum and the main recommendations to consolidate a regional SAI network to exchange experiences and generate joint actions for greater synergies in agricultural research, and better policies, investments and institutions in LAC. Proposed research areas are: analyzing yield gaps, accurate mapping of farming structure of LAC agriculture, rehabilitating degraded lands, curving deforestation, studying the nature of the interphases between sustainable agricultural and food systems, reducing food wastes, adapting to and mitigating climate change, strengthening cooperatives, building local organizations and linking farmers to markets, using information and communication technology to access information and share knowledge on SAI, and defining indicators and metrics to monitor SAI undertakings and assist policy makers for enacting incentives through related policy.
Keywords: Family agriculture; food systems; Latin America; smallholders; sustainable agricultural intensification