Online informative and educational resources regarding the possibilities for sustainable intensification of agriculture
Aldo Tommaso Marrocco
Conservation biological control ； System of Rice Intensification ； Ecosystem services ； Cover crops ； Educational resources
|Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication||
9卷2期（2017 / 08 / 01）
181 - 195
The article presents several online educational and informative resources such as text, graphs, videos, animations and images that deal with sustainable intensification in agriculture. Such resources can be downloaded for free by the reader, and used by the teachers with the method felt as most appropriate. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, an estimated increase in food production from the current 8.4 to 13.5 billion tonnes a year is required in order to to satisfy the increasing world population needs. This entails important changes in both food and agriculture systems while the natural environment, already depleted in both natural resources and agricultural areas, must be protected. Several papers presented in this article deal with rice. The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) allows the farmer to achieve higher yields and more resilient plants using less water and with lower methane emissions. Whereas, rice-fish farming gives an additional yield of fish using fewer agrochemicals as compared with conventional rice farming. The article also deals with the ＂ecosystem services＂ provided by rice paddies and the importance of their conservation for the environment. The system of wheat intensification is a technique aimed at achieving high yields and resilient plants using a low input technology. Although the production method is labour-intensive, due to the additional care required in crop management, this innovative technique increases food security and net income of resource-poor farmers. Papers, videos and animations presented in this article also deal with the ＂conservation biological control＂. This technique relies on a management of the agroecosystem aimed at protecting and enhancing the natural enemies, often already present in the environment and so important in the control of pests. The paper also deals with the importance of cover crops and no-till techniques in the protection of agroecosystems and, through reduced losses of both nitrogen and phosphorus, in the conservation of aquatic ecosystems.